Pleasanton, California (EastBayDaily) — Elluminate, Inc., the leader in web, audio, video and social networking solutions that support 21st century teaching, learning, and collaboration, announced today the continued growth of LearnCentralâ¢, the social learning network for education the company sponsors. Launched in June of this year, LearnCentral combines asynchronous social networking with Elluminate’s real-time online communication, collaboration, and education environment and has expanded its reach to 25,000 members worldwide. In addition to providing the social networking tools that enable members to find and connect with others to share content and best practices, LearnCentral also provides collaboration tools for meeting in real-time virtual rooms and holding and attending events. Upon joining LearnCentral, each member receives a free Elluminate vRoomâ¢, a virtual meeting room for up to three participants or locations, and has access to a free public conference room for larger events.
The community has hosted a wide variety of special interest group and industry organization meetings, user group conferences, and events featuring popular speakers like Howard Rheingold, Joyce Valenza, and Rushton Hurley on topics ranging from “Librarians and Web 2.0″ to “Using Video in the Classroom. Sessions are recorded and archived as community resources.
LearnCentral offers membership in nearly 400 discussion groups, including Web 2.0 in Education, Math 2.0, Education and Technology in the Media, Connecting Classrooms, Effective Interaction at a Distance, Moodle, Online Teachers and Learners, Copyright and Fair Use, Podcasting 101, K-12 Technology Coordinators, Professional Development Resources, and many more.
The network is moderated by Elluminate’s Social Learning Consultant Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0, director of the K12 Open Technologies Initiative at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and a columnist for School Library Journal.
The company has published a new white paper, “Educational Networking: The Important Role Web 2.0 Will Play in Education,”authored by Hargadon. The paper discusses social networking, the pedagogical value of Web 2.0, the emergence of educational networking, and its adoption for professional development for educators.
In related news, Elluminate is now offering custom-branded, private versions of LearnCentral. These include LearnCentral Portal, an entry-level offering that provided a customized, branded “front door” into the global LearnCentral community, and LearnCentral Private Community, which offers the same customized look and feel plus highly configurable privacy options that enable the community manager to choose which, if any, resources are made available in the public LearnCentral network.
Quotes for Attribution:
“In addition to using Learn Central as a meeting and sharing place for Flat Classroom projects, I am excited about its use here in China. One of the challenges in China is reliability of access to educational networking tools. Learn Central provides a portal for global collaboration and will help to connect educators from geographically diverse locations.” Julie Lindsey, IT and E-Learning Coordinator, Beijing International School and Flat Classroom Projects Co-founder
“LearnCentral is an amazing tool with a lot of promise! We have made it a strategic objective to more tightly integrate all LearnCentral has to offer into our Flat Classroom projects and tell every teacher we know to use the professional development resources. The webinars are among the best in the business.” Vicki Davis, Teacher, Westwood Schools, Cool Cat Teacher Blog, and Flat Classroom Projects Co-founder
“Being able to discuss dynamic projects with teachers such that we genuinely hear the interest and excitement in their voices is very powerful, especially given how easily we can explore ideas visually with the whiteboard/slides and the application sharing. I think the Elluminate public conference room is a wonderful tool for all educators looking to bring the world to their students.” Rushton Hurley, Next Vista for Learning
“I am using the public conference room to hold weekly online meetings of the Math 2.0 special interest group. We spend an hour on a “field trip” through a collaborative environment and have had several projects, and a conference start through these meetings. Our goals are to share resources, collaborate on our projects, and save mathematics from its current obscurity in social media.” Maria Droujkova, Instructional Technologist, Natural Math
“LearnCentral represents historic changes taking place through the Internet that enable educators to dramatically increase their connecting, collaborating, and sharing. By combining the tools of educational social networking with the immediacy of Elluminate’s online meeting capability, we believe we are in the start of nothing less than an educational renaissance. The collaboration with other educators that often took place only at annual conferences is starting to happen on a daily basis, and there’s a very real excitement about the potential to transform teaching and learning using these tools.” Steve Hargadon, Founder, Classroom 2.0 and Elluminate Social Learning Consultant
Supporting Resources: LearnCentral brochure LearnCentral Private Community brochure LearnCentral Frequently Asked Questions Educational Networking white paper