In this week’s EDUKWEST I interview Travis Millman, VP of product for EnglishCentral Inc. Although still quite concentrated on the Asian market, I think it’s a nice product worth having a look at from both teacher and student side.
EnglishCentral consists of three main areas, one is to watch authentic videos dealing with different topics such as politics or entertainment. Second is to learn all relevant vocabulary, also structured according to topics for instance introductions or culture. The third element is to learn to speak or more specifically how to pronounce words.
Looking from a student perspective, I like that it’s pretty customizable and that I don’t have to watch this or that video but define my fields of interest and thus get only relevant lessons for me.
With New App, Ustream Aims To Take Live Streaming On Facebook “To A New Level” – “The app, [...], enables users to opt-in for reminders for upcoming streaming events using Facebook Oauth and receive notifications whenever a certain broadcaster turns on a live stream (the ‘Join Crowd’ feature).” TechCrunch
DreamIt Ventures Announces Its First Batch Of NYC Startups – “Like DreamIt’s Philly program, 5 of the 15 startups are digital education businesses and were selected in partnership with Startl — a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating digital innovations for learning.” TechCrunch
Can Flattr Plus Twitter Make Micropayments a Reality? – “[...] Flattr could transform the online content industry in much the same way The Pirate Bay disrupted it, but for the better.” GigaOm
Learning Formally or Informally…? Why not Both! – “After years of research, study and validation, Morgan McCall, Robert W. Eichinger and Michael M. Lombardo at Princeton’s Center for Creative Leadership have developed a very sound learning model; the 70/20/10 model.” Entreprise Collaborative
More Evidence That An iPhone Lite Is En Route – “[...] Apple’s strategy of keeping the old-gen iPhone and iPad on sale beside newer devices, at a lower price, is working well.” Fast Company
Will Chromebooks for Education Be a Good Deal for Schools? – “[...] in the long string of “one laptop per child” projects, the weight of Google behind this one may be good news for students – and that’s what matters most.” ReadWriteWeb
Social Learning: Can Facebook and Related Tools Improve Educational Outcomes? – “Online social networking sites, such as Facebook, can help students become academically and socially integrated as well as improving learning outcomes [...]” Science Daily
Can Learning Really Be Fun and Games? – “Using his own money and grants that he applied for, Pai has managed to round up seven laptops, two desktops 11 Nintendo DS’s, 18 games for math, reading, vocabulary, geography, and 21 digital voice recorders.” MindShift
And I really hope that this future is not too far away. Mingoville, to my mind one of the most innovative education 2.0 companies and my declared favorite of 2009, just shared some amazing videos on its YouTube channel, showing a group of children engaging with the Mingoville universe via different devices in a classroom setup.
Those videos show how the ESL class of the future could (should!) look like. The best thing, Mingoville is only using technology that is already mainstream.
The next startup in our TechCrunch Disrupt coverage of online education related companies is Voxy. And this time it is actually an online education startup.
Voxy’s slogan is “Learn a language from Life” and they are also defining themselves as an edutainment company, similar to English Attack! as the content is based on entertainment, news and other pieces from “the real life”.