Coursekit is Now Lore

April 23, 2012

When we first conceived Coursekit, we set out to build the perfect supplement to a college course: a product that combines world-class course management tools with the best of social networking. We’ve since come a long way.

It’s been a remarkable first semester. In December 2011, when we first launched the product, it was being piloted at 30 schools. Now, one semester later, it’s in use by courses at over 600 institutions. 

As students and instructors engage on the platform, we’ve seen it used in ways we’d never expected. Our vision is to build the platform for learning—a global network of students, educators, and content. We’ve learned that it isn’t just about courses, it’s about people.

Today, I’m very excited to announce that we’re rebranding as Lore; a new name and visual identity that better reflect our ambitions. Lore means knowledge shared between people. The word is short and elegant, but waiting to be filled with meaning. 

Our Creative Director, Aaron Carámbula, has done a masterful job designing the new visual mark for Lore. His remarks:

“We took inspiration from publishing imprints—traditional platforms for knowledge sharing—and their subtle, compact marks on the spines of books. The Lore mark represents our belief in challenging norms—a square peg in a round hole. With its stacked letters, it’s about building on what we have.”

While the current product remains unchanged for now, we’ve created lore.com/story to explain the transition and a site to explain our design process

As we take on this new identity, I’m also thrilled to welcome Peter Thiel as an investor through the Founders Fund. He’s using Lore firsthand in his Stanford course, Startup, this quarter.

A name, and the larger brand, is a vessel. With Lore, we have a new vessel; a bigger, stronger one. Now we have to fill it. Join us.

Amazing job by the whole team.

— Joe

A word on Blackboard

March 27, 2012

Some of you may have seen the news about Blackboard buying MoodleRooms and NetSpot. I wanted to post a quick note on how we look at this.

We’re seeing the learning management system market consolidate, with Blackboard attempting to offer something for every institution. These market optimizations are a natural symptom of a waning industry. The products remain lousy. 

We at Coursekit have placed a firm bet that the real innovation will happen not within the LMS industry, but with a larger rethinking of the internet’s role in education.

– Joe Cohen

Poynter: How journalism educators can use Coursekit to enhance classroom learning

March 20, 2012

Great article with testimonials from some of our great journalism instructors. 

Coursekit Grants

March 1, 2012

We’re introducing new grants for instructors and students who spread the word about Coursekit. 

The concept is simple. Students and instructors who are excited about what we’re doing can help us spread the word, and we can help them cover some of the small expenses that take their time away from the teaching and learning. 

We never stop thinking about how to make the teaching and learning experience better. In that spirit, we’d like to help with the things that get in the way: expensive books, supplies, and teaching materials like copies, tools, and resources. 

Here’s the Knowledge Sharing Grant, for instructors:

and the Learner’s Grant for students:

Big credits to Dan, Aaron, Katie, and Hunter for leading the charge on this project. Amazing work. 

Introducing Explore

February 29, 2012

Our goal with Coursekit is to reshape education for the Internet Age. We exist to restore the sense of magic that comes with learning something new. Where does knowledge come from and how do people share it? That’s the elusive question we’re trying to answer.

In that spirit, we’re introducing ExploreExplore is about the evolving definition, process, and promise of learning. It’s a cross-disciplinary lens on what stimulates, what enriches, and what matters—an intellectual and creative incubator for cultivating your interests, and a place to discover things you didn’t know you were interested in, until you are.

Explore is edited by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings. As perhaps the web’s best curator of “interestingness,” Maria’s work embodies our ambitions. We’re absolutely delighted and honored to have her on our team.

— Joe

Explore:

Welcome to Explore, a Coursekit project edited by Maria Popova.

When Benjamin Franklin founded the first subscription library in America, he had a vision for democratizing knowledge by making “the common tradesman and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries.” Access to knowledge, he believed, was the key to creativity, innovation, and success in life. 

Today, the web is our library, with information more readily available than ever before. But finding the most interesting, most relevant, most meaningful information and synthesizing it into knowledge and insight is an increasingly challenging task, yet one of growing urgency and importance. 

Explore embodies Coursekit’s aspiration to reshape education in the Information Age and aims to distill the wealth of information available to us today – online and off – into a portal of discovery for meaningful knowledge, powered by cross-disciplinary curiosity.

From TED talks to vintage maps to psychology studies to quotes from favorite books, and just about everything in between, Explore will guide you through the landscape of the mind as we explore the evolving architecture of knowledge together. 

Enjoy and explore.

A note: We’re going to roll the current Coursekit Blog into Explore. Watch this space for updates on the adventures we’re having as a team.

(Source: explore-blog)

February 24, 2012

Perspective. So long!

(Source: mysecretwonderlands)

February 24, 2012

"Technology should enable magic, not kill it."

(Source: ted.com, via radha-ratlion)

February 24, 2012

Developing a systematic way to help teachers get better is the most powerful idea in education today. The surest way to weaken it is to twist it into a capricious exercise in public shaming. Let’s focus on creating a personnel system that truly helps teachers improve.
Bill Gates, in his op-ed, Shame Is Not the Solution, for The NY Times.

February 24, 2012

Truth. 

Truth. 

(via brittanylovely)