Wednesday, May 6

Sclipo Mashes Up Informal and Formal Learning to Good Effect!

Sclipo is a Social Learning Network for continuing education that offers apps for e-Learning (course manager, knowledge manager, webcam-based web classroom for live online teaching, etc.) integrated with social features. At Sclipo, any member can teach and learn, enabling informal or social learning online. Sclipo is for formal & informal teachers that find traditional eLearning (Moodle, Blackboard, etc.) solutions too complex and costly.


Sclipo's principal social learning features:

  1. Academy & Profile
    Every member has an Academy and a Profile. The Academy is the space where a member teaches through educational apps like Courses, Library or Live Web Classes. The Profile (connected to Facebook) serves to socialize with people of common educational interests.
  2. Courses
    This app allows members to create and post courses they teach online through Sclipo, face-to-face or blended.
  3. Library
    The Library is to store, manage and share educational content in any format - videos, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc.
  4. Live Web Classes
    Allows to teach up to 100 students live through webcam, whiteboard and a document presenter. Students can participate actively through audio, video and chat. Teachers can present any document from their library. No downloads needed.
  5. Payments
    Teachers can charge students for their courses and web classes. Students pay teachers directly through PayPal.
  6. Facebook Connect
    Allows to easily establish connections and publish a members activities (eg, post a course) to Facebook.

Most features are free, some are for Premium Members, like Payments and the private Web Classroom (a public Web Classroom is free to use). Premium Members pay a flat fee.


The interface design, ease-to-navigate and layout is 'Smokey' (meaning cool, fresh, and soothing to the eye and mind). I love the Learn-Socialize-Teach formula (categories) and features that go with it. Don't be lazy, check it out!

In contrast to other social learning network sites (e.g. Ning), Sclipo provides an embedded virtual classroom tool enabling educators to conduct live online (web) classes with up to 100 students at a time. Though, you need to pay if you want your online class to be a private one. Now, that I don't like and this might turn educators off from using it initially before getting hooked. But, then again they got to make a living. Another twist; why not allow two (2) private classes for free every month :)

Also, I believe Sclipo's virtual classroom tool (Live Web Class) needs to be more flexible (e.g. be able to resize interface feature components), and add several more useful features before educators and learners can express themselves more effectively. Perhaps they should benchmark this tool with other free (or partially free) virtual classroom options such as DimDim (can be installed on your own server) and WiZiQ (a free hosted virtual classroom). I have given some hints in the graphic above.

Finally, instead of using Sclipo, we could use Elgg, Facebook or Ning, as an alternative option to create social learning networks. Also, we could mash-up Elgg with Moodle and DimDim or WiZiQ. However, to do that it would most likely require at least one technical dude to configure and manage the back end.

Yeah, perhaps we should give Sclipo a chance, because it has managed to mash-up formal (courses) and social (and informal) learning in a unique, stimulating, engaging and effective manner.

Enough bla, bla, bla. why not explore it yourself :)

Latest News (15th May)

"All members can now use their private live web classroom for free. (Before, only the public web classroom was free.) At this point, the only difference between Premium and Non-Premium members is that Premium can charge their students. Students pay teachers directly." - Gregor Gimmy (CEO, Sclipo)

It seems like they listen to our frustrations. Cool! Got any other suggestions or complaints? :)

1 comment:

Mano said...

I was finding a way to intergrate moodle and dimdim. After reading this article I think there is an alternative solution, Thanks a lot tfor the tip! :)