Westwood College has launched a new blog focused on providing tips, videos and articles designed to both educate and acclimate people thinking about attending college. Current content ranges from effective mobile applications that help you get better grades to how to make your resume more optimized for searches and even an analysis of the evolution of the university experience over the past century.
The unveiling of Westwood’s blog is just another step in the increasing adoption of social technologies by education institutions and for educational purposes. As technology innovation exponentially grows and the availability of speedy Internet connections and cost-effective computer systems become more common, the opportunity for students to participate in online education becomes a reality. According to University of Illinois’ Ray Shroeder:
“Most computers purchased in the last five years have the speed and memory to support online learning. Some classes require a microphone to be plugged into the computer. Students are given a website to go to and the instructor goes there as well. Students see and hear the instructor and can press a button to indicate they want to speak. All students hear the instructor and each other as if they were in the same room. This uses as little as a dial-up connection and a $400 computer, which is generally within reach of most people who are paying college tuition.”
Beyond initiatives created by the institutions themselves, a crop of social technologies dedicated to learning have also sprouted over the past 12 months. Skillshare, a startup helmed by Michael Karnjanaprokorn and Malcolm Ong which launched in November, is a community marketplace where people can trade knowledge with each other. While all classes are taught in the real world, Skillshare acts as an organizational hub to allow people to both offer and find niche educational opportunities. Some of the current offerings include “Love My Bracelet? I Made It Myself. An Intro to Bead Stringing,” and “How To Launch Your Startup Idea for Less Than $5,000,” by one of the Skillshare founders.