WhatsLearn vs. WhatsApp

$19bn for a smile

$19 bn for a smile (credit – WhatsApp)

 

Is learning worth $19 billion?

Facebook just bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. Insane, isn’t it? Is chatting worth $19 billion? Is the possibility of sending a two word message (often badly spelled) worth $19 billion? Is a collection of emoticons really worth $19 billion?

WhatsApp converted a very simple idea – of sending and receiving messages – into a huge social and financial success. 500 million individuals depend on WhatsApp to remain connected to their beloved, their friends and their colleagues. Why? Because being in touch is essential to our lives.

And what about learning? Isn’t it that essential to our lives?

In education also, users come first!

Panel discussion

Panel discussion with Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, P.A.U. Education, Spain; Johannes Heinlein, EdX, USA; Andrew Ng, Coursera, USA; Simon Nelson, FutureLearn, UK at the EMOOCs 2014 conference.

The most retweeted tweet of the EMOOCs 2014 conference was from Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera: “We hope to get to that future where students that’re so hungry, so eager, so desperate to get an education can get one.”

First lessons from the Open Education Challenge

transforming education

Transforming education. © Syda Productions | Dreamstime.com

Graham Attwell makes an interesting review of the Open Education Challenge in his blog. He rightly questions the meaning of our phrase: “All projects are welcome; the only condition is that they must contribute to transforming education”.

What do we mean by transforming education? I would suggest three things:

-          Trusting enough in the individual talents of teachers, educators, researchers and students to find innovative solutions for the future of teaching and learning;

-          Thinking that innovation in education also means creating new jobs in the education sector;

-          Considering education as a global issue that transcends borders, nationalities, skills…

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