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Grockit Wants to Build a Pinterest for Learning

Search engines may make it easy to find information, but they don’t necessarily do the same for learning it.

That’s why the founders of social test prep startup Grockit want to re-configure online content such as YouTube videos, Wikipedia entries and ebooks into ordered lesson plans.

Their new product, Learnist, works a bit like a Pinterest for learning. Soon anyone (the capability is still invite-only at launch) will be able to compile content pieces onto a board or “learning.” A nifty bookmarklet makes it easy to collect content from other sites.

Unlike Pinterest, however, creators suggest a path in which to consume each content component. Users can check off each component as they go or “re-add” it to one of their own learnings.

So how does Learnist beat Google as a learning tool? Or Pinterest, for that matter?

Grockit founder Farbood Nivi argues that expert curation helps avoid the misinformation, hacked-together how-to articles and other useless content one must weed through in a typical Google search. It also provides a clear learning path and eventually, he hopes, will include some form of assessment.

“We don’t think it’s a Wikipedia replacement,” he says. “We think it’s a Wikipedia enhancement.”

The scope of content he has in mind is larger than that of both online course platforms such as Udemy as well as that of Sophia, a startup with a similar mission of helping experts curate content that focuses on academics. Along with lessons about common core standards, it includes topics such as “how to find the best pizza in Brooklyn” or “how to hack your kitchen” that don’t require courses.

He wants to replace not just textbooks, but also how-to articles.

Grockit will continue to offer its test-prep service for $30 per month, but it is focusing on Learnist going forward. Grockit’s social, adaptive learning question sets are now embeddable within Learnist boards.

“Test prep was always a stepping stone to larger learning,” Nivi says about the change in direction. “We always knew this was coming. We just didn’t know what it would look like.”

Source:  23 May 2012

by Sarah Kessler

First Edition Design PublishingFirst Edition Design Publishingbased in Sarasota, Florida, USA leads the industry in eBook distribution.They convert, format and submit eBooks to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, scores of additional on-line retailers and libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company also has a POD (Print On Demand) division, which creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network.

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