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Learnist Brings Content Curation to Education
With so much information accessible on the Internet, organizing all of it into a manageable and usable form has been up to individual users, until now. Learnist, the self-described “People, helping other people learn” cloud resource, is an attempt at organizing vast quantities of information into manageable and sequential pieces called “learnings.” And what exactly is the focus of a learning?
It can be “any type of object or content: Wikipedia articles, YouTube videos, Flash games, ebooks, and more,” according to the site’s FAQ. The learning is compiled on a “learn board” in a process also called “learnboarding.”
Setting aside the forced lexicon, the concept of the cloud resource as described in the “how to” section animation is solid. As with the popular free site Pinterest, anyone can create a board, add comments to an existing board, even suggest additional resources. Social networking plus lessons plans equals “social learning.”
Users create their own collection of boards and “follow” individuals or their boards. This allows “anyone to take in information about anything at any time no matter where they are.” The introductory video, narrated by Farbood Nivi (who is also founder of Learnist parent company Grockit), touts the immediate and free access to information that used to be confined to books and would quickly become dated.
What’s missing from this site, as with other similar wiki-type resources where everyone is supposed to have something important to share with users, is a control for accuracy. The challenge for any user is going to be qualifying the information provided. Even though the concept behind learni.st is “curating” the information readily available on the Web, the quality of that selection and the veracity of information provided will depend on the training, agenda, and beliefs of the individuals building “a learning.”
Just be sure to bring your brain to the site when you visit.
Margo Pierce is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer.