Open Study – Design Boost Team Profile

[ 0 ] March 11, 2010 |

Open Study is a project out of Flat World Knowledge.  Flat World is envisioning a mobile application in which learners participate in particular learning activities (such as quizzes and flashcards or other interactive exercises), provides clear feedback on performance by being tightly coupled to relevant chunked textbook content delivered just in time to the learner.  Vocused on higher education students, learners would also be able to share the results of their study activities with others via the usual mechanisms such as Facebook.

Reading a textbook can be…dry.  We plan to engage users by a particular game model, but are still pondering the best option.  The benefit:  Students can augment their typical textbook reading experience with an engaging and practical exercise on a mobile platform. Of course, the app would take advantage of the applicable physical opportunities of the mobile device.

The team is looking to the Design Boost as a unique opportunity to take their first foray into the mobile application space.  Probably most useful for Flat World will be the collaborative brain trust from which to bounce new ideas, learn product development tips, tricks, and methodologies, and hopefully jump start their mobile application process.

The Open Study team consists of Brad Felix and John Britton.

Brad brings over 15 years of experience building, managing, and teaching about (and with) educational technology.  Brad actually built his first educational application for his sister when he was 11 years old, on a Commodore 64.  Since it had no hard drive, he had to rewrite it each time they turned on the computer.  He is credited with co-designing and developing one of the world’s first web-based learning management systems as VP of Technology for eCollege. In that role, he hired and built product development, quality assurance, design, hosting, and technical support teams to serve the burgeoning product line as the company grew from 4 to over 400 employees.  Brad has also worked with various Student Information Systems companies, an educational technology consultant, school technology coordinator, and, last but not least, as a classroom teacher.

Brad just transitioned from Chief Technology Officer to Chief Learning Officer at Flat World Knowledge, an open content textbook publisher. After managing the design and construction of the open content publishing platform, he is now turning his attention towards the Flat World product line and the associated strategy, pedagogy and development. 

Back in the 90s, when John was just a young lad, he built his first ecommerce website for a gourmet food delivery service in NYC. Little did he know, this would be the first step toward a career of internet based ventures.  John started university by pursuing a degree in Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After being swayed toward Computer Science by a friend who introduced him to GNU/Linux he changed his major and took on a number of programming jobs to put himself through college. In 2008, John was selected to be a part of the Google Summer of Code Program, this marked his first commit to open source software and set him on a trajectory to continue to contribute to open source projects and related movements. 

Aside from work, John organizes Open Everything events and participates in a number of user groups.  He’s addicted to travel and has Couch Surfed in over twenty countries. In pursuit of his passion for Open Education he is a contributor to the Peer 2 Peer University.

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Category: Boost and Accelerator Teams, Design Boost, Higher Education

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