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Here's where we keep you updated about what's going on at Einztein and some of the latest ideas that we're kicking around…
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Marco Masoni, Oct. 28, 2011

Einztein TIP: “OPEN” vs “RESTRICTED” PROJECTS

I’d like to give you some insight as to how we give Einztein members control over project participation, while keeping the knowledge exchange “flowing” as openly as possible.

If you choose “restricted” when creating a project, you get to decide who can join the project and who can’t.

If you see that a project is marked “restricted,” you can “ask to join” the project but it’s up to the project creator/curator to accept the request.

If a project is not restricted, that means any Einztein member can join the project to post or comment. We call these kinds of projects “public.”

Have fun sharing what you know and exploring what you don’t!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/68893426@N06/6289048981/
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Oct. 11, 2011

We’ll be at the National Association of Biology Teachers conference in Anaheim on Friday (10/13) to talk about our successful collaboration with Inquiry to Insight (http://i2i.stanford.edu/), a partnership between University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Stanford University.

Einztein has enabled students around the world to discuss their findings online after they participated in an carbon footprint calculation activity developed by Inquiry to Insight.

You can learn more about this at: http://www.einztein.com/user/jason/international-carbon-footprint-51/.

http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=1
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Oct. 6, 2011

The original inspiration behind Einztein was the subject of a blog entry that I wrote when we first launched Einztein.com in 2010. While the relaunch of our site focuses on “knowledge exchange,” as opposed to improved access to free online courses, our basic mission remains basically unaltered. We want to planetize learning. Here’s what I wrote a year ago:

OUR INSPIRATION

In 2002, fourteen year old William Kamkwamba was forced to leave his school in Malawi because he could not afford the $80 in tuition, so he started to teach himself by reading books at the local library. One book in particular intrigued him as it contained photographs of windmills, which he had never seen before. Based on the photographs alone, Kamkwamba scavenged parts and through a process of trial and error assembled a working windmill that brought water and electricity to his native Malawian village. Today, Kamkwamba is a student at a top school in South Africa and his story has been recounted by journalist Bryan Mealer in the book, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com

If one remarkable teenager could change his world after getting inspired by a book at a local library, imagine the effects that free online courses available at local Internet access points might have in communities across the planet. Each time a receptive mind gets introduced to the materials contained in a free course, the potential exists to generate still more “windmills” powering progressive change.

THE EINZTEIN MISSION

Einztein wants to planetize education. Our mission won’t end until every person on the planet has the ability to get an education online, if they so choose. We don’t pretend to be the ones who will get laptops into the local libraries of poor communities, nor are we the teachers who will generate the content that goes into an online course. Our role is to work with education partners to connect online learners with online course providers. We want to help learners find the right courses to build their skills and knowledge in accordance with their needs and interest. And we want to make the experience of learning online as productive as possible.

We see vastly untapped potential in harnessing the power of online educational resources to empower individuals and communities around the world. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to build their “windmills.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9278648@N04/614971300/
Marco Masoni
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Marco Masoni, Oct. 3, 2011

Originally, we started Einztein to help provide students with better access to some of the terrific free courses that exist on the web. The site has since evolved dramatically to serve as a platform for the exchange of knowledge about anything from free courses to fantasy baseball. However, the notion that fundamental change is needed in the the way we serve up and price a “college education” continues to inform and inspire all that we do, over here.

This documentary provocatively makes the case for college education being a scam. What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE&feature=player_embedded
Marco Masoni
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