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校园生活:阶梯教室里影响深远的创新

来源:经济学人 编辑:justxrh   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

DROPPING out of university to launch a start-up is old hat. The twist with Joseph Cohen, Dan Getelman and Jim Grandpre is that their start-up aims to improve how universities work. In May 2011 the three founders quit the University of Pennsylvania to launch Coursekit, soon rebranded as Lore, which has already raised $6m to develop what Mr Cohen, its 21-year-old chief executive, describes as a "social-learning network for the classroom".

从大学辍学创办公司早已不是什么新鲜事了。约瑟夫•科恩、丹•吉利特曼(音译Getelman)和吉姆•格朗普利(音译Grandpre)也加入其中,创办了一家专为大学改善教学的公司。 2011年5月,这三位创始人从宾夕法尼亚大学退学,创办了Coursekit,不久后更名为Lore。公司现已募集了6百万的资金,用其21岁CEO科恩的话来说,就是发展一种"社会学习网络课堂"。
Lore is part of a trend that builds on the familiarity with social networking that has come with the success of Facebook. It customises the rules of a network to meet the specific needs of students. Anyone teaching a class would reasonably worry that students using Facebook were gossiping rather than learning useful information from their network of friends. Lore allows teachers to control exactly who is in the network (by issuing a class-membership code) and to see how they are using it. They can also distribute course materials, contact students, manage tests and grades, and decide what to make public and what to keep private. Students can also interact with each other.
随着Facebook的成功,社交网络也日渐为人们所熟悉。Lore就是顺应这种潮流应运而生。为了满足学生的特殊需求,它制定了特别的网络条规。任何一位老师都会担心学生上Facebook是八卦吐槽,而不是从朋友圈子里了解到有用的信息,这种担心合情合理。Lore使得老师可以控制网络里的人员组成(采用班级成员密码),并可以看到学生是如何利用这个网络的。他们还可以分发课程材料,联系学生,管理测试和分数,决定公开和保密的内容。学生还可以相互交流。
In the academic year after launching its first version last November, Lore was used in at least one class in 600 universities and colleges. Its goal for its second year, about to begin, is to spread rapidly within those 600 institutions, not least to see what the effects of scale are from having lots of classes signed up within the same institution.
Lore在去年11月推出它的首版,在那个学年里,600所大学和学院里都至少有一间使用Lore的班级。Lore对于即将到来的第二年雄心勃勃,期望能在这600学校里迅速扩展开来,不是仅仅想看到一所学校里有许多班级都采用Lore会产生什么规模效应。
The firm has a fast-growing army of fans in the faculty common room. Lore, says Edward Boches, who uses it for his advertising classes at Boston University, makes teaching "more interactive, extends it beyond the classroom and stimulates students to learn from each other rather than just the professor."
Lore现在在教师队伍里拥有大批拥趸。爱德华•波士在波士顿大学开设的广告课程就采用了Lore,据他表示,Lore使得教学更具互动性,将教学的范围扩展到课堂之外,激发学生互相学习,而不是跟着只老师学习。"
Among other challenges for the company, there remains the small matter of figuring out a business model. For the moment it has none. Mr Cohen hopes that eventually Lore could become the primary marketplace for everything from courses to textbooks, but so far the service is free and carries no advertising. Blackboard, the industry incumbent, charges users for its course-management software. It remains to be seen how it will respond to the upstart.
Lore面对的众多挑战里,仍存在一个小问题:即怎样形成商业模式。就目前而言,它还没有任何商业模式。科恩先生希望Lore最终会占据主要的市场,服务从课程到书本无所不包。但到目前为止。Lore的服务免费且不含有广告。现在占领市场的Blackboard对其客户收取课程管理软件的费用。至于Blackboard准备怎么应对后起之秀Lore,我们拭目以待。
The lack of a plan does not appear to bother Lore's founders or investors, who seem content to learn a lesson from another university drop-out, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook: achieve critical mass in your network and the profits will follow. And after that perhaps they can expect an honorary degree from the alma mater?
公司的创始人和投资者并没有因为缺乏计划而烦恼。他们乐于向另一位从大学退学、创办了Facebook的马克•扎克伯格学习:先在你的网络里获取大量客户,利润自然会随后滚滚而来。在这之后,他们或许可以期待从母校获得一个荣誉学位。

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respond [ris'pɔnd]

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v. 回答,答复,反应,反响,响应
n.

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scale [skeil]

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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
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academic [.ækə'demik]

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adj. 学术的,学院的,理论的
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bother ['bɔðə]

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v. 使恼怒,使不安,烦扰,费心
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familiarity [fə.mili'æriti]

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code [kəud]

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关键字: 阶梯 教室 创新

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