Education Technology (EdTech)

Sunday 25th of November 2012 07:17:02 PM

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E-learning platforms and EdTech research conclusions

November 29, 2012

  • The term 'e-learning' should include any use of technology to assist the process of learning, whether that's synchronous or asynchronous, interactive or linear, collaborative or self-study.
  • E-learning is changing. What people are looking for is shorter and more modular learning materials that are visually rich, focused on key concepts and principles and interactive. Often this means that the above needs can be (at least, partially) satisfied with relevant blog articles, Wikipedia articles, screen casts and (YouTube) videos. What this means is that people are looking for resources to assist them in their learning process and not courses. That is, people want to be able to pick and choose from a range of learning materials that can contribute to their (evolving) learning goals.
  • The e-learning solution should be based on a multi-device (e.g., desktop and laptops, tablets, and smart-phones) experience.
  • Effective e-learning takes a holistic approach, that is, not focusing on delivering courses but providing a person with a learning experience over an extended period of time (involving formal content, coaching, project-based work, feedback, and self-paced consumption of learning resources).
  • Specifically, video is being chosen more and more as the primary learning resource of choice (e.g., Udacity, edX, Khan Academy, etcetera).

Take some time out and relax and watch the following TEDTalk to get a feel for interactive video and see how powerful and engaging it can be: Online video -- annotated, remixed and popped.

Okay, so where am I going with this? Easy... ContextNote or ContextNote-like applications and interactive video à la Mozilla Popcorn with Popcorn Maker. That is, multi-device, subject-based applications that easily pull together exceptional Web-based resources (blog posts, articles, images, Twitter (hashtag) searches, etcetera), by subject category within the context of a user's interests and learning goals all supported by interactive video.

We know that the EdTech sector is gathering momentum with the growing penetration of broadband and especially the penetration of smartphones and tablets. Video is also becoming more and more, an integral part of EdTech solutions. A company with experience and know-how in video, web, and mobile development will be ideally suited to develop an exciting and innovative product targeting the EdTech sector with the characteristics I've outlined above.

Hence, I am advocating for the development of a multi-device, ContextNote-like application in combination with interactive video aimed at the EdTech sector. In my opinion, this is a killer combination.