Elluminate Launches Ground-breaking Social Learning Network for Education

PLEASANTON, Calif. (June 30, 2009) – Elluminate, Inc. is expanding its role as a leading provider of web, audio, and video solutions for real-time online learning and collaboration by launching a new social learning network for education.  More than a social network or learning community, LearnCentral™ is an open environment that enables those who are passionate about teaching and learning to connect with like-minded colleagues to share, collaborate, inspire, and be inspired on a global level.

LearnCentral is free and open to professionals in the global education community, not just Elluminate customers.  In addition to providing the social networking tools that enable members to find and connect with others to share content and best practices, LearnCentral also provides collaboration tools for meeting in real-time virtual rooms and holding and attending events.  Upon joining LearnCentral, each member receives a free Elluminate vRoom™, a virtual meeting room for up to three participants or locations.

The network is moderated by Elluminate’s Social Learning Consultant Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0, which reached 25,000 members last week, director of the K12 Open Technologies Initiative at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and a columnist for School Library Journal.  Hargadon is a frequent blogger, podcaster, and webinar host who covers a wide variety of topics, including Web 2.0, educational technology, and social networking.

“While still in its early stages, LearnCentral has the potential to help bring about historic changes in the ability of educators to communicate, collaborate, and share by combining asynchronous social networking with the synchronous online meeting capability of Elluminate,” explained Hargadon.  “We are in the midst of nothing less than an educational renaissance, where the collaboration with other educators that took place only at annual conferences starts to happen every day, and where educational careers can be built around or supplemented as part of specialty areas of focus.”

Similar to Elluminate’s No User Left Behind product philosophy, the mission of LearnCentral is No Educator Left Alone.  Here real-time dialogue produces real-world results, connecting educators peer to peer, classroom to classroom, school to school, and country to country to form a collective wisdom that is greater than the sum of its parts.

LearnCentral is an opportunity to connect globally, enabling educators to be more productive and effective.  Studies show that professional networking and development leads to improved student outcomes, increased teacher job satisfaction, and higher teacher retention, saving institutions the cost of professional development and new hire programs.  At a deeper level, LearnCentral is a call to action to help bring about positive change within the education community worldwide.

“Elluminate is making history. We listened to those in the education community who told us they wanted a destination for education, a way to connect, collaborate, and learn with others on a global level,” said Maurice Heiblum, president, Elluminate, Inc.  “We believe that 21st century education calls for 21st century solutions, and we understand that the learning landscape must evolve into what we call EDU 2.0.  The way we accomplish this is to be always learning, together. We believe that the power of community has the power to transform.”

LearnCentral Features
The network provides tools that enable members to:
·    Connect with peers worldwide
·    Share ideas, discuss issues, solve problems
·    Meet with colleagues in real time with Elluminate vRoom
·    Develop and share standards-based curricula
·    Access a library of peer-rated resources
·    Discover relevant content for the classroom
·    Improve skills and increase effectiveness
·    Create and maintain a portfolio of learning content
·    Join and create groups
·    Collaborate on projects and best practices
·    Mentor and be mentored
·    Increase visibility of an academic institution
·    Conduct professional development training
·    Attend events with thought leaders in education community
·    Participate in global dialogue to help transform education

LearnCentral Private Edition
A custom-branded community, LearnCentral Private Edition enables academic institutions and industry organizations to use their own logos and colors, provide single sign-on to a private community, access searchable public/private content, schedule communitywide events, and facilitate real-time meeting, teaching, and learning with Elluminate web collaboration technology.  In the future, the company plans to integrate this social learning component with its core suite of web collaboration products.

LearnCentral Members Comment
“Elluminate’s LearnCentral has blended the best features of social networking with a content management system that provides the ability to share resources and content within groups or the whole educational community,” said Stan Silverman, director of the Technology-Based Learning Systems Department of New York Institute of Technology and technology chair for the New York State Teacher Centers.  “The ease of use and multiple functionalities allow districts, schools, educational organizations, and individuals to easily develop and deploy a dynamic communication and sharing network.  LearnCentral allows individuals and groups to participate in scheduled cross-network events as well as provide live events for a specific group.”

“We’ve been looking for a way to connect our faculty groups so they can share tips, guidelines, and teaching strategies with one another online, and LearnCentral certainly has that potential,” said Blaine Morrow, project director for CCC Confer.  “It may also become a useful way to organize and distribute learning/teaching objects, like lesson plans and portable archives, among a community of instructors.  I’m looking forward to seeing this grow and blossom!”

“I’m really excited about the potential of what LearnCentral will become for educators,” commented teacher Donelle O’Brien from Visions in Education Charter School.  “The combination of educational networking, with the free Elluminate vRoom capability, holds tremendous opportunity to significantly contribute to teaching and learning worldwide.  LearnCentral will also make it easy for classrooms to connect, providing an organized platform for collaboration and student engagement.”

About Elluminate, Inc.
Elluminate, Inc. provides proven, best-in-class web, video, and audio solutions for real-time online learning and collaboration that deliver exceptional outcomes, including enhanced learning experiences, increased retention and completion rates, and higher ROI.  Elluminate serves more than 600 million annual web-collaboration minutes to over 7 million teachers and students located in 170 different countries.  The winner of several prestigious awards, the company is also one of Deloitte’s 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies and is positioned in the Visionaries Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing, 2008.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Pleasanton, California, Elluminate is the trusted choice of prominent academic institutions and corporations, including ADP, Apple Computer, California State University, Florida Virtual School, Georgetown University, K12 Inc., London Knowledge Lab, Los Angeles Unified School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Novell, Queen’s University, Royal Veterinary College, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and many more.  For more information, visit http://www.elluminate.com.

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