Surprising New Social Media Stats

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 6:33pm.
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Explore the summary of this new report from BI Intelligence re: the world's leading social media platforms and their current and potential future growth. (Note: you can create a "free" account to view the full-report, but you can still get interesting data from the summary)

Some surprises for me included:

-China has a substantial piece of the Facebook user pie... despite the fact that the platform is banned there
-Also, 86% of Facebook users are from outside the US (this is less surprising, more interesting)
-Some of the leading social properties are "messaging platforms" like WhatsApp, LINE, and WeChat (and I had NO idea they existed)

What are your take-aways?


AOL's Original Video Content: The Future Starts Here

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 11/08/2013 - 2:03pm.
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While hunting-down today's High Five leads I came across this new web series from AOL, "The Future Starts Here". It is an interesting example of two things:

1) A single (female) host carrying a series (in this case the founder of the Webby Awards, Tiffany Shlain)

2) The content is available on both AOL's web portal and on YouTube (& in this case, Vialogues!)

What are your thoughts on this series? Is there anything we can learn/avoid for EdLab content?


Field Trip 3.0

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 2:46pm.
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Is this the field trip of the future? The G+ team just announced the launch of the "Connected Classrooms" project. This new initiative is meant to help create a forward-leaning model for virtual field trips.

Personally, I feel that this might help already time and resource strapped schools to increase both access to knowledge and access to other learners around the world. I have negative memories of long bus rides, often misplaced permission slips and general hassle surrounding both attending and organizing school field trips. However, I feel a (minor) danger of this model would be to solely rely on virtual platforms as a complete replacement for in-person experiences. What are your thoughts?


Coursera Second Year Milestones

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 10/31/2013 - 1:44pm.
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Coursera recently featured an infograhic celebrating milestones passed at the 2-year mark (hard to imagine it has been 2 years since they launched!). What do you think of these accomplishments? Any surprises? If so, what?



Apple Upends the Marketing Cart

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 3:32pm.
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With the recent launch of iPad Air (see vialogue below) and announcement that both iWork and OS X Mavericks would be free, Apple has yet again, upended the Marketing Apple cart (terrible pun, I know!). How? Well, as this Mashable article points-out, a great example of the dominant marketing schema across many verticals has been to offer a razor for free or low-cost and then make the blades the recurrent, expensive cost. Apple takes the opposite approach, offering a (relatively) expensive device with an ecosystem of free-low-cost applications. What do you think of this approach? How has the edtech ecosystem differed or stayed the same? Are there any other examples of either pay to play or invest up-front?


Google Autocomplete Provides Powerful Tool for Exposing the Scope of Sexism Worldwide

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:58am.
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Sad, Searchable Truths
AdWeek shares this powerful campaign from Ogilvy & Mather Dubai and UN Women. The campaign is built around the simple action of searching for terms like, "women shouldn't" and "women can't" and the resultant autocomplete suggestions are disturbing to say the least (generated based on top searches). Try inputing the same terms and see the staggering results for yourself.

From the Head of Ogilvy & Mather Dubai & quoted in the AdWeek article referenced above:

“This campaign uses the world's most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web.”

Built-in Transparency
I am thrilled that a platform like Google allows for this level of transparency and applaud groups like UN Women, their agency and publications like AdWeek for sharing the fact that sexism is still alive and well throughout the world (Also, thank you Kirsten Meersschaert for sharing this with me!). What other examples of powerful, unintended uses for universally accessible web platforms have you found?


The Kardashians Learn to Code?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:07pm.
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(No.) General Assembly has launched a new web platform for budding programmers, Dash. That's right, the Kardashian empire has competition. In all seriousness, this new online tool for learning to code has what at first glance, appears to be one of the most modern/sleek UI's that I have yet to see on a "learn to code" platform (see pic below). Stay tuned for more updates re: my user experience... I can already say that I like the project/goal-focused modules, "1. Make the headline and inputs." What are your thoughts?!

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 12.44.41 PM


Happy Connected Librarians Day!

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Mon, 10/14/2013 - 11:17am.
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Libraries Work Because We Do!

(Photo credit: "Libraries Work Because We Do!" by Iris Shreve Garrott)

Happy Connected Librarians Day!

As a part of a team that includes impressively CONNECTED librarians (library scientists), I thought I would share an assortment of library 3.0-focused articles from our digital, mobile publication,

Giving Library Patrons an Experience They Can’t Get Anywhere Else

Handheld Librarian Conference


Prototyping for PEOPLE

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:27pm.
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While researching the term "rapid prototyping" for an upcoming New Learning Times Sector article, I discovered the following SlideShare and thought I would, well... share. What do you think? Is there a place for communicating and using rapidly created prototypes here at EdLab beyond the pre-MVP stage of product development?

Also, be sure to explore this article (I really like the "aardvark theory") and this article re: Google's Design Sprints)

How to prototype and influence people from azaraskin

Harvard B-School Makes a Move... ONLINE

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 10:31am.
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HBS Moves in a More Digital Direction
Harvard B-School has long been considered THE leading business school. Pairing an enviable faculty with a roster of alumni that includes titans of industry, Fortune 500 heads, politicians and startup founders. What the program has lacked until now, is a business-focused online presence. However, Harvard does currently offer (non-business related) courses through the edX platform (see all courses here).

Another X Marks the MOOC Spot
Harvard B-School will soon launch HBX as this first foray into the world of online education and MOOCs. Listed below are quotes describing this soon-to-launch initiative from this recent Bloomberg Businessweek article:

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