Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

5 Innovations to Support Flipped Classrooms

There are several good news for educators who are flipping their classrooms. These new growing trends reveal not only learning anytime and anywhere, but also teaching anytime and anywhere. New tools and platforms are coming to help flipping classrooms easier, and help learning personalized. And as mobile learning with consumption of media increases, more innovations are possibly on the way. Universal learning design will get more helping hands.

Knowmia for independent learners in middle and high schools

flipped classroom, teaching video platform

Knowmia is a digital repository with more than 7,000 videos culled from the Internet by the site’s moderators in subjects from microbiology to Mandarin Chinese. The new site automatically searches through thousands of tutoring videos and recommends lessons based on the user’s personal preferences, sort of like the music website Pandora. — from Education Week

In addition to the platform itself, the company has released the Knowmia Teach iPad app(iTunes link), which Braunstein described as an ‘iMovie for teachers.’ To help teachers illustrate concepts and demonstrate techniques in their videos (or even in class), the app lets teachers mark up a periodic table or manipulate a water molecule. — from GigaOM

Knowmia is pulling some of this content into its site – it currently touts about 7000 videos – and hopes to employ a teacher-driven tagging system so that the content is more easily discoverable. (Pity this doesn’t tap into the Learning Registry or the LMRI – although it’s not too late to do so!) — from HackEducation

About their “freemium model“: “So their idea is to find the best online lessons—or have teachers create them—that students can view via an iPad video app… They are also creating curated mini-courses or lessons that drill on a particular subject. Most of the videos are available for free, but students can pay for the mini-lessons. Parents can also pay to track a child’s progress.” —  from VentureBeat

Educreation turns your iPad into classrooms

iPad becomes classroom, flipped classroom

After graduating from Imagine K12′s education-specific startup accelerator, the company launched early this year to make it easy for teachers (and everyone else) to create, narrate and record video whiteboard tutorials on the Web and the iPad — and share them with the world.

Like ShowMe (and more generally, Udemy), Educreations focused on enabling teachers to use a simple, interactive whiteboard to create their own video lessons and hosts those lessons online (helpful for K-12 schools that block YouTube), where teachers can share them publicly or within a private group. Students and teachers can replay lessons in any web browser or from within its iPad app. With its mobile version, Educreations has attempted to distinguish itself from competitors by offering more features than the rest while maintaining simplicity of its interface and user experience.

Users can create lessons with multiple pages, add images to their tutorials (that are taken with the iPad’s camera or from a harddrive or Dropbox), resize images while recording, and embed their videos in blogs or on websites, all in all taking its use case beyond the classroom. — from TechCrunch

Snapguide’s simple UI makes it easy for users to build “How-To” guides via iPhone

mobile ehow

Snapguide is about rethinking the stodgy “How To” guide for a mobile generation. It’s built to be super simple, fast and take advantage of your phone: Think of services like WikiHow as Facebook and Snapguide as Path.

Snapguide’s simple UI makes it easy for users to build “How-To” guides via iPhone. Co-founder Raffel tells me that already the company has had 10K guides like “How to Make a Sock Bun” created since its launch this March, with millions of unique views spread among them. —  from TechCrunch

Zeen lets anyone create multimedia  digital magazine within clicks

digital magazine

The world might be going digital, but the power of slick, beautiful magazine design is still a heavy influencer. Now a new service Zeen, a creation by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, promises to give users a way to, “discover and create beautiful magazines efficiently.”

Although Zeen isn’t geared toward education purpose, but it enables a more visually rich way to present information. You can import Instagram photos, Twitter status, RSS feeds or search for what you want to pull in with Google. After grabbing the news, images, videos, or links, or content you’ve clipped from around the Web using a blookmarklet, you can add your own words  to your pages. With ease of use, it could become a tool curating learning materials either by teachers or by students. It’s still in beta test, users’ feedback and suggestions are welcome.

SlideSpeech lets your slides talk

slides talk, text-to-speech

Richer than a document, simpler than video, SlideSpeech transforms the way ideas are shared. By reading the speaker notes in your own presentation using the latest text-to-speech technology, SlideSpeech ensures your message comes across loud and clear. You can access presentations anywhere in the world using any platform or operating system: mobile, laptop or desktop. With SlideSpeech translation you can talk to the world, even reaching those unable to read. It’s a free tool.


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7 Responses »

  1. A new site “Mobento” is trying to curate a comprehensive library of quality learning videos. When you need to find learning video pieces with key words. “Mobento Search” instantly searches the entire video library for the key words that were actually spoken.


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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