Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Next Big Learning App! - not really

C'mon people! Where is it? The kids are leaving (have left) Facebook for Snapchat. Normally when this happens, some enterprising capitalist jumps on the bandwagon with some sort of copycat app aimed at education.

Where's SnapLearn? Or SnapSkool? Or perhaps SnapClass?

Hey, SnapClass! That has a nice ring to it. That might have some legs.  Okay...so...before I get all cynical and preachy about how silly education versions of popular apps are, maybe I should give this one some thought?

How might a SnapChat-style app be used in a classroom?  Or better yet, maybe SnapClass becomes part of the popular MOOC movement.  Oh yeah...wait for it...

<SQUIRREL>

Here comes SnapMOOC! 

Perfect! Somebody has GOT to do this. It could become the standard communication tool during a MOOC. Why not? Let's do a Kickstarter and fire this baby up.  Who's with me?

Had MOOCs been around in 2005 that app would have been called MOOCr for sure.

Wait where was I? Oh yea, SnapClass and how that might work.  I suppose the first thing we need to address is the main feature of SnapChat which is your posts are temporary. You heard me right. Each post has a short shelf life. It is seen and them it's gone...forever. So, no record left behind of your contribution to the conversation.  Hhhmmm...

Now this could be troublesome to be sure.  We WANT to save the conversation to share with others, right? I mean, that's why digital collaboration is so cool. You get to go back through the archive and review, and others who weren't even part of the original conversation can read the archive and learn something from the event.

So, the question is "Do people really go back and review archived conversations or even video sessions, like we want to think they do?" And then the next question is "does that even matter"?

What if people used a SnapMOOC app when they were engaged in LIVE online events or when a collective from the mass consumed asynchronous content...well...synchronously...together. Since it's pictures, would that be silly? Perhaps it would totally depend on the content.  I guess most MOOCs are still so academic that it's mostly about sitting and watching a lecture, reading a book or article as a group and discussing.  
But if there was an experimental element to the course content that is analog, like maybe Drawing, you could SnapMOOC pics of your sketches.

I'm just thinking out loud here, so don't mind me.  I'm stuck on a plane with no connectivity so I'm practicing writing even when I've got nothing on my mind to write about.

Well, apparently I do :)

Oh! And if you're serious about creating that "learning version" of SnapChap you might want to consult this 16yr old who figured out weaknesses in their code

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