Social Media is big, and Social Learning could be the next big thing. I have been exploring Sophia, which is a social learning platform which allows users to create and take courses. The courses are mainly presented using slideshare or Youtube style vodcasts, pdf documents and so on. Users can then discuss the content and join groups of like-minded people to explore ideas, topics or themes.
While new, the platform clearly has great potential, and I would recommend setting up an account and exploring how it works. Using Sophia, groups can allow a teacher to set up a class online, which will encourage peer review and reflection on what is being learned.
The platform uses learning packets, which are small chunks of material. As these are added to, the range of what can be learned will increase. All in all it looks promising, an alternative to the Khan Academy approach. I am not sure to what extent, as a teacher within a school environment I would use this rather than my school Moodle to house my vodcasts and SCORMs, but it is probably well worth mirroring one’s courses on Sophia. As a learner it did seem as if there were “learning packets” of interest to explore.
What is perhaps exciting about Sophia as a platform promoting learning is that it is an open canvas waiting to be written to, and should grow and change according to the needs that users identify and the uses that they find for the platform.