At EDUKWEST we have written a lot about curating existing educational content on the Internet instead of reinventing the wheel all over again by simply adding more content on the growing pile. There are startups like MentorMob, Learnist, Veri, Ginkgotree and others that enable educators to create curated lists or courses based on videos, articles or other freely available content like OER.
Kirsten recently spoke at the EdTech Innovator Award in London and StepUp.io was one of the six startups in the pitch competition. Although the team wasn’t award a prize, she found it an interesting idea worth to get covered on our site.
StepUp.io, a London-based edtech startup, fits into this overall trend of curation. What it does is to provide learners or educators with a tool that cuts educational videos into bitesized chunks that can then be learned at individual pace or repeated as many times until mastered.
There are a bunch of use cases one can imagine but probably two make the most sense to us: music and languages. Coming back to the point of a ton of free video lessons being freely available on YouTube, one have a good basis to learn an instrument or language from scratch. The problem is that most tutors who upload videos don’t have the skills required or patience to insert repetitive sections into their videos. Most of the videos deal with a problem but simply run through the explanation without repeating the concept enough times so that the student really gets it.
Of course, you can pause and rewind a video in the YouTube player by hand but let’s face it, it does not work very well and is kind of annoying. And this is where StepUp.io comes in.
You can embed the YouTube video you want to learn with on the StepUp.io platform and chunk it into bitesized learning modules. Each module can then be looped until mastered. You can also create your own learning curve by combining chunks, stepping up your game so to say, until you are able to watch the entire video in one take.
I think StepUp.io is a really useful tool for self directed learners and independent tutors who publish video lessons on YouTube. It adds a great learning experience to an otherwise pretty linear way of consuming educational videos.
The issues I see for StepUp.io are how to build a community that will create video lessons on the platform. In order to achieve this the platform needs to offer better ways to find and categorize learning content and also create learning playlists similar to MentorMob or Learnist.
All in all, I see StepUp.io in its current form more as a feature than an independent product. Adding more structure and building a community around the content might elevate the product into a real learning platform.
And having Bernard Niesner of busuu as a mentor through the Founders Forum for Good it will be interesting to follow StepUp.io’s progress in the months to come and to see Bernard’s potential impact on product and strategy.
— FoundersForumForGood (@FF_forgood) January 31, 2014