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Mobile Mixable creates social course spaces

February 15, 2011

I am not a big fan of watching conference presentations online, but I’m glad I made an exception last night. I thoroughly enjoyed the Horizon Report release session, broadcast live from the ELI Conference in Washington, DC. I will be sharing some projects I learned about, starting with Purdue’s new tool, Mixable.

Released last fall as a “Studio” project by ITAP, Purdue’s IT group, Mixable is now being used in sixteen courses by over 1300 students — this according to Kyle Bowen, who spoke at the ELI event. The project website summarizes:

Mixable acts as social overlay that students can use to connect with Facebook friends who share the same courses and learning communities.

Mixable is a course tool that lets student create online study groups, capitalizing on services provided through existing social applications. One of the features I found particularly interesting is that it incorporates Dropbox as an alternative to carrying around a flash drive. Students can access any of their class discussions, web links, and shared files on a computer or smartphone.

Mixable is a kind course management system — but it was not created as a replacement to products like Blackboard. This is more of a social tool. Purdue built it after perceiving a need for a product  that could cordon off and organize study spaces inside Facebook.

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