Tag Archives: yongopal

Monday RoundUp

MRU – Facebook as Study Tool, Amazon Student App, Funding and Second Life

As you know, this blog here has become my personal sandbox again and all the news in education 2.0 are now over at EDUKWEST. In case you did not know, now you know ;).

For all of you who check back regularly on KirstenWinkler.com for your dose of education 2.0 related updates, I thought I will post a weekly “Monday Roundup” with links of what has been going on over at EDUKWEST.

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Is YongoPal the first Post-PC Language Learning Startup?

Yesterday YongoPal introduced a new landing page with a giant iPhone, showing some kind of a message stream similar to Twitter direct messages on the screen. The header reads

Penpals? Lame. YongoPals? Sweet.

If I count correctly this is the third iteration of the YongoPal platform in less than twelve months.

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Review:ed 2010 – October to December

This is the last part of my review 2010.

Video calling reached critical mass, live streaming comes to Facebook but is live still relevant in a world of on demand and self paced services?

Will the Internet get back to paid content and why is it so difficult to get reactions from readers?

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Review:ed 2010 – July to September

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.

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YongoPal got Funded by Dave McClure’s 500 Startups

Life is a roller coaster. Only a couple of weeks ago Darien Brown, co-founder and CEO of YongoPal wrote a brutally honest blog post on what the startup did wrong, what they need to change and that he and his co-founder Jon Hickey already were working on a complete reboot of the service.

Today, I learned over Facebook that YongoPal got funding by Dave McClure’s 500 Startups fund and that team YongoPal will move to Mountain View, California.

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Everything you know about learning platforms is wrong!

Okay, that’s probably not true, but I needed to get your attention somehow. Apologies.

A few weeks ago, though, Vikrama Dhiman posted an article entitled “Seven Reasons Online Learning Platforms May Never Take Off.” That article sparked a terrific dialog about the shortcomings and potential for learning marketplaces online (marketplaces being what ‘platforms’ actually referred to).

Vikrama touched on some important points, but I think that he ultimately missed the mark. The problem, as I see it, doesn’t address “why online platforms may never take off”, but why they haven’t yet.  Ready for it?

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YongoPal Sucks! Conclusion: Let’s fix it

That’s the conclusion of Darien Brown after being in business for just about six months and his four week trip to the source of their clients and hence revenue of their product, South Korea.

In a blog post published today Darien gives not only a detailed reflection on what he and his co-founder Jon Hickey singled out as their mistakes but they also announces the relaunch of their service on November 1st.

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The Educator’s Responsibility to Deliver Economic Value

Last week, I returned from a nearly four week stay in Seoul, South Korea.  As some of you know, YongoPal (the company that I run) is a service that is designed to provide live virtual conversation practice to university students in Korea by pairing them with their peers at top-tier universities in the US.  We are an English education company – or at least, that’s how we viewed ourselves prior to my trip.

Over the course of three and a half weeks, I met constantly with university students and club organizations.  I engaged them very directly about how they perceived our service, and what they wanted our service to be.

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EDUKWEST #29 with Darien Brown & Jon Hickey of YongoPal – Teaser

In this EDUKWEST interview I talked to the Co-Founders of YongoPal Darien Brown (CEO) and Jon Hickey (CTO) about their new service.

YongoPal is a platform that is targeting the South Korean ESL market with conversation training. The service connects South Korean university students with American students and aims to train English conversation skills.
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Shocking: YongoPal plans to make Money

With an unfair move towards its competitors YongoPal won the big price of $25k in the Business Plan competition. Their plan for YongoPal is making money from the beginning by charging its customers. Can you believe that? Charging your customers for a service?

All joking aside, YongoPal the start up from Seattle that connects Korean students with native speakers in the US won the UW Business plan competition although they were the black horse in the race according to Christopher Griffin, one of the judges.

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