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Hey, . Keep your notes and ideas on your own site while sharing them with the group:

Running personal, connected courses with Known #edtech #edtechchat

3 min read

This fall, the University of Mary Washington in Virginia has been running the first online courses to use Known. As Jim Groom recounts:

Since August we’ve been working together to use Known as the syndication hub for the Wire106 course I’m teaching at UMW. It puts students in control of authoring in their own space, allowing them to push their work to a variety of social media networks like Twitter, SoundCloud, Facebook, and Flickr. Additionally, they can also push to a course hub, dramatically changing how simple it is to aggregate student work for a given course.

Known gives students a personal space where they publish their coursework, notes and ideas. They can then syndicate this content, if they want, to on-campus course software and their social networks.

We work with institutions to integrate with Learning Management Systems like Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard and Desire2Learn, but we've been surprised by how many educators want to bypass this step entirely and run their own course hubs. Known can provide a communal space for each class, that sits as a connective piece between each personal student site. More and more institutions are coming to us to ask about establishing these communal social spaces for their classes.

However you set Known up, students' personal Known sites are the key. As Jim notes:

One of the things that appealed to me immediately about Known is the simple, Tumblresque interface. Various content types, lightweight admin bar, frontend publishing, and a minimalist aesthetic. It’s everything I have learned to love about Tumblr, with the bonus of being open source and designed to capture a distributed network.

Learning Management Systems are designed around course administration, rather than learning. Institutions have been discovering that providing a space that encourages both self-reflection and social activity as a core aspect of its design is a better fit for their pedagogy.

Known is an open source platform, and every single feature has an API interface. That means it's easy to tailor for the needs of educators and institutions. (It's also worth saying that you always have control over your data and privacy.) We provide full support, and you have the choice of running Known on your own infrastructure or ours. That way we can match your institutional policy, technical needs, and available resources.

We're delighted that so many educators are following Jim's example. If you have any questions about running Known for courses, or at an institution, get in touch - we'll be glad to discuss the possibilities with you.