edu 2.0, meaning 'Next Generation Education'. This is a Free web-based education site with a comprehensive set of features for teachers, students and parents. Now, anyone can teach and/or learn using the system, whether it's at school (College or University), at home, or on the move.
Make teaching and learning more efficient and enjoyable.
A selection of the juiciest ones (Features List):
- Comprehensive, easy to use learning management system.
- Teach traditional classes or public classes on the Internet.
- Integrated calendar shows class times and assignments.
- Close or open enrollment at any time.
- Attendance tracking.
- Several assignment types - online quiz, online freeform and offline.
- Quiz each topic in the curriculum and track your progress.
- Advance to the next level in each topic as you master it.
- Use secure forums and chat rooms to network and collaborate with members with similar educational interests.
- Subscribe for notification when new resources are added for a particular subject.
- Easy-to-use grade book with graphical reports.
- Surveys for quick online polls
- Integration with mobile phones
- SCORM 2004 3rd edition support
- Ability to brand your home page according to your organization/preferences
- Supercool features they don't want to reveal yet
Founded in 2006 by Graham Glass. Graham is a serial entrepreneur and winner of the 1996 Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Even if you do not want to sign-up (and explore), you can still enjoy the resource collection (available to public). Currently, there are close to 1800 members in the community (surely to grow), so you won't feel lonely here. I suppose it does not have the growth pattern of FaceBook, but then again it is not always about big numbers (Quality counts, too!). Interestingly, you get points for every resource you share, so that might also boost or trigger members to share more (Yeah, I have already got 5 points for linking the community to this blog!). Though, edu 2.0 seems a bit confusing to manage and learn (with all those juicy tools), especially for users that are not so IT-savvy (They might prefer a tool like LectureShare, which would be easier to learn). Also, I felt that you are perhaps required to click more than necessary sometimes to get what you want (Simple navigation rule: Less clicks, more joy!).
I would have thought that Google, Yahoo or MSN would get the ball rolling first, with a free hosted LMS. Yes, I did predict in my mumblings (December 2005) that Google would perhaps buy Moodle (or host it for free) and enable anyone in the world to conduct online courses for free. But then again, sometimes you need an Entrepreneur like Graham Glass to facilitate or lead the Free Hosted LMS (VLE, LCMS, or whatever!) revolution (Please do not forget LectureShare, too!).
In the final (surface) analysis, I believe that this is simply the beginning of a new era (much thanks to initiatives like edu 2.0), where in the future Google, Yahoo and MSN will join the bandwagon, battling out to show to the world that they care about providing everyone with online teaching and learning tools to educate the world (it would certainly boost their image and branding, too!). Of course, these three giants are already providing users with whole list of dynamic learning tools (such as this blogging tool!), but a comprehensive, integrated, and easy-to-use Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or LMS would not hurt either!
As for those Schools, Colleges or Universities (or Educators) that can't afford an LMS, hardware infrastructure, hosting services, and IT expertise, it will simply be liberating (Hmm, on the condition that their students (or staff) have easy access to a computer device and the Internet).
Finally, let's for one moment celebrate, promote and engage in great initiatives like edu 2.0, which can make a major contribution to the world of free online education.
If we look into the future (say 5 years!), what do you think the online learning environment for 'Higher Education' would look like? Anyone got any ideas or thoughts to share? (e.g. Will Virtual worlds take over?) :)