Friday, October 28, 2011

Cool Technology of the Week

On November 18, I'm giving a lecture about technologies that educators can use to mentor their students.

My experience running Harvard's Mycourses taught me that social networking for student/faculty interaction works very well.    Blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and interactive simulations are useful, but structured community question/answer requires a more powerful tool.

I recently heard about Piazza, a Silicon Valley startup that supports over 900 school campuses and ten thousands of students with a free online collaboration platform.

It has received investment from several venture capitalists, no doubt because it has attracted a large number of devoted users who spend hours per day using the site.

It provides a faculty platform for managing queues of questions, triaging crowd sourced answers to questions, and entering answers.

Also, there's a student platform for reading answers and sharing ideas with other students.

A social networking platform for students and faculty that empowers students to master difficult concepts together.   That's cool!

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