Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview with Eric Bockmuller, Tackk Learning: Innovators in E-Learning

Strategies for sharing instructional materials succeed when they work with the behaviors that people already embrace. This can seem like a moving target with social media, but there are ways to stay up to date. Welcome to an interview with the leadership, Eric Bockmuller and Dan Klammer, of Tackk, an innovative provider of ways for educators to share information and instructional materials.

1. What is your name and your relation to elearning?
Our name is Tackk and since our launch in September we've really seen educators embracing Tackk as a tool for the classroom and especially homework. We didn't set out to build Tackk as a learning solution -- just one to help people create and share content in the simplest way possible. The fact that Tackk is becoming so popular among educators, though, confirms  there was a real need for a simple content creation tool for students and teachers.

2. What do you think are the top two or three elements that contribute to effective engagement and learning in an elearning or mlearning environment?
We built Tackk with three core principles in mind:
1. We eliminate friction - No sign-up or login required, no design skills necessary,no community to join
2. We simplify creation - Instant editing and addition of images, video, and form fields
3. We make sharing easy - Share via email, social networks, embed or pasting your URL
In a nutshell, Tackk empowers everyone (not just designers and web developers) to create and share content on the web. This simple approach unlocks creativity and gives voice to more ideas - the cornerstone of any productive learning environment.

3. What is Tackk?
Tackk was co-founded by two designers (Eric Bockmuller and Dan Klammer) who were getting a lot of requests for one-off digital designs from friends whose tech skills maxed out at typing an email. Our idea was to build a simple tool that would let anyone create and share great looking content instantly on the web.
No software or login is required. No design skill needed. No community to join. Just visit the Tackk home page and start typing. When you’re done creating your Tackk, you can immediately share it with friends in your social networks or the internet at large. It’s no more complicated than tacking a flier to the coffee shop bulletin board.

4. Who uses Tackk and why?
One of our goals when we launched Tackk was to prove that a broad spectrum of people would find Tackk valuable across an equally broad range of uses. We were successful on both counts.  We see Tackks ranging from the birth of a new baby http:// to selling cars and boats, to recipe ideas We’ve also seen people from all walks of life creating Tackks. In fact, more than half of our users don’t speak English as their primary language, with 18% of our users coming from Japan.
There is an obvious need in the market for users to generate and share their content on the web with a dead-simple solution. With most tools you're either limited by the number of characters and photos you can add or you have to commit large amounts of time into writing a blog, creating a video or building a website. Tackk eliminates all that and lets you share content on the web without any of those limitations.

5. Could you give a few examples of how / where / when Tackk has been used successfully?


a) Music reports: It looks like one class did reports on a wide range of artists -- from Justin Bieber to Ray Charles to the Rolling Stones -- incorporating images, multimedia and copy.

    b) History/geography reports (some with citations):
        c) Student career goals/plans:
            d) Government assignment... replacing Congress?

            e) One of the first classroom uses of Tackk. Koko the Gorilla reports!

            One of our employees even contributed his own Tackk, which was shared with the class, about his visit to Rwanda: 

            Communication among teachers:

            a) List of resources for ESL teachers:

            b) Event promotion for educators:

            c) Sharing tips, best practices and education thoughts: 

             Communication with students/parents (facilitating class): 
              a) Posting class resources and readings: 

              b) Post assignments and reminders:
              6. what do you think are some of the most exciting trends right now?
              It’s so obvious that it sounds trite, but the Internet has changed so many aspects of how we communicate and share stories. User generated content (or UGC) has become a powerful, democratizing force in how we decide lots of things -- from what products to buy to which leaders to elect. YouTube and Twitter, at their core, are tools for capturing and sharing stories and have empowered millions of people to have a voice in the world. However, many of the tools available to normal people are still more complicated than they have to be or don’t allow for robust storytelling. New tools like Tackk are emerging to make it easier for anyone to tell rich, engaging stories. 


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              Susan Smith Nash
              Susan Smith Nash

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