Kicking-off Social Media Week Hacking for Education

This is a guest post by Yangbo Du.

How can social media and social business plus its technology enablers transform education?

This weekend at General Assembly New York, educators and the New York tech startup community gathered for 24 hours to design and build mobile and web applications for education. Given the importance of connection among educators, parents, and students in education (much like the company, its audience, and platforms in business), all projects involved a social component in some way; the following are a few highlights from the presentations.

Open Board transforms communication in the classroom from one-way to two-way, analogous to Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft Office Yammer for business. Messages from the teacher to students and back are displayed on a single screen, facilitating collaborative learning.

MCASTA enables teachers to evaluate tests from the test taker’s perspective and share findings with fellow teachers. While this version is specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it can be easily adapted to tests in place in other states.

Colloquial uses big data from digital and social media to assist English-as-a-second-language learning. The user can discover and immerse oneself in English-language content from a wide variety of genre, including content from major media outlets.

Here are the full weekend’s proceedings via Storify:

(See the second part here.)

The outcomes from #HackInteractive underscore how social media is about human-to-human connection more than anything else. It has been around since antiquity, with the Internet having facilitated its ubiquity and ease of use today. If business is social, education and other forms of human-to-human connection are social.

With the fundamental principle of social media in mind, think about how social media can empower you and your stakeholders to reach your objectives. Compelling reason to engage in the conversation during Social Media Week and share ideas and best practices.

Technology & Collective Intelligence: A Recipe For Impact And Success

(Part 3 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors and Collaborators Blog series.)

It’s no secret that our world has become increasingly social. I wonder, however, if those outside the technology industry have paid mind to the way in which technology has become intrinsically linked with collaboration.

Whether crowdstorming, crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, hackathons or strategic alliances, technology has become a vehicle for our world’s brain trust, and a way to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Organizations and individuals can utilize these frameworks to problem solve, create usable software, discover new ideas and prototypes, pool money to fund initiatives, outsource tasks and even to save lives.

Technology paired with our collective intelligence is the ultimate recipe for impact and success.

Speaker Tonya Surman embodies this collaborative ethos. The founding executive director and current CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation, Tonya’s work revolves around building shared spaces and fostering cooperation among networks of social innovators. Her latest book, The Community Bond: An Innovation in Social Finance, is a testament to the efficacy of this approach, as CSI renovated its Annex location by raising $2 million dollars through community bonds.

Not just allowing, but pushing for open innovation and alliance building is critical to our future. As is incentivizing the Architects, Inventors and Collaborators that are rethinking traditional structures and developing new frameworks, manifesting their ingenuity and facilitating partnerships for impact, respectively.

One person who does this brilliantly is speaker and Quirky Founder & CEO, Ben Kaufman. To date, Quirky has developed 288 products with the help of 188 retail partners and 328,000 investors. By removing barriers for inventors, he has been able to bring two new consumer products to market each week, and share revenue with the people who helped to inform and produce them.

Essentially, Ben architected a new way of producing by connecting inventors with a larger community of collaborators: everything this year’s theme stands for.

Join Tonya, Ben and a number of other speakers at our Global HQ on Thursday, February 21st, when we continue the discussion on how to create and embody a more open, connected and collaborative world. We look forward to seeing you there.