More social

Posted on June 25, 2007

2


Readwriteweb has just started a new series called “All you need to know about…” and first up is e-learning 2.0. There are some great applications here – some of them are very familiar to me but others are new. Check out Nuvvo for example – “an easy way to build online courses and deliver them around the globe”.

The thread that runs through all of these applications is social networking, but usually with a defined edge to it – obviously there are trust issues here which a completely open platform like MySpace wouldn’t be able to support. In many ways, it seems completely obvious that as learning is a social skill, then so e-learning would be an obvious contender for social networking.

I’d imagine there are still huge issues with this kind of approach though. Lots of the courses on Nuvvo are pretty crap once you get under the hood, for example, and maintaining quality doesn’t come without a considerable amount of effort. Opening learning up may be a good thing from a social aspect but it doesn’t ensure the people doing the teaching actually have any kind of qualification. This seems to be one area where openness and authority still have some battling to do. The concept of being able to track courses, students, course materials in some kind of structured framework is nonetheless pretty compelling. I can see why lecturers, students and other learners are flocking in this direction.

Meanwhile – while I’m on the social network thing – LinkedIn just made an announcement about opening up their technology to developers. This is big news and weighs in on my Clash of the Networks post on the side of the Facebook approach and opposite MySpace. It’ll be very interesting to see where this particular thread goes – for starters the connection between LinkedIn and Facebook could get very interesting once data can be shared between the two…
I  love LinkedIn. Although it’s very different to Facebook, I can’t help but compare them, and get the feeling time and again that although Facebook is compelling, LinkedIn actually does something useful, rather than something purely entertaining and voyeuristic. I suspect that Facebook is the album you pick up and love for a month before realising it’s pretty shallow wheras LinkedIn is still going to be an old favourite for years to come.

Now that I’m leaving the museum for (as yet unknown) pastures new, I may be finding out pretty soon how good LinkedIn is for job networking…I’ll be sure to let you know…

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