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Sophia Offers Free Crowd-Sourced Learning Resources

Since going public with a beta version in March, social learning and teaching website sophia.org has nearly doubled the amount of free tutorials offered to 1,500.

The site, boasting 77,000 users from 147 countries and 1,400 education institutions, is described as "a mashup of Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube focused solely on education" in information released by the company. It allows anyone to create learning packets with text, images, presentations, video, audio, or other media about subjects such as math, English, or science. The packets can then be rated by users and experts within the community and tagged by subject or standards-aligned objective.

Sophia also allows teachers to create invitation-only groups to create a private environment accessible only to their students. Within the controlled area, users can then post questions, share answers and ideas, or create a bookshelf of learning resources for group use.

The company also suggests that teachers could ask students to create a learning packet to demonstrate understanding of a concept, or assign learning packets to eliminate the need for lectures and free up class time to work through problems and questions.

Students can also create invitation-only groups for study, or review learning packets to understand the material they're studying in new ways.

"We developed Sophia because we wanted to connect people who want to learn with those willing to teach, and we look forward to continuing to grow our offerings and enable individuals to develop and share credible content with the world," said Don Smithmier, founder and CEO of Sophia. "Sophia lets anyone step into the role of teacher and provide academic tutorials that are presented in a variety of teaching styles because everyone learns differently."

Sophia is free, though a licensed version is planned. More information is available at sophia.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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