Microsoft has announced a teacher network that sounds an awful lot like Classroom 2.0... :)

"Microsoft Corp.'s Innovative Teachers Network (ITN), a new online forum that promotes the exchange of ideas and methods on how best to incorporate technology into the classroom effectively..." http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/?i=51777;_hbguid=1fc9f28d-...

Sounds like they've been testing it with a limited audience for some time. Is anyone using it? How does it compare with what we've been doing here? Can Classroom 2.0 be nimble and agile enough to serve needs that the efforts of Microsoft and other large companies are beginning to produce?

Imitation is certainly the sincerest form of flattery:
--
Within the network, educators can create their own communities, start discussions, and collaborate with other educators who have similar interests. And because of that, it is very much user-driven, Cullinane said. Users can initiate threads and conversations...

"At the end of the day, people want friends," Cullinane said. "No matter what your job is, it's great to know there are other people out there with the same challenges, concerns, and opportunities."
--

So, can CR 2.0 survive such a competitor? What can we do that will continue to make this a unique place for educators?

Views: 70

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I went to NECC for seven years and the exhibit hall was filled with free stuff--Blackboard, Big Chalk, eboard, Gizmos, Riverdeep, Plato, Brain Pop, Classroom Connect, etc. All of those companies are either subscription or gone. I'm going to use the free tools as long as I can, I don't think they'll be here for ever. It doesn't make since to me that people who don't make money will continue to provide a service.
I agree. As a creator of my own site I can see the basic reality of the fact that at some point you must get revenue to keep it going when it gets to a certain size, unless you have the money yourself. However, I think that there will ALWAYS be the spin off sites which are smaller and free and have a different following. When you are free and community driven, you are a different type of place. You have a different market of user and I don't see open source going anywhere. My site is Drupal (opensource) and I have had people volunteer to help me to promote the concept of opensource, forget the message of MasteryMaze. So I think they will be here, but I think it is tough to have it both ways. At some point you need money to keep it going and it becomes a question of how you get it. I think it is very difficult to be large and free long term. (Look at Facebook; as huge as it is, at some point you have to figure out a way to pay the bills) You are then faced with the problem of going to the "dark side" by doing so, and possibly losing some users. The smaller alternative sites will always be out there as long as they can afford to be, or choose to be. To me, however, it is not an easy decision to make. If you have a valuable message or service, it is a good thing to be able to promote it and widen the user base. Money can help you do that !?

Sue P
So, a distinction worth making is between programs and services that essential need to have a revenue stream, and a new class of program or service, exemplified by Craigslist or Wikipedia, where the primary value is in the user contributions, and the actual cost of running the service is low enough that it can essentially exist on relatively low revenue. I think what makes Ning an interesting platform for me is that it so successfully has tapped this "prosumer" marketplace, providing an inexpensive platform for people to create communities around their passions without expecting (necessarily) to find a way to "profit" from the work.
Steve,
I really appreciate this distinction. I also like the what shapes the community is not so much the tool or service but the people who are participating with the tool or service.
I would agree. And.. indoing so, Ning has created something of amazing value! The site created by the world will always have more to offer than the "Microsoft" type. It will always reflect the topic, be current, and reflect the needs of the users as it has been created by them! In my opinion, the only thing that Microsoft can possibly bring to the table is a better platform for the discussion. (I am not saying that what they have here is better, as of yet.) When they get involved in the discussion, it's all over.

Sue P
I think you can expect the educational space to be a center of "free stuff" initiatives from at least major companies (a category which I suspect includes Ning) for a long time in the future. Two things tend to drive down prices and drive up the amount of free stuff in this space; first, it's an area focused on by a lot of non-profits, which creates a glut of free or discounted offerings, and second, it's perceived as an important place to be for larger tool providers because of what's frankly a "joe camel" effect: getting your tools in the hands of students/teachers creates lifelong users. Hence Apple and Microsoft's long-time subsidy of their products in the educational marketplace. Smaller content providers naturally need a revenue model, but any company for whom the marginal cost of production is basically zero will tend to keep throwing free stuff here.
After reading the article here I went to the MS ITN and signed up to see what it was like. http://us.itn.partnersinlearning.com/Pages/Welcome.aspx

I haven't explored very much but it looks like lots of the resources are a redirect right back to other Microsoft products. I hope MS really has good intentions by launching the network and is not simply using it as another way of marketing products to the education community.

As for the impact on classroom 2.0 I do not see a great impact. Many of us use RSS and read from many sites. Some will add MSITN others won't. Whether or not there is value in MSITN will depend on how the site evolves. I don't see it as competition-just another piece to add to the mix.

I agree with Nancy about many of the Web 2.0 tools. I am happy to use them while they are free, and wonder how long they will last. I watched some of my favorite sites turned into subscription services (Brain Pop, Classroom Connect ,Enchanted Learning) that began as free years ago. Howver the OLPC project has imbraced Open Source and collaboration-that has never happened before so perhaps we are on the verge of new horizons.
This is an interesting conversation.
While I only been a member here at Classroom 2.0 for two or three weeks, I have found it incredibly helpful. Certainly some of that has been thanks to exchanges of resources and ideas (the recent discussion about our blogs, for example).

Mostly, though, I have been really enlivened and empowered by the community itself. We are people hard at work (and at play, it seems). I have begun to feel much less alone in the technology world the more I participate here.

Thanks so much for the partnership.
This is quite a unique endeavor on the part of Microsoft when you really think about it. Will it work like My Space that somewhere in the fine print it says the information and ideas posted become the property of the Innovative Network? Is Microsoft looking for "Innovative Teachers" to share ideas so they can use them in product development?
Microsoft already has an International Innovative Teacher competition where those who submit their ideas share the information in forums. Our district won a spot of one of five to go to Seattle and later to Helsinki this last year. The ultimate winner was a teacher in Ireland for his innovative project. I'm not thinking there was much in the way of compensation here, just recognition.
I'd rather share my ideas here on Classroom 2.0.
Arlene
One suggestion is to change the "Resources" tab label to "Wiki" or Resources Wiki. I didn't realize that there was a wiki behind the tab for a while.
Well, it was "Wiki" for a long while and it got almost no attention that way, either. :) OK, I'll call it "Resources Wiki" and let's see if there's magic in the compromise!
I thought "wiki" meant "wikipedia" until a year or so ago. Resources Wiki might be a good compromise.

RSS

Report

Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.

Badge

Loading…

Follow

Awards:

© 2021   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service