Posted by: crudbasher | March 10, 2011

New Platform Uses Social Features To Improve Online Education

I think we are only scratching the tip of what Social Media really means. Right now we look at it via things like Facebook and Twitter but these various pieces of the Social Media Grid are only isolated chunks. Eventually there will be good ways to start to merge all these things together and get a full Social profile of people.

Once you include things like Linked In, this can make its way into the professional realm as well.

This is why I have been speculating on the imminant demise of the whole credentialing process for Higher Education. If the only thing of value you have is a credential, then you have a problem.

This new site aggregates free educational content from around the web and lets users and expert users rate and organize content. It uses some game dynamics like badges and achievements to motivate learners and contributers.

I’m seeing this sort of trend more and more. It seems to be a winning model of social media. I also notice pieces of this in the Kahn Acadamy too. Tools like this quietly arise and then become disruptive of the regular system.

Worth keeping an eye on.

  • Using badges and rankings to rate education content

    tags: education technology social media nell

    • Buried within platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia lies valuable educational content that can reinforce classroom lessons, help self-motivated learners teach themselves new concepts, and upend the way that the world looks at education. But it’s hard to separate this content from the cat videos, ads and uninformed contributions that share the same platforms.


    • Social learning startup Sophia, which launched its public beta Monday, aims to solve this problem by focusing exclusively on crowdsourced educational material and encouraging users to help sort the academically sound, engaging lessons from the sub-par lessons.


    • After a packet is submitted, Sophia has multiple ways to gauge its quality. When users sign up for the site, they have an option to identify themselves as subject experts, if they hold a degree in that field or teach courses on it. Three such experts need to certify a lesson as “academically sound” before it is labeled as such


    • There is also a five-star user rating system similar to the seller ratings at, and lesson creators have lifetime “Sophia ratings” that gauge how successfully they’ve contributed to the community. Other rewards for providing quality content include earning followers via a Twitter-like feature and badges.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. There is still a lot to be done, it just shows that imperfect man can’t do everything.

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