SO LO MO (social, local, mobile) was one of the buzzwords this year and even the topic of LeWeb in Paris.
Smartphone devices and tablets are evolving rapidly in shorter product cycles and the digerati are always after the next big app. For some weeks it was Oink, Kevin Rose’s first product out of Milk, now it is Path, the limited social network that only lets you connect with a small number of close friends and family.
Since I watched a talk with Clay Shirky about how technology changes society at the moment when it becomes technically “boring”, e.g. the most part has access to it and knows how to use it, I have been thinking if we are actually moving too fast and hence only the ones who can keep up with the latest gadget trends benefit from them.
EDUKWEST on tour has always had a special feel to it and as much as I like connecting with great start-up people via Skype, I have to say that I truly enjoy visiting companies when I have the opportunity to do so.
Episode 63 is such an on tour video, I’ve met with Michel Nizon and team of Edulang at their office in Morlaix, France. Yes, innovation can happen in the most remote places and I love that this is possible thanks to working online, connecting with people and the possibility of finding customers all around the world!
Read more and watch the Interview on EDUKWEST →
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Andrew Cohen, founder and CEO of the smart flashcard platform Brainscape.
Last month, I was honored to be interviewed on Kirsten Winkler’s blog as part of her series about web and mobile “flashcard” applications. As the founder of Brainscape – a new type of flashcard engine – I naturally spoke of flashcards’ tremendous usefulness as a complement to a more interactive curriculum, including vocabulary, supplementary facts, etc.
Today, however, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight how Brainscape has used the latest in cognitive science techniques to actually teach a language from scratch. Our new app Brainscape Spanish applies a revolutionary new type of language-acquisition approach that we call Intelligent Cumulative Exposure (ICE).
Last week’s edition of MRU was tablet centered, this week’s edition has a slight tilt towards mobile as three out of four stories are about learning applications for mobile phones.
We will take a look at NovoEnglish which is the newest product of goFLUENT, Voxy which lets you learn from the places you are currently visiting, MotionMath which helps you learn math by moving your body and MyVoice which enables speech-disabled people to talk again.
Great news reached me today as MindSnacks, one of my favorite startups in education 2.0, announced its $1.2 million funding round.
Not surprisingly, one of the investors is Dave McClure’s 500 Startups fund which already put money in education startups like Udemy, YongoPal and InternMatch. He is building up a nice portfolio of education 2.0 startups.
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.
Busuu is now the second language learning community to have its own iPhone applications that connect seamlessly with your online learning profile on the platform.
And if you watched my interview with Michael Schutzler of Livemocha the other day, you know that it will only take a little more time until this Seattle based community will launch their own.
Language learning community Hello-Hello launched its four courses for English, German, Italian and Portuguese learners on the iPad. The apps cost $9.99 USD each and consist of 30 conversational lessons per language.
Together with Babbel Hello-Hello is the only language learning community that offers native applications for Apple products.
Pearson is really on the go when it comes to new ways to deliver their material via the new distribution channels. They announced a partnership with Nokia to form a joint venture with Nokia’s mobile learning platform Mobiledu in China.
Mobiledu was launched in 2007 and offered already content of the BBC, the British Council, ETS and Wallstreet English which has been acquired by Pearson in April 2009.