Learning and Teaching

Knovio Goes to College

One of the more remarkable things that’s happened in the 14 months since Knovio officially came out of “beta test mode” has been its rapid — and quite organic — growth on college and university campuses.  Without a single advertisement or marketing campaign, Knovio has taken off purely through word-of-mouth, to the point where there are now more than 1,500 “.edu” domains represented in the Knovio user base.  More than half of the 170,000-plus registered Knovio users self-identify as educators or students.  We’ve found Knovio being used on campus in 33 countries on six continents, and in all fifty United States.

Knovio is popular among both faculty and students and even staff on campus:

  • For educators, Knovio is an easy and painless way to create “flipped classroom” lectures (to be watched before coming to class), multimedia teaching and “how-to” notes, reports on faculty research, and distance learning content.
  • For students, Knovio is a great way to submit presentation-based assignments (especially collaborative group work), as well as to practice their presentation skills (especially if they are not native language speakers).
  • For staff, we’ve seen Knovio used for distributing orientation material, onboarding new employees, virtual open houses, and alumni/donor communications.

All of this was a delightful surprise to us at KnowledgeVision, a company that has traditionally been business-to-business — that is, serving corporate learning, content marketing, sales enablement, corporate communications, and investor relations.

But the market was telling us something important: Knovio and the college campus are a natural fit!  So now, we’ve sought out and found a committed educational technology partner to help us tune Knovio to the higher education marketplace.  So let me introduce our new strategic partner for higher education, Jenzabar Inc.

JenzabarLogoJenzabar is one of the leaders in providing technology to the college and university community.  Originally rooted in student information systems, Jenzabar is now investing heavily in e-learning platforms in order to cover even more comprehensively the entire student life-cycle — from admission and enrollment, to registration and course selection, to course administration and grade-keeping, to billing and even alumni relations.

Knovio fits right in with Jenzabar’s modern eLearning platform — a Learning Management System that works seamlessly with the college’s other administrative platforms.  An advanced version of Knovio will be intimately tied in with Jenzabar eLearning, even to the point of passing embedded quiz results and grades directly into the Jenzabar grade book.

Over the coming weeks and months, watch for a whole series of joint initiatives in the higher education market from Jenzabar and KnowledgeVision, starting with Knovio Campus — a plan that puts an advanced version of Knovio in the hands of every student, faculty member, and staffer on campus, at a very low price, tied to enrollment.

We’re very excited about this partnership and what it means for the future of Knovio on campus.  And we’re grateful to the tens of thousands of students and educators who have discovered and adopted Knovio on their own, making this partnership not only possible but also the best outcome imaginable.

Jenzabar CEO Bob Maginn announces the company's strategic partnership with KnowledgeVision at the Jenzabar Annual Meeting of college and university customers, in June 2016.

Student Presentations: Pick an Issue – Any Issue – and Pitch it!

There are countless social and political issues being debated and discussed around this time of year.

If you’re a teacher (especially of junior high and high school-aged students), this might be a terrific opportunity to teach your class public speaking skills, debate techniques, and/or presentation strategies. And, more importantly, to have them practice these skills and see for themselves how they come across.

While you may be hesitant to bring actual politics into the classroom, there’s no shortage of social issues to focus on. Students in their pre-teen and teenage years can be especially passionate about what’s happening around them, and their communities. Unfortunately, they may not have the confidence to speak out, or know what vehicle to use to talk about their issues.

Have your students select a topic, then introduce them to the basic (free) version of Knovio. Creating online presentations with Knovio Web or Knovio Mobile, is simple, quick, and fun. Start by having them create outlines with pertinent points and transitions, and then use slides and videos to add to their audio commentary. Do they flub a line or start to giggle mid-sentence? With Knovio, it’s no problem to back up and fix mistakes. In fact, bloopers can be some of the most fun when creating presentations with students.

Once the class completes their presentations, you can share and track them online. Using online presentation tools like Knovio can help students feel more at ease when speaking to a group, organize their thoughts for the best flow and delivery, and realize that they can influence the world around them.

Knovio In The Classroom: Teaching Entrepreneurship in High School

Over the past year, we’ve noticed two major groups emerge in the Knovio user-base: entrepreneurs using Knovio to pitch their startup ideas, and teachers and students using Knovio in the classroom.

Recently we heard the amazing story of one Knovio-user who bridges both categories. Jacqueline Prester, a teacher at Mansfield (Massachusetts) High School, uses Knovio as an integral part of the curriculum for her class on entrepreneurship.

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The Change-Up: Cool Presentation Tactics to Keep Students Engaged

Educators are no doubt familiar with the struggle to catch, and keep, the attention of students, no matter what the age group is. There are a lot of presentation tools and websites to help you perk up your presentation, and the attention of your audience.

One tactic comes from what pitchers in baseball call “the change-up”: Throwing the ball at different speeds enables the pitcher to keep batters off-balance, and on high alert.  Applying this concept to your presentations can work in your favor in the classroom, too — not to mention when you bring your teaching online.

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