Many educators are already using social media in their classrooms to better reach and teach students, including Donna Noll who we featured recently on Technapex. However, as more investments pour into the education tech scene, startups are starting to build and expand new social networks created from the groung upwith teachers and students in mind.
Edudemic wrote this week about two of the top edu social networks you should keep an eye on. We agree with their picks: Learnist and Lore.
Learnist is designed like Pinterest to encourage easy sharing, tagging, and sorting. For example, you ca sort by tags like “Common Core,” “SAT,” “GMAT,” “Politics,” “Science,” and more. Like Pinterest, users can clip and share content from around the web to create a “social learning” experience that extends beyond classroom time and essentially functions like an e-book. Learnist was created and launched by Grockit, a leading edutech startup whose CEO spoke at our inaugural Technapex event this past spring.
Lore is an edu social network that is reminiscent of Facebook. Originally known as Coursekit and created by Joseph Cohen, Dan Getelman and Jim Grandpre, Lore is used at over 600 schools already. Teachers can use Lore to share course materials, communicate with their students, manage assessments, and encourage collaboration among student peers. While students initially could only join if invited by a teacher, Lore recently opened up the platform in August to students who can create their own profiles or groups, and connect with friends and teachers. Also like Facebook, they aren’t focusing on monetization of the platform in its early stages but are instead working to reach critical mass first.
Social networks for education are appealing because students are already familiar with these types of tools and they enable better collaboration among teachers and their students in a more private, secure space. However, the market is quickly becoming saturated. Time will tell which edutech tools will reach mainstream adoption beyond just early adopters. The edu social networks with the best user experience who can build a big following quickly are more likely to survive. We’ll be following Learnist and Lore closely as they update and refine their products and continue to build their user bases.