Gee, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were talking about Codecademy teaching Python? Seems like old news now. As usual, the world of online learning is moving at a breakneck pace and it’s all we can do just to keep the names of the startups straight. But all this change is a good thing — it means we’re making a difference in people’s lives. Here’s this week’s news, ranging from the newest educational video app to an extensive report on the current state of online education.
EdSurge Nabs $400K From Washington Post, NewSchools To Be A Resource For All Things EdTech by Rip Empson at TechCrunch
We’ve long sung the praises of EdSurge here in the Smarterer office — it’s an excellent place to get reliable and extensive edtech news, reviews and analysis. Plus, its newsletter actually reads like a human wrote it. While it’s received support in the past from bigwigs like Bill Gates, EdSurge needed more funds to continue and expand its existing coverage. They got it! This article from TechCrunch gives a great overview of why EdSurge exists, what it’s doing differently and why you should care.
Grockit steps beyond test prep: Learnist brings social learning to iPhone and iPad by Devindra Hardawar at VentureBeat
From providers of online SAT prep comes an app that may be the Pinterest of online learning. Learnist has thousands of videos created by experts and professional teachers — but also allows you to create a learning map to plan your approach to a topic, take assessments to make sure you’ve got the material down, and make your own videos to help others. Now they have an app for iPhone and iPad. VentureBeat says it’s easy and fun to get lost in the videos, so here’s to hoping Learnist can hold its own against video competitors like Khan Academy and Knowmia.
Plan Your Free Education at Lifehacker U: Fall Semester 2012 by Alan Henry at Lifehacker
It’s that time of year again — if you’re a student, you’re heading back to school, and if you want to be a student now’s the time to sign up for online classes. The problem is, there are just SO many options. How do you narrow them all down? Lucky for us, Lifehacker has put together an awesome guide to the best courses available this fall, from programming to poetry. Each entry includes the professor, a description of the class and a handy link so you can sign up immediately if one of the classes really appeals to you.
The future of education in Africa is mobile by Steve Vosloo at BBC Future
How do we extend the opportunities of online education to parts of the world where computers are scarce, illiteracy is scarily high, and great teachers are hard to come by? In sub-Saharan Africa, nonprofits are trying to reach students on their cell phones, through reading programs, social networks and even mobile tutoring. They’re banking on the premise that even when students can’t get access to a real classroom or a physical book, cell phones can provide a pocket-sized source for constant learning. Pretty cool to see how nontraditional education is evolving around the world.
Schools Open Doors To New E-Learning Rules, Ideas at Education Week
There’s a ton going on in online learning, and these roundups don’t even begin to cover the magnitude of the changes happening every day. But there are some fundamental questions that we have to keep returning to — What’s the best way to assess how well all these new products and methods are working? How do we keep providers accountable? And how are we going to pay for all this? Education Week tries to answer some of those questions in a 16-page supplement that covers topics like the trendy flipped classroom and state legislation on online learning. It’s a well-reported must-read on the biggest issues facing K-12 online education, and has relevance for all online learners.
That’s the news this week! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments or tweet @Smarterer.