A new app to transform education: MapMyLEARNING

Map My Learning

MapMyLEARNING lets teachers and learners create learning maps or use those already logged by others. It tracks your activity, and allows you to set goals and follow your progress. It promotes healthy study habits, helping you learn how to make your education work for you. It’s loaded with robust reporting tools, quickly and easily allowing you to keep track of the resources you use to achieve your learning objectives.

Fully integrated with other social networks, you can use your existing login and password to access MapMyLEARNING. You can also “find your friends” easily and continue to build community. Through secure authorization, you can share information about your learning accomplishments easily to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

Users can set up groups within MapMyLEARNING to share information and help each other meet their learning goals. They can also create Learning Events and Learning Groups tied to a specific class or assignment. Advanced users can create Challenges for themselves or their friends.

GO MOBILE: iMapMyLEARNING works on every phone and every network. This enables users to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all your learning activities. Record details of your learning on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your learning data to the MapMyLEARNING website where you can view your learning journeys and comprehensive education history.

Check it out today!

4squarEd: Foursquare for Teaching and Learning?

I was interested to see that foursquare was has partnered with 20 US Universities to launch Foursquare For Universities. From Foursquare’s site:

Foursquare for universities helps students, alumni, and staff connect with each other, find new and interesting things to do, and earn rewards for exploring their campus and nearby areas. We combine a communication platform and a campus guidebook to create a fun experience for our users; students earn points, win ‘Mayorships’ and unlock badges for checking in to places and trying out new activities on campus.

Some big names in higher-ed have already climbed on board (Harvard, Stanford, Syracuse…). Others are sure to follow. This partnership makes good sense. An institution can create a page on the service, broadcast information, make recommendations, etc. Students can share tips on campus services and events. On-campus hospitality and entertainment venues can promote themselves.

But, what I’m interested in here goes beyond the gimmicky location-aware check-in and broadcasting what a user is eating for lunch. Higher-ed institutions need to think about how they can build upon the social-grid that service like foursquare are helping to foster to build a learning-grid where students and instructors can share in an easy, social, “knowledge-aware” way. It should be fun too.

Here’s my pitch: “Foursquare for Teaching and Learning” (or maybe you prefer “Foursquare for Education”) YES! 4squarEd. Here’s the script to the not-yet-created-and-maybe-never-will-be promo video:

Wish you were more aware of all the incredible learning experiences around you? With 4squarEd, you can unlock your learning and find happiness. You will need 4squarEd, a mobile device, and a passion for education.

Step 1: Download the 4squarEd application to your mobile device, and instantly connect with your library account, your institutional LMS, your ePortfolio, your social networks, registrarial services and more! Connect with your classmates and other learners within and outside of your institution to see what they’re learning. Build your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Step 2: Tell your friends what you’re studying, what you’re learning and what you want to learn by checking in to one of the learning activities you’re institution’s 4squarEd lists, based on your current courses. Leave tips and resources for other learners. If the learning activity isn’t listed, you can add it to 4squarEd.

Step 3: Check out tips from your friends in your PLN and others outside it. Find recommendations for resources and suggestions for other activities.

Step 4: The more you use 4squarEd the more you’ll get out of it. Capture your activities, unlock learning objectives and earn points towards competencies based on what you’re learning. Check out stats at 4squarEd!

Step 5: Check-in frequently to become a mentor for a learning activity or competency.

Step 6: Use 4squarEd wherever you go: in museums, on your co-op placement, with your extra-curricular club or while you’re volunteering. You never know when you’ll come upon a little piece of learning!

What do you think?

The future of gaming: *this* changes everything.

Forget memorizing button sequences, drop the joystick, and put down the Wiimote: Microsoft Kinect, which can “recognize faces, obey voice commands, and track body movements,” according to the LA Times, will enable users to control their video game avatars just by moving their bodies in front of the Kinect (see video below). Kinect users will also be able to control movies just by speaking commands, such as “play” or “pause.”

(Huffington Post)

Controller-free? This is huge. Not just for gaming. Consider applications for education, accessibility, communication, information design…

Contrary to what our good friends at Apple would like us to believe, THIS changes everything.