Google Hangouts

Let's Hangout on Google Hangouts!

A free, 10-way video conferencing service that includes tools (like an electronic whiteboard) - and technically quite impressive. One-to-many video (like a teacher talking to a class of students) is hard enough to implement reliably with good performance... 10-way (many-to-many) video is an order-of-magnitude more difficult. Thanks to Google Fiber connecting thousands of servers, Google Hangouts works and works well. It is the best-of-class service available anywhere in the world. For free!


Atomizing Assessments

Crowd-sourcing training and learning assessments
by Katin Imes

We have an interesting swirl of needs and resources appearing in the domains of learning and professional development, and I'm curious how we can add layers of efficiency and curation for learners via crowd-sourced or distributed methods. Learners helping learners, you could say.

The needs I see appearing:

  • in-the moment learning and skills development;
  • guidance for learning paths for new skills and knowledge;
  • measurement of accomplished learning or skill development.

Dr Edward de Bono at Creative Innovation 2010 - "Re-thinking the future"

As a young man in my 20's, discovering Edward de Bono's book, "Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step" was a big deal. It was a new approach and seemed to amplify a kind of "smart" that hadn't been defined for me in school.

Here he presents an entertaining 18-minute talk that nicely summarizes his hypothesis that society's level and methods of thinking are "excellent for some things but not good enough."


TED launches TED-Ed!

When it comes to computer code and databases, simple combinations can make huge impact.

The new TED-Ed is an example. Take any YouTube video, frame it with teaching text about "Thinking Deeper", add a simple short quiz and a set of resources and text to "Dig Deeper", and you have an instant learning lesson suitable for anything you might be teaching (or learning!) for students of any age.


Language Learning + Business Win

Luis von Ahn presents a brilliant real-life example of how the internet can be used in new ways to solve multiple problems simultaneously using massively distributed online collaboration and provide value to all participants while doing so.

This is mind-blowing from a business perspective, and world-opening from a world education, learning and language perspective. Watch, enjoy, be amazed!

(Video after the jump)

Language learning tricks: Using Wikipedia

We have a fabulous amount of beginner's language material available freely on the net - and that is great. And, as a tool for advancing specific translation needs, Google Translate is a great tool.

However, once you get into the more technical areas of a topic or industry, it can be hard to find materials that are written by native speakers for a natural translation. That's where Wikipedia comes in.