If you are anything like me and have a feed reader filled to bursting point with all sorts of blogs that cover the web/start-up scene then you couldn’t miss this weeks blanket coverage of DEMO and Techcrunch50 (although we all know the big event this week was the ALT Conference in Leeds right?). Now putting aside the various spats between Techcrunch and Demo what I’d like to focus on is the fact that around 100 start-ups essentially ‘launched’ over the last few days and as far as I can tell (and maybe I missed some – that would make me happier) only Grockit was focused on learning and a number of the other offerings were vacuous at best. As far as Yammer winning at Techcrunch50 – why? Its a Twitter clone right? A pretty nice one but as far as I can tell apart from giving it an ‘enterprise’ focus its essentially a straight rip-off?
I’ve mentioned Grockit before and I’m really pleased for them – they were one of the runners-up and to my eyes had one of the most innovative ideas with a real understanding of the market they are aiming at (and maybe because that audience exists beyond the Valley it confused the judges?). Anyway I love the idea – combining gaming and peer-to-peer learning is an increasingly popular strategy in education and building a start-up around that and focusing in on test prep seems ideal (that US test regiment seems like a really nice fit for this sort of thing – we lack anything similar here in the UK at the moment to really tie into as far as formal education is concerned).
Maybe we need to start our own Learning 2.0 event for start-ups with an interest in education and learning – something where the phrase ‘enterprise’ is banned and gossip sites are refused entry!
Oh and as I mentioned ALT earlier – congratulations to Josie Fraser for her Learning Technologist of the Year Award – well deserved as far as I can see..