Virtual Learning

Kayla is a college student who is the lead on an assigned class project. She is introduced to Yourknow by a friend who has used the product successfully for a term paper in the past. So she registers as a user and creates an account. She forwards a link to John, Avery, and Anny to register on YourKnow and create accounts too, after which she invites them to join the group she has created, called Project 2020.

As the group lead and Admin, Kayla schedules a live collaboration event and the team members join in at the scheduled time. Using the writing pad as well as the instant messaging/chatroom feature, they plan the project and decide there and then to co-write a draft. After writing the introduction, Kayla passes the pen to Anny who based on the plan, writes a paragraph. Anny then passes the pen to Avery who continues linking his thoughts seamlessly and maintaining the writing style of his colleagues. The general consensus at this stage is that John will do further checks on some data that needs to be in the next paragraph and use the sequential collaboration functionality to add to the document. That functionality has a date and time stamp so the other members of the group will know when and what has been added to their saved document.

Kayla is pleased with what they have been able to accomplish thus far and she receives lots of commendations from her team for suggesting YourKnow. She schedules the next live collaboration event to continue work on the project. The plan is to ace it and publish same in the YourKnow library for the benefit of other students and researchers.       

The phenomenon of virtual classroom and education has seen an upsurge as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disturb global educational calendars. Just as life must go on in spite of the challenges this virus poses, education and knowledge acquisition cannot be on lock down. But there can be issues with student participation and interaction in a virtual environment. Even in physical classroom settings, there are students who always have their hands raised to participate in discussions and others who hesitate to engage.

Emelina Minero in a recent write up on strategies to improve participation in this COVID era, categorized them into synchronous and asynchronous. My interest in this blog is particularly to focus on one synchronous strategy – using group projects to enhance student participation in remote learning. 

More project-based learning activities tend to encourage research and richer discussions in virtual learning. YourKnow is increasingly becoming your one-stop shop for everything Collaboration.  We envision a future with audio/visual features and students turning in assignments on the platform.  

YourKnow is a social productivity platform. Our flagship is live collaboration with a document as its end product. There are many collaboration apps, but YourKnow has a different feel and offers a unique experience. It caters to the needs of people who desire to collaborate with the expectation of having a written word or document. Whether you are a student, professor or business professional working on a project with others, YourKnow is the product of choice.

Digital Community

In this day and age, one effective way of creating customer engagement is for a business to have a thriving online community. The truth of the matter is that while membership in real-life, in-person social groups, clubs, and societies has been on the decline, there is a surge in the growth of digital communities. It is likely and it appears to be the norm that a group of people seated in the same lounge will rather connect and engage with others across the globe on their mobile devices than to be in conversation with one another. What brings people together now may not be physical proximity, but rather shared interests.

According to Chris Beer, there must be good reasons why Internet users have in recent years been moving away from broadcasting themselves to posting content that have community at its very heart. Arguably, our sense of community is still alive. What has changed is the medium of engagement. Users share their experiences, product knowledge, and feedback. Marketers also use such platforms to keep track of consumers’ changing expectations, help them to feel involved, and deepen brand-consumer relationships.  

YourKnow like other collaboration apps help organizations to have a congregation of clients and customers who in a bid to providing feedback also create a lot of content and metadata. These can be aggregated, analyzed, and evaluated for organizational efficiency. It’s a known fact that customers spend more after joining a company’s online community. Customized social communities tend to inure more to the benefit of businesses than regular third party social networks. It’s this service that Yourknow provides as a B2B and B2C enterprise which makes it unique. It is not just a third party network but a social productivity platform in the truest sense of the expression.

YourKnow is a content creation site where the written word is the end product. It’s where your customers can create relevant user-generated content and discuss same. Business leaders can moderate these discussions. Any content created may be shared for the benefit of all group members or invitees only. The file permissions functionality built into the group feature allows Admins to have control over what gets shared and with whom. 

Digital community is just one of many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to use this platform in your daily life. Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

2 Pizzas

Teamwork is always at the center of success in every organization. People should be able to harness their resources in a team environment that is lean, efficient, and effective. Meetings and other collaboration tools are indeed necessary avenues to plan, execute, and achieving optimal productivity. A collaboration or meeting should be quick to organize, short in time, and should not have more people than 2 pizzas can feed.   

This has been Jeff Bezos’ team rule since the inception of his business empire. No matter how large an organization grows, it’s important to have smaller teams, ideally 6 and not exceeding 10 people on a team. Central to teamwork are connection and communication, both of which become a nightmare with large numbers. According to J. Richard Hackman, an organizational psychologist and expert on team dynamics, the main problem is with the number of links between people as teams become bigger. His formula

where n=number of people

  • In a team of 6, the number of links between them is 15  — 6(6-1)/2
  • In a team of 12, the number of links jumps to 66 – 12(12-1)/2
  • In a team of 15, the number of links is a whopping 105 – 15(15-1)/2

As organizations endeavor to leverage and make good use of their employees’ time, skills and talents, YourKnow is one great platform for hosting real-time live collaborations and meetings. YourKnow is the place where you can be efficient with your meetings especially given the barrage of meetings people attend these days.    

COVID-19 and Copyright

When it’s all over, done with, and dusted, COVID-19 will be remembered for different things. Prominent on the list will be fear, uncertainty, and toilet paper. There are many others which may not be getting the attention duly deserved, but affect the lives of millions of global citizens.  

In most parts of the world, pre-k through twelfth grade, colleges, and universities have all gone virtual. Distance learning, e-learning or online learning, however you prefer to label it, has become the new normal. Wherever and whenever content is created, used, shared, and redistributed, the issue of copyright and intellectual property cannot be discarded.

Mike Masnick, in a write-up on the nature of our permission culture, reviews the effects of this pandemic on our already cumbersome copyright laws and vice versa. Unless a material is in the public domain, the fact that something is publicly available does not mean that it does not require a license or permission. We operate from the assumption that a material is copyrighted whether there is a copyright statement and or symbol on it or not. Once it is the intellectual property of someone and it was not created and produced with public funds, whoever owns the copyright must be sought and permission obtained.

In this COVID-19 era when there is a proliferation and use of e-learning and collaboration platforms, even with fair use license provisions and recent special contingencies like Pandemic License and Education Continuity License, not everything permissible in a classroom setting can be replicated online. Interestingly an author must publicly designate a work as covered under the Pandemic License before it can be read aloud in an online classroom or a recording of such reading be uploaded in an e-learning management platform. This is getting in the way of teachers and online collaborators. It’s causing unnecessary delays in knowledge sharing and acquisition.

We are already dealing with a lot. Can life progress without fear of liability suits and when this is all over, get post-usage clearance or take down such content?  There hasn’t been a global pandemic in a century and the last time there was one, the Internet wasn’t here with us. Maybe this is a good time to review our copyright laws in the wake of what appears to be the new normal, going forward. YourKnow and other platforms stand to gain and education will be the better for it.        

Social Distancing

They say desperate times call for desperate measures. As an optimist, I’ll not say we are in desperate times, but the truth of the matter is that these times are so different from the reality we’ve been used to for a century. Everything about how we live and operate as a human species has been so much affected by COVID-19. The new normal of social distancing has caught us by surprise. An unseen virus has pushed us so much to the wall that we’re beginning to look for other ways to stay connected, relevant, and productive.

Humans have always known the importance of combined efforts. We have teamed up, worked together, and collaborated since antiquity. We know, and it’s been proven, that we get more when we harness resources from experts of different backgrounds who have varied perspectives, opinions, and experiences.

In a Rolling Stone article titled “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, Elias Leight shares the stories of top song writing professionals currently using Zoom and FaceTime to work remotely and are collaboratively writing next year’s hit songs. More collaboration apps are now joining the mix. There is no better time than now for song writers and lyricists to explore YourKnow’s unique feature of “Passing the Pen”.    

writing lyrics in YourKnow
Writing lyrics in YourKnow

In pre-corona virus era, we all preferred face-to-face meetings and human interactions to online collaborations. Given the opportunity, most people would take in-person courses as opposed to online programs. People traveled several miles and sometimes across continents to attend meetings, seminars, and conferences. In the music industry, most song writers in “collabo” wanted to sit together in the same room to connect and write lyrics.  

We are now seeing more remote sessions and this trend is picking up out of necessity. This pandemic is not only changing the world but may be changing the way we work forever; it is also affording us the opportunity to rethink more effective and efficient ways to get things done.

Yourknow has the technology not only for tele-songwriting, but for everything that seeks “the written word” as its end product. Social Distancing or not, it’s an enhancement to assuring live, real-time collaboration with a purpose.

Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

Lifelong Product

The more I think about lifelong learning skills, the more inclined I am to relate those characteristics to what makes a product beneficial to its users over the long haul. Some skills are beneficial to master because they are important for success throughout the different phases of life. A lifelong product is one that is relevant and applicable in spite of all the transitions that one needs to experience in life, not forgetting technological advancements. It may be a truism but change is the only constant in life. We live in a fluid world where things are constantly in a state of flux. A lot of dynamism and adaptability traits are therefore needed to stay relevant and competitive.

Lee Watanabe-Crockett, in a write-up on beneficial learning skills, posits that working in groups is the hallmark of the digital age. In school, in addition to individual assignments, group projects and teamwork form an integral part of classroom work and assessment. The ability to be a good team player and to work well with others in a group setting at the workplace is necessary for success and optimum productivity.

YourKnow fosters creativity and the sharing of passions and ideas. It caters to groups that are both physical and virtual. Communication is key in every human endeavor but it is now more than just face-to-face interactions. How can we work with one another across the globe as easily and effectively as across the room? YourKnow’s Collaborations tool is the answer. Create a group, invite others with like passions and schedule a live event to create, share, and publish for the benefit of yourself and others. 

From high school through college and on into the workplace, YourKnow’s Just Me feature is one of the most effective and efficient ways to take and digitally save classroom lecture notes, to-dos and action items from corporate meetings, and store personal files for easy retrieval. Just as employers look for people with both team member and individual contributor attributes, YourKnow allows you to work well in both situations.

These are just a couple of the many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to connect with the world in your daily life. From “I can do it” to “we can do it”, visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

Social Productivity

In my quest to empower myself and others, I seek collaboration. One cannot underestimate the power of human interactions especially those of persons with a modicum of shared beliefs, mission, and passion. According to Ross Mayfield, Social Productivity is getting things done yourself and largely with other people. It is the combination of Personal Productivity and Collaboration that empowers people.

We have come to appreciate the essence of Personal Productivity apps like calendar, notes and many others that allow you to work across devices. Although they are very useful, you essentially have to draft or write something and message same to someone. The opportunity to connect and even think with people in real time as and when ideas pop up is curtailed.  

At YourKnow, we have created something different. We have given real meaning to Social Productivity consistent with the demands and exigencies of this age. Why must you only seek to be personally productive when you can create content together with the added features of chat and instant messaging and the choice to publish in our library for the good of humanity?  

This is just one of the many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to connect with the world in your daily life. Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

The Sharing Economy

We have been told that sharing is a relic of pre-modern societies. It’s the hallmark of communal, egalitarian systems where the mantra “sharing is caring” finds its truest expression and meaning. The Sharing Economy is now upon us. People and organizations are creating markets in sharing by facilitating exchanges. The Sharing Economy is destabilizing traditional businesses. Paz Gómez in a published article “How the Sharing Economy Liberates Us” posits that the collaborative economy makes good use of the communications technology we have in this 21st century to gain competitive advantage. This has been responsible for the respective success stories of Uber, Cabify, Airbnb, and many others.

YourKnow is the platform that responds to the spontaneity of the human spirit. It facilitates the cultivation of minds. It encourages the sharing of intellect. There is no feature accentuating sharing and real time collaboration more than YourKnow’s “passing the pen”. Group members can interactively work together and make edits in the same document in real time and pass the pen back and forth as each member makes edits or additions to the document.

As a registered user who is a member of a collaboration group, you can schedule a live online event with other group members. From the landing page, put your cursor on Collaborations and in the drop-down menu select Groups Membership. You will see all the groups that you belong. Choose a group and use the Events/Calendar tab to schedule and invite others. The invitees will then receive notification alerts.     

Adding an Event
Adding an Event

The organizer must start the event at the scheduled time and that will open the writing pad and a chatroom for instant messaging. The invitees can work together in the writing pad by passing the pen between or among them.

Writing Pad
Writing Pad

Sharing is just one of the many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to use this platform in your daily life. Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

Civility and Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago (9/26/19), in the midst of all the impeachment inquiry, there was a Congressional committee hearing on opportunities for increased civility and collaboration in Congress. There is no argument over the fact that in every human institution and endeavor, collaboration between and among parties is key. We use collaboration to build trust, confidence, and influence.  In the Congressional hearing, George Mason University associate professor Jennifer Victor suggested that to fight polarization, the House can develop an internal Facebook-like platform to facilitate interactions.

Years ago, in graduate school, I learned something that has stayed with me since. People always talk about making compromises in life in order to forge ahead. When you compromise, both sides give up something in order to get most of what they want. However, when you collaborate, both sides only add to the final product making it a win-win for everyone involved.      

YourKnow was created to bring people together to collaborate, cultivate minds, and to share.  We have gone to great lengths to determine the ideal collaboration features necessary to facilitate healthy working groups.  It is this mix of features that allow for civility and collaboration during public discourse and a desire to build something greater together than could be built alone. As a registered user or publisher, you have the ability to create new groups that are either public or private depending on how you plan to collaborate.  From the landing page, click on the Collaborations menu item and then click on Create Group.  Once your new group is created, invite other users who share your passion.

Create a group
Create a Group

The other features within the Collaboration menu are:

  • Group Membership – shows a list of all the groups that you are currently a member
  • Search Groups – provides a full list of all created groups and there is a search tool to use
  • Group Rules are the rules of engagement for either private or public groups      

Collaboration is just one of the many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to use this platform in your daily life.  Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.

Just Me is Just For You

I enjoy writing for a myriad of reasons. Whereas I strongly believe that a weakness should be managed like a chronic disease, a strength must be harnessed, accentuated and focused on. I came to the conclusion years ago that my writing skill will connect me with people with the speed of light. I’ve been able to reach places and persons of different shades and colors, from diverse persuasions and creed, and around the globe in a space of time unimaginable by the power of the keyboard and the Internet as an enabler.   Writing is my connection to the world, but sometimes writing is for just me.

YourKnow was created to be a human companion and designed to bring people together to consume and share like never before. Write and upload your reflections, academic papers, publications, project work, meeting minutes, notes and share with your group members.

Just Me screen
Just Me Screen

YourKnow also contains a cool feature which is just for you and it’s called Just Me. As a registered user or publisher, select My YourKnow from the landing page and on the dropdown menu, click on Just Me.

Once there, create a new file or upload a file your created on your local device. You may also use the notepad to write your notes and this is ideal for college students who take notes in class. Clicking anywhere outside of the writing pad will automatically save your document and it will be available for later viewing and editing.

Just Me is just one of the many ways YourKnow is making it easy for you to use our platform in your daily life.  Visit YourKnow today and register to become a user for life.