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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ category

Challenges of crowdsourcing: Analysis of Historypin

Crowdsourcing can build virtual community, engage the public, and build large knowledge databases about science and culture. But what does it take, and how fast can you grow? For some insight, we look at a crowdsourced history site: Historypin is an appealing database of historical photos, with dates, locations, captions, and other metadata. It’s called History […]


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Online courses for developing the developing world

Online education can have a real impact in the developing world. Last week, we needed to hire a programmer for a small freelance job. To my surprise, several candidates advertised they had completed programming MOOCs. These were young programmers in their 20′s, in countries like Pakistan and Thailand, who lacked college-level coursework, but are trying to launch […]


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NASA boldly redesigns web site for 2005

NASA redesigned their web site, with a magnificent failure of design by committee. It is a failure of content (eliminated the most interesting details about the science and engineering), a failure of organization (poorly consolidated types of content, such as multimedia and interactive features), and failure of implementation (site does not resize for small-screen smart phones, […]


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Lessons to be learned from MOOCs, 2 years out

Online courses with very large enrollments have rapidly matured in the last two years, led largely by experiments outside mainstream academia by Coursera, Udacity and edX. Ambitious educators, technologists, and funders have created courses on diverse topics, and over five million students worldwide have registered for classes. And 3% have completed the courses. What can we learn?


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What is Crowdsourcing? And how does it apply to outreach?

Crowdsourcing means involving a lot of people in small pieces of a project. In educational and nonprofit outreach, crowdsourcing is a form of engagement, such as participating in an online course, collecting photos of butterflies for a citizen-science project, uploading old photos for a community history project, deciphering sentences from old scanned manuscripts, playing protein folding […]


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30 popular Twitter #hashtags for education and outreach

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Twitter hashtags are useful for promoting your projects, learning about new topics, and discovering trends. But what hashtags to use? We’ve analyzed usage patterns for over a thousand hashtags used in education and outreach, and give you the best. Even if you are active on Twitter, some will be familiar to you, and some will be new. […]


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Museums still ignoring mobile, especially small museums

The vast majority of museums are totally ignoring mobile apps. At present, ~350 iPhone apps have been actually created by museums. Of those, only one out of ten was created by a U.S. museum (the rest are non-U.S.). The other 760 iPhone apps matching “museum” in their title or description were created by travel and […]


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New Thesaurus app for iPad launched, without Kickstarter

IDEA is in the planning stages of a new project, to create a new thesaurus app for the iPad. As an experiment, we investigated whether “crowd funding” is a viable way to fund new educational apps. Our Kickstarter project was not funded, but we are still making the app! Here’s some information about our Kickstarter […]


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What is an online course?

“The debate about which is better, face-to-face learning or online learning is fast becoming obsolete,” says Jennifer Berghage, an instructional designer at Pennsylvania State University. The common goal is that ”an online course should be, above all, engaging, so that the learner enjoys the learning and is able to not only assimilate it but retain it and apply it.” Online courses are […]


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Usability and user experience testing options (vendor list)

What was once prohibitively complex and expensive can now be done inexpensively with online testing services. Testing will uncover problems that are confusing for your audience. Here’s a list of vendors to start your research process, and some suggestions. Three suggestions For a real-world example on a recent project, designer Ben Snyder said on his blog, “the […]


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