Tag Archives: WiZiQ

Indian MOOC

First Indian MOOC will launch in October 2013

Indian MOOC

It’s not as if India has to start with a blank slate into online education. There is the existing National Programme of Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a repository of videos created by academics and open for everyone to watch and learn with. We have also heard that schools in K-12 have embraced Open Educational Resources (OER) for a while now and then there is the low cost Aakash tablet.

The country now wants to deepen its efforts in the field of higher education by launching its first free and open online courses later this year. According to an article in The Economic Times these courses will be designed as MOOCs, the first three in the field of computer science are expected for October of this year.

As Indian students are particularly drawn to the engineering and science subjects whether they study in India or as international students, to start off with computer science definitely makes sense.

We have heard quite impressive numbers of people enrolled in MOOCs mostly from the big three in the U.S., namely Coursera, EDx and udacity, so an estimated impact on 100,000 to 150,000 students per year in India doesn’t sound exaggerated taken India’s young population into account.

The first Indian MOOC is a cooperation of academia and industry, seven IITs who are working together to design the course.

Of course, they’re are still at the planning stage and we don’t know how well the MOOCs are going to be the designed neither how they will be received from the student side, but the people involved seem to have taken a closer look at their U.S. counterparts and what’s going well and what not in those programs.

So the big promise is naturally that now both students from rural and metropolitan areas will have equal access to high quality education. The Indian MOOCs will also offer certificates through proctored exams for a “minimal fee” right from the start. Something that took the U.S. some months to figure, but seems the way to go.

One point I find interesting about the Indian MOOC initiative is that they try to win mentors on a voluntary basis. Certainly, an estimated 500 mentors in addition to the professors sounds dwarfish compared with the 100,000-150,000 students. It could, however, be an interesting starting point in the ongoing discussion around high dropout rates for online only MOOCs in addition to initiatives like peer learning and student groups that we’ve seen so far.

Another interesting point is the focus of bridging the gap between quality education and the skills the job market demand from students.

The MOOC initiative is a stringent advancement of India’s existing National Programme of Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), particularly with regard to the planned certificates.

As a side note: Indian edtech startup WizIQ, one of the online education platforms that we covered from early on here on EDUKWEST, also moves towards becoming an online course provider similar to US-based Udemy.

The site offers a growing selection of self paced online courses and WizIQ partnered with IIT Delhi to introduce an online program with certification. This Monday Jason R. Levine and some of his fellow ESL instructor colleagues launched a MOOC for English language teachers with currently over 2000 enrolled participants.


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Hi…My name is Chris…And why I tweet as @mrdatahs

Christopher Dawson ZDNet
Chris Dawson

Hi everyone! As the title says, my name is Chris Dawson. Some of you know me from my weekly webcasts with Kirsten on review:ed. Others of you may read my posts over on ZDNet Education or we may have run into each other via WizIQ. This quick post, though, is for those of you with whom I’ve never had the opportunity to tweet, meet, or otherwise connect. Since I’m now an official co-host on review:ed, Kirsten has invited me to post on Edukwest when inspiration strikes. I have a few posts in mind already that are probably better suited to a more edupreneurial audience, but for now I’ll just stick with an introduction. The story of my Twitter handle is probably as good a place as any to start.

Once upon a time, I worked at Johns Hopkins, analyzing clinical trial data and teaching classes on SAS to public health grad students. The MD-PhD’s just loved being taught by a mere undergrad working his way through college </sarcasm>, but it was a pretty good place to cut my teeth both as a researcher and an educator. It wasn’t too long until a job offer with a big Cambridge biotech firm brought me and my family to Massachusetts. While the job rocked out loud for the first year as we became the first biotech to submit a drug application electronically to the FDA (literally a tractor-trailer full of data was replaced by 6 DVDs), it quickly turned into a corporate grind. When I had the chance to teach technology, math, and physics at my local high school, I jumped on it. I also became the “tech guy” at the school and to compensate for the extreme cut in pay that came with a jump from Cambridge-biotech-with-two-blockbuster-drugs to rural-first-year-high-school-teacher, I also started writing ZDNet’s new blog covering the ed tech vertical. At the same time, I discovered Twitter and since all of my students called me Mr. D, I took the persona online and became “Mr. D at Athol High School” (aka, @mrdatahs).

For years, I asked my school district to hire a Director of Technology. Someone needed to be looking holistically at the use of technology district-wide, developing related curriculum, and thinking strategically about purchases and objectives around ed tech. Not surprisingly, when the district finally decided to create the position, I stepped into it. For two years, I beat my head against a wall trying to do all of those great, holistic, strategic things with tech in our schools. We had some wins, but often, I was simply the best-qualified tech in the district and spent many a night pulling cable or rebuilding servers instead of developing curriculum or delivering PD to teachers.

While the @mrdatahs moniker stuck, I knew it was time to take the next step in my career and started freelancing full-time. I stumbled on WizIQ writing an article comparing it to Adobe Connect Pro and the rest is history. This year, I’ve resolved to write more, talk more, use video more, and expand my audience as the potential of ed tech explodes and budgets, especially in public schools, implode. There is more to talk about this year than ever before. So here I am! You can catch me on Twitter under my outdated handle that, while from a very different point in my professional journey, still reflects my commitment to education. I’m looking forward to the conversation.

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed #11 Hackers, Classroom Tech at CES and E-Textbooks (Audio)

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed Episode #11

“Hackers, Classroom Tech at CES and E-Textbooks”

  • recorded: January 13th 2012
Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
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Acceptly - College Prep Done Right This Interview is sponsored by Acceptly – College Prep Done Right

Acceptly is making it easier for students everywhere to get accepted to college. Increase your chances through step-by-step guidance and secrets for overcoming the admissions process. Try it for free today.

Show Notes

Hacking: the new literacy?

  • [01:42] Mayor Bloomberg signing up for CodeYear
  • [05:42] CodeRacer – a Game to teach how to build a Website
    Source: AllthingsD
  • [09:36] Hacker Apprenticeships & Hackruiter
    Source: The Atlantic | TechCrunch

Classroom Tech

  • [13:37] OLPC XO-3 Tablet
    Source: The Verge
  • Marvell Smile Plug Micro Cloud
    Source: Market Watch
  • Two new Classmate PCs
    Source: Engadget | Engadget
  • [23:08] XBox Kinnect for Windows
    Source: ZDNet
  • [29:57] Hewlett Foundation Price for Automated Scoring
    Source: Hewlett Foundation
  • [35:39] Virtual Charter Schools behind State Standards
    Source: EdWeek
  • [42:28] The difference between strong and weak Teachers
    Source: NYTimes

E-Textbooks

  • [48:37] Apple Education Event January 19th
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [51:20] Free Nook with NYTimes Subscription
    Source: Barnes & Noble
  • [52:50] E-Textbooks saved many Students only $1
    Source: Chronicle
  • [55:39] AcademicPub adds new Partners
    Source: EDUKWEST

In other News

  • [57:39] Piazza raises $6 million
    Source: GigaOm
  • [1:03:40] WizIQ releases new Virtual Classroom
    Source: MarketWire
  • [1:07:45] IBM and Social Business Skills
    Source: IBM
Play
review:ed 11 January 13th 2012

review:ed #11 Hackers, Classroom Tech at CES and E-Textbooks


Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Video via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS
Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
Acceptly - College Prep Done Right This Interview is sponsored by Acceptly – College Prep Done Right

Acceptly is making it easier for students everywhere to get accepted to college. Increase your chances through step-by-step guidance and secrets for overcoming the admissions process. Try it for free today.

Show Notes

Hacking: the new literacy?

  • [01:42] Mayor Bloomberg signing up for CodeYear
  • [05:42] CodeRacer – a Game to teach how to build a Website
    Source: AllthingsD
  • [09:36] Hacker Apprenticeships & Hackruiter
    Source: The Atlantic | TechCrunch

Classroom Tech

  • [13:37] OLPC XO-3 Tablet
    Source: The Verge
  • Marvell Smile Plug Micro Cloud
    Source: Market Watch
  • Two new Classmate PCs
    Source: Engadget | Engadget
  • [23:08] XBox Kinnect for Windows
    Source: ZDNet
  • [29:57] Hewlett Foundation Price for Automated Scoring
    Source: Hewlett Foundation
  • [35:39] Virtual Charter Schools behind State Standards
    Source: EdWeek
  • [42:28] The difference between strong and weak Teachers
    Source: NYTimes

E-Textbooks

  • [48:37] Apple Education Event January 19th
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [51:20] Free Nook with NYTimes Subscription
    Source: Barnes & Noble
  • [52:50] E-Textbooks saved many Students only $1
    Source: Chronicle
  • [55:39] AcademicPub adds new Partners
    Source: EDUKWEST

In other News

  • [57:39] Piazza raises $6 million
    Source: GigaOm
  • [1:03:40] WizIQ releases new Virtual Classroom
    Source: MarketWire
  • [1:07:45] IBM and Social Business Skills
    Source: IBM
PlayPlay
review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed #10 Tablets, Tablets Everywhere (Audio)

review:ed Audio Podcast

review:ed Episode #10

“Tablets, Tablets Everywhere”

  • recorded: January 6th 2012
Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
Podnova Player button Miro Video Player
Download Episode Download Episode Audio
Languagelab.com - Bringing the World of English to You This Interview is sponsored by Languagelab.com – Bringing the World of English to You

We all know the best way to learn a language is to be in a place where everyone speaks it. Languagelab.com offers exactly that – total immersion in English. Learn online in Languagelab’s English City, a virtual 3D city full of real English-speakers.
Discover their specially designed courses for General English, Business English, Oil & Gas and Aviation English. Go to corporate.languagelab.com

Show Notes

  • [02:34] Coursekit raises $5 million for free Learning Management System
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [06:15] Moodle as CMS
  • [09:42] What’s the most interesting to focus on as edtech writer this year?
  • [12:30] Apple event about textbooks?
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [20:20] Classpad – Indian Tablet with Integrated AI to rate Students starting at $140 USD
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [25:19] Aakash hits 1.4 million preorders
    Source: TechCrunch
  • [28:50] Rumor: Google building $199 7-inch Nexus Tablet with ICS
    Source:  AfterDawn
  • [34:43] Kids like 7 inch tablet better
  • [40:30] Barnes & Noble Mulls Splitting Nook Business And Selling “Dead Tree” Publishing Company
    Source: TechCrunch
  • [44:20] Vi Hart, Khan Academy’s newest faculty member
    Source: Hack Education

 

Play
review:ed #10 Tablets, Tablets Everywhere

review:ed #10 Tablets, Tablets Everywhere

review:ed
review:ed

The first review:ed episode of 2012 started as the last episode of 2011 – with Christopher Dawson, contributing editor at ZDNet joining me to talk about the stories in education that happened during the first week of the new year.

We talked about the Apple textbook rumors, Coursekit’s funding, Khan Academy’s newest faculty member and and tablets, tablets, …

Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to review:ed Video via RSS Subscribe to review:ed Audio via RSS
Subscribe to review:ed Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
Languagelab.com - Bringing the World of English to You This Interview is sponsored by Languagelab.com – Bringing the World of English to You

We all know the best way to learn a language is to be in a place where everyone speaks it. Languagelab.com offers exactly that – total immersion in English. Learn online in Languagelab’s English City, a virtual 3D city full of real English-speakers.
Discover their specially designed courses for General English, Business English, Oil & Gas and Aviation English. Go to corporate.languagelab.com

Show Notes

  • [02:34] Coursekit raises $5 million for free Learning Management System
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [06:15] Moodle as CMS
  • [09:42] What’s the most interesting to focus on as edtech writer this year?
  • [12:30] Apple event about textbooks?
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [20:20] Classpad – Indian Tablet with Integrated AI to rate Students starting at $140 USD
    Source: EDUKWEST
  • [25:19] Aakash hits 1.4 million preorders
    Source: TechCrunch
  • [28:50] Rumor: Google building $199 7-inch Nexus Tablet with ICS
    Source:  AfterDawn
  • [34:43] Kids like 7 inch tablet better
  • [40:30] Barnes & Noble Mulls Splitting Nook Business And Selling “Dead Tree” Publishing Company
    Source: TechCrunch
  • [44:20] Vi Hart, Khan Academy’s newest faculty member
    Source: Hack Education

 

PlayPlay
Udemy

Udemy raises $3 million Series A from Groupon Founders

Udemy

Udemy – the Academy of You, a startup EDUKWEST covered right from  the start announced a $3 million Series A round led by Lightbank, the venture fund of Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. Other investors in the round include MHS Capital and 500 Startups.

This round comes about 14 months after Udemy’s initial seed round of $1 million in August 2010. Back then, the focus of the Udemy founders was still on hiring developers and engineers to build out the platform. The new round of funding is planned for hires, marketing and business development. Quoting Gagan Biyani in the press release

“Our new investment will enable us to double down on our efforts to grow our site and expand our worldwide reach.”

That means, of course that competitors like the European startup Sclipo which launched its platform several years earlier to Udemy will now have to compete with a substantially funded and well-connected US player that aims to get its foot on the European market. Same is of course true for WizIQ in India / Asia.

Udemy offers more than 6000 courses on the platform of which 90% are accessible for free but according to the press release Udemy

… attracted tens of thousands of users, and is on track to sell more than $1 million of courses in 2011. The site is doubling its traffic and revenues every quarter.

Source: PRNewswire

Udemy Academy of You

 

Website: udemy.com
Twitter: @udemy
Facebook: facebook.com/udemy

WizIQ logo

Des Moines Area Community Colleges will implement WizIQ Classrooms in Fall

WizIQ’s virtual classroom is going to serve as a platform for everything from virtual office hours to synchronous lectures, lesson capture, and even outreach to prospective students.

One of the reasons for the implementation of WizIQ was its recently launched Blackboard Building Block that enables DMACC to integrate the new technology easily in its existing LMS.

Mark Steffen, Director of Distance Learning for DMACC, explaines that

“We were able to make WizIQ available to a significant percentage of our staff at a fraction the price of other virtual classroom solutions. We’re going to be training our staff and then looking expand across the entire distance education faculty as we move to more synchronous course offerings.”

WizIQ will primarily be used by faculty to schedule class sessions and virtual office hours directly through Blackboard Learn.

Via: marketwire

 

Website: wiziq.com
Twitter: @wiziq
Facebook: facebook.com/wiziq

wiziqdevelopers

WizIQ launches Blackboard Module & Developer Site, plans Instructure Plugin

More than 1 million students and 100k teachers are using WizIQ according to the company’s homepage. Strengthening its footprint in the classic education space, WizIQ just recently announced two updates to its platform.

On the one hand, WizIQ now offers its virtual classroom as module for the Blackboard LMS. On the other hand, WizIQ opened up its API and launched a developer portal for anyone who would like to integrate the virtual classroom in their product or service.

The interesting thing is that WizIQ takes a bet on two competing systems at the same time. In one corner you have the well established but recently somewhat fading Blackboard LMS and in the other corner its main competitor, the up and coming open sourced Instructure Canvas LMS. And both get turn-key solutions for integrating the WizIQ classroom.

If you haven’t heard of Instructure Canvas and its positioning towards Blackboard yet, you might like to watch the first video ad they did for the launch a couple of months ago. Similarities with Apple’s 1984 ad are of course unintentional.

[iframe width=”600″ height=”371″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/dCIP3x5mFmw?rel=0″]

It is certainly too early to tell which of the two, if at all, will prevail and therefore it is a clever move to offer the same solution for both systems. Teachers who get used to the WizIQ classroom, then switch to a school that uses a different LMS would still be able to use the same virtual classroom environment.

Whereas the Blackboard module is ready to use today for version 9.0 and 9.1, the WizIQ Instructure Canvas integration is announced for release this fall. Other projects for open source systems like .LRN, openLMS, Centre SIS, and openSIS are also on the road map for later this year.

reviewed 03 christopher grant emagister pic

review:ed Episode #3 with Christopher Grant

Christopher Grant Emagister
Chis Grant

My guest on the third episode of review:ed was Christopher Grant, Senior Product Leader at Emagister an education search engine that helps its users to find the right courses.

Chris and I talked about

  • The Groupon CityDeal deal and its impact on European start ups according to funding.
  • If Udemy is a copy cat of Sclipo or WiZiQ.
  • If it is necessary to educate people on their privacy in the light of the ongoing Facebook privacy issues.
  • How important is video content in online education?
  • Do Ads interfere with online teaching when they are displayed during a lesson on Skype or anywhere else.

At the end of our talk Christopher gave a short overview about Emagister and I immediately invited him for an EDUKWEST interview to learn more about this company.


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