Benjamin asked what about 1000 teachers collaborating on video lessons like the folks at Learnzillion. Though I think they are doing a great job, it is simply not the same. We are talking about Jamie Oliver vs. FoodTube. Let me explain.
No, I haven’t lost my marbles! But at least now I got your attention, I think.
As you know, I have pursued a side project in German language learning since April 2008 called Deutsch Happen. On the basis of a more or less regular schedule I have produced different kinds of video lessons to test out teaching ideas and to support learners of German as a foreign language who might have no access to paid solutions.
For the past couple of months I have been experimenting with some strategies on how to grow my audience on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the results are good enough to take this to the next step: I am building a MVP.
How I first heard about Derek Muller, the creator of Veritasium was in the course of his take on education’s current fairhaired boy (not really but let’s use the metaphor), Salman Khan and the Khan Academy.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that videos definitely have their place as a tool in education. I am a producer of educational video, Derek is one. There is no doubt that videos do their part to make explain things in a new, visual and engaging way but other tools also have their place. Salman Khan is doing a great job of breaking complex things down and to present them in an easy and digestible way.
To put Khan Academy and its founder in the place of having all the right answers to our problems and sort of being the savior of education is wrong, and the way I see it, it’s also not what he intended to do.
A couple of days ago Khan Academy announced a partnership with BitTorrent, up to now mostly known for being the place to get illegal copies of whatever you want. Sure, the technology itself is brilliant and in combination with a project like the Khan Academy it has the potential to bring video lessons even to places with low bandwidth connections.
The problem is that today Google blacklisted the service because of its reputation being a harbor for illegal activities.
Last year, I had the pleasure of participating in the Fifth Conference PEOPLE edition with an opinion piece on how to record knowledge in the new age. Frank Boermeester, editor and community manager now formally launched the Council of the Fifth Conference, inviting innovators from around the globe to join the initiative.
The Council of the Fifth Conference is a global innovation think tank with the goal to create one of the world’s best knowledge sources and professional networks for understanding the near future and supporting innovative entrepreneurship.
The third quarter of 2010 started with the sale of eduFire to Camelback Education which led to various posts on the business model of live lessons itself and the question if those platforms and services ever take off.
Other big topics were the PR battle between Livemocha and Rosetta Stone around the launch of their new flagship products Active Courses and TOTALe, the rise of Udemy, the pivot of YongoPal and the growing necessity of tracking and recording learning in the new decade.