Sometimes the aha moment comes in mysterious ways. But this weekend, it dawned on me: I actually prefer to read on my iPad than on my computer, and probably more than a regular book if you take my pulse count. The reason: well curated content via a wonderfully sexy digital platform. In fact, I use a combination of 2 platforms, which cover the range of content that I need: Flipboard & Zite. Call it the 1-2 punch. Each is effectively a socially curated online magazine, that allows for a seamless navigation beween previously selected topics, with sources coming from the internet and the social web. Flipboard is more of a social magazine, while Zite labels itself an intelligent magazine. Zite and Flipboard give a new and very real meaning to social learning.
eLearning – put the emotion into the E of eLearning
I have long been a proponent of the power of well-constructed distance learning programs, hopefully seamlessly blended into our everyday learning environments. However, for the most part, there is a dearth in eLearning engineering expertise and there are not enough allocated resources in universities and corporations. It remains a “luxury” in the eyes of most executives and managers to make a platform-suitable, learner-focused environment. Too often, when eLearning is put into place, the content may be rich, but the experience is often bereft of sentiment and pleasure (i.e. text heavy) and the interaction is minimalist. But, what if text books could be converted to be read with same intelligence, pleasure of discovery, ease of use & sharing, and rapidity of loading as you will find on Zite and Flipboard…? And, I might add, there are others that are worth the visit too: Feedly, Pulse. What if… we tailored the learning on platforms similar to Zite and Flipboard? Of course, we might also need to justify the investment in tablets for everyone, too… But, prices will come down dizzily, I’m sure.
The “teacher” learns from you
What I particularly like about Zite (which just released version 1.3.2 on Jan 27th) is that it gets smarter as you use it. It also has wickedly easy social sharing functionality. Zite alone made me realize that I prefered reading and sharing via my iPad than on my computer, by a wide margin. It is mobile and the enjoyment is multiple, since the discovery is unending. I absolutely revere the moments when I can dig into my Zitegeist!
Here is a schema provided on Zite’s site about how it works.
If there is one cloud on the horizon, it is that Zite is owned by CNN (Zite was purchased in August 2011). Flipboard is as yet an independent entity (though I’m sure that Apple has a beady eye on them: Flipboard was voted best app of 2010 by Apple).
I’d love to hear of any similarly fashioned learning platforms that are live or in the works!