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Funding4Learning – A Crowdfunding Platform

Funding4Learning Logo Technology is helping millions around the world. The latest trend is crowdsourcing, where a lot of people around the world pool their resources together to complete a task. Funding4Learning takes the immense potential crowdsourcing has to offer and makes it possible for people to contribute towards the education of students who are unable to meet their expenses.

Working as a coordinator, Funding4Learning allows anyone to start a fund raising campaign. The persons starting the campaign are required to state in clear terms the goals of the campaign and the funds which are necessary for their needs plus any information they wish to let others know to make them understand the need of contributing. A reward system must be offered to the contributors although Funding4Learning does not ensure that it is actually realized.

The website uses Paypal for payment processing and takes a 5% commission on every successful campaign.

What they say about themselves

Funding4Learning is the first worldwide crowdfunding platform dedicated entirely to facilitate the financing of studies and educational projects around the world. The numerous financial restrictions and lack of funding for education, specially in emerging countries, is a major problem that hasn’t been addressed by both institutions and the media. Anyone can create a campaign where they tell their story, set a funding goal in accordance with the tuition fee, and offer interesting rewards to contributors. Funding4Learning allows users to create campaigns, share it with the online community through social networks, engage fans, track information about contributors, and collect money.

Why it could be a success

We can think of several reasons why this could be a success but the first thing which comes to mind is the noble idea. Helping students with their finances can make a difference in their lives by allowing them to concentrate on their studies rather than trying to make ends meet.

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RefrigeratorArtist – Share Your Child’s Artwork

RefrigeratorArtist gives parents the chance to share their children’s artwork online, making it possible to keep a permanent record of all the favourite pictures produced by the family. These can go into an individual gallery with the name of each child, and you can select pictures to go into the voting to try to win $400 in US savings bonds each month. Vote for your favourites from the children on Refrigeratorartist to help select the winner.

Keeping a digital record will help a lot of parents because the actual pictures really do stack up over the years and families can only keep a few. The site also has products available to purchase with the children’s artwork featured, including t-shirts and mugs. I can’t help thinking there will be plenty of competitive voting going on, with friends and relatives nagged to vote for children, and more nagging will come from the children to get the t-shirts and mugs. So it should be a financial success for the designers while still being a lot of fun and a useful resource for families wanting to keep an archive of their children’s artwork.

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Babbel – Learn and Improve Language Skills

I’ve given this site a thorough testing as I’m a bit of a language-learning fanatic. I tried it with Italian, which I speak well, and with German, which I’ve almost forgotten, to see how it would work for beginners and skilled students. It strikes me as an excellent language learning resource for a few reasons. First of all you can try it out for free to see if it’s helpful to you, secondly the rates are incredibly reasonable compared to other language courses, and thirdly it also has a social networking side so you can chat with and friend people in other countries who speak the languages you want to learn.

The actual learning methods are fun. I tested German for beginners and was taken through the opening class, which combined instructions on the basic ways to greet people with simple sentences you would use every day. This was taught using step-by-step fun methods – listening to the words and phrases while looking at pictures, then clicking on the pictures on the next screen to match them to the right phrase. These phrases were then jumbled and I had to put them in order, and also words were provided as anagrams which had to be rearranged by clicking on the letters. Each time the word or phrase was then given in voice. By the end of the lesson I had had fun and the method really put the words and phrases into my memory.

With Italian I tried a slightly higher level and was presented with similar methods but the phrases were more advanced. They were still the types of phrases you would need when travelling or meeting people for business reasons. The more advanced lessons included extra tasks including writing about set subjects although I’m not sure how those would be corrected.

This site would be handy not just for adults but also to help children with languages they’re learning as the voices are all native speakers. Along with the lessons there are sections with a complete vocabulary of the most important words, both basic and advanced, and a section with useful sentences.

Even as a free member you can test one class in each of the languages (German, French, Italian and Spanish are available) and also join the social network side of the website. The community is very friendly with chat going on continually and you can join in with whoever is in the chat room or go into private chat. You can also just watch and mark yourself unavailable. There’s an option to filter the members by age and language so you can find contacts to friend and communicate with to improve your skills, and it does look like a community where good international friendships could be made with people genuinely studying languages and wanting to talk to others to mutually improve. The price is 8.95 Euros per individual month, reducing to 5.95 Euros per month for 3 months membership, or 4.95 Euros per month for 6 months.

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Kideos – Like YouTube for Kids

Anyone with children will know how much they want to go on to YouTube, but much of the content is unsuitable so parents have to keep an eye on what they’re watching. Kideos gets around that problem by providing a children-only website for videos, with content for all ages from two up to ten-and-over. The content is checked for suitability and the videos do look tempting for younger viewers.

This site will mainly appeal to younger age groups, with children starting to grow out of the layout by the time they reach eleven and older. It has the bright colours very young children enjoy, and the videos are presented in a different way to YouTube, with clear menus and a good sized photo of each one. A teenage Kideos would also be appealing, and as children get older they would like to be able to upload their own videos and interact with the community.

Videos can be selected by age group and also from a range of categories including Most Popular as well as favourite TV and book characters, cats and dogs, cartoons and educational. It’s good to see some other languages, with Spanish and Portuguese included, and more languages would help older kids learning the basics. Parents can create playlists for their children, and all videos have been screened and approved by the Kideos panel.

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MyPage – Easy to Make Kids’ Websites

mypage-itTeenagers study how to design websites at school, but younger children also want to have their own sites. With MyPage they can make their own website easily, share it with friends and have a URL with their nickname forming part of it. This is not just fun, it’s also a simple introduction to the basics of website design – something children need to learn.

The pages are fun and colourful and with pre-teen pictures of children so the target age is clear. Childen register with their parents’ permission and email address an get their own URL which starts with mypage.it/ and then has their chosen nickname. To make it easy for children to create a fun site there are toys and games called Kidgets and wallpaper to make the sites attractive. Extra activities include videos and colouring in, and children learn to add these to their pages and move them around. All useful computer skills.

Perhaps most important of all children can communicate with their friends, view each other’s sites and also exchange the activities they have included on their own. The ability to communicate with friends on the internet is one of the things that attracts children to interactive online games, and this is a safe way to appeal to that wish while also helping them learn real computer skills.

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GameClassroom – Educational Games for Children

gameclassroom-comThis is a fun site that combines enjoyable games with learning that fits in with schools for the years from nursery to year/grade six. It’s designed with the attractive colours and images that would appeal to children and it looks like a standard computer games site. Each game is aimed at helping with skills – particularly English language and maths. The games include some brain-training type intelligence activities, needing hand and eye co-ordination. Others are more specifically for the maths and English classes taught in schools.

Racing cars are used to teach fractions, ability with numbers and patterns comes into stacking and other games needing calculations. Basics, such as months of the year for nursery-age children, lead up to more complex games including story starting techniques and prompts to get children writing. Along with the games there’s a homework help section with more detailed information and guidance on the subjects children will be studying for these important 7 years. Parents have been willing to pay for this kind of series on CD so the website should be a useful and entertaining resource, and something parents can do with their children to help them understand their studies.

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TeachersPayTeachers – Exchange of Teaching Materials

teacherspayteachers-comThis is one of those websites that immediately comes across as an excellent idea. It’s an open marketplace to let teachers buy and sell materials, from lesson plans to books. With teachers already on the website offering materials for all ages, from children to adults, it seems sure to do well. What a great time-saver it should be for teachers, and also an economical way to buy books and other goods. The chance to put those lesson plans to good use by sharing them seems like good use of time and effort, and why not make some extra income from them?

It’s well organised with bestselling items, newly added items, a full catalogue to browse, and ways to sort and search for exactly what you need. The website has been designed by teachers for teachers to use, and there’s no charge to list items for sale. Once sold the seller gets 60% of the price if they are using the free subscription. This rises to 85% if users pay an annual subscription fee of $59.95.

The site claims to be the first of its kind and states its aim as helping teachers to help each other succeed in their work, as well as making extra income. The materials are offered in various formats including PowerPoint presentations for the classroom. It’s easy to see how it could appeal to teachers wanting to sell their carefully developed lesson plans, and also those wanting to buy a prepared presentation.

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School of Everything – Matches Teachers and Learners

2845189519_fcecd7ac40Organised in the UK, this is an international site that lets learners find courses close to them or online, and also lets teachers register for free in an impressive range of specialist subjects. The layout is simple, with quick registration for teachers, and a search field for learners to find the subject of their choice. It’s also possible to search by city to get ideas from the variety of courses in each area.

A search for courses of interest to me and within walking distance showed teachers in my vicinity, which suggests how comprehensive the site is. The tutors also show high level experience and qualifications, and for many subjects there are both distance learning and face-to-face options. For students unsure about what they’d like to learn the site is attractively presented with the opportunity to explore major cities and the variety of courses to be found in each one. Popular courses are also listed to whet the learners’ appetite for study.

This resource will be useful for teachers and learners alike, and already has teachers registered in the UK, US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. An additional benefit is that teachers will be able to see how much competition they have in their location for the courses they could offer, and this could help them fill gaps in the service by promoting their more sought after subjects.

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Raylit – Internet Edutainment for Kids

Logo Some sites Internet claim to be totally kid safe, very few actually make it there. We found Raylit to be one of the better ones, making learning, education and games fun activities for the kids.

The site has all the content which you need when you are rearing a child. Coloring books, puzzles, handwriting improvement worksheets, cartoons, educational videos and games. The website also provides a section for the parents which allows them to keep track of their child’s activities and check their progress reports. The website is certified to be child safe so you can let your child browse it without any reservations or worries.

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