Come Join the Crowd! Announcing...SkillBlox!

If you've ever wondered why we chose the name CrowdED Learning, well, it's pretty simple. We believe that the "crowd" represents both the problem as to why free and open educational resources aren't more widely used in adult education, as well as a solution for how we might begin to change that. 

The Problem | While it's AMAZING that so much educational content is freely available for use online, this has made the web a very crowded space, making it difficult to find resources that are actually effective or meet the needs of learners. 

The Solution | Leveraging the opinions of the masses has made it easier for us to do myriad things such as picking places to go when traveling (TripAdvisor), determining whether or not to watch a movie (Rotten Tomatoes), or selecting a restaurant (OpenTable) because of crowdsourcing that leverages the collective opinions of many. We believe crowdsourcing has applications for education that could help to simplify the process of finding, curating, and aligning quality free and open educational resources to the specific skills needed by a learner. 

I know, I know. Minds....blown!

Here Goes Nothing....

So, today, we are asking you to join the crowd. In a continuation of our not-so-secret plan to increase the use of free and open educational resources within adult education, CrowdED Learning is proud to announce we are starting the development of SkillBlox, a learning plan generation tool designed to support instructors and learners as they transition to new College and Career Readiness tests such as TABE 11/12. 
Because all of adult education will need to switch to new tests by July 1, 2019, instructors need to to also begin the process of aligning their curriculum to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, the basis of these tests. SkillBlox is designed to help instructors create personalized, CCRS-aligned learning plans for their students that combine both publisher materials and free and open educational resources to provide a wide range of options specific to each learner's skill needs and learning modalities. 
SkillBlox will allow instructors to select the publisher resources they have available, as well as free and open resources they wish to provide for students, to develop personalized learning plans for learners based on the specific skills for which they need to develop proficiency. 

As we discussed in this earlier blog, putting quality materials into the hands of learners is not a zero sum game. We believe that SkillBlox will support the field by helping instructors see how their materials align to standards—both the quality publisher materials they already use for curriculum as well as standout free and open resources that can support and augment this curriculum—while providing a wider range of options for learners.  

Here's How You Can Help

To REALLY make this work, we want to hear from educators to be sure we are hitting the mark. So, we are asking educators to please consider taking a 20-25 minute survey to provide feedback on how we should build SkillBlox learning plans—including what publisher and free materials you want to see included. 

Here is a link to the survey:

If you aren't sure you want to commit to a 20-minute survey quite yet, please check out this video, where you can learn more about who we are, what our mission is, and how the SkillBlox Learning Plan Generator will work. 

Because we want to make SkillBlox available in September, we will be closing the survey on Friday, July 13, 2018 so we can compile feedback and get moving!

Start Small, Dream Big

Down the road in the not-too-distant future, SkillBlox will evolve into a full-fledged learning platform powered by aggregated content that is always free to learners based on their learning goals. First off, however, we want to start small to be sure we are hitting the mark. So please, join the crowd and share your expertise and insights to help us help you. And, as SkillBlox grows over time, we're hopeful we can grow it....together.

Please check out www.crowdedlearning.orgThere, you can learn more and sign up to volunteer your expertise, stay in touch, or make a recommendation. We look forward to hearing from you!