When I taught kindergarten I was constantly searching for new ideas and projects for my students. My go to resource was typically Pinterest’s, but pins for educators often lacked in-depth guidelines that teachers need to create lesson plans. That is when another teacher recommended the social network Learnist. This social network was created for people with a special interest in education. Learnist is for teachers, students, and anyone who is passionate about learning.
Learnist is a lot like Pinterest in the fact that it allows people to share resources on what they call Learnboards in order to design featured lessons. When describing themselves on their about page they talk about having a learner first mentality. They say here, “Our goal is to make the undertaking of learning a fun and engaging social activity. Everything we do is focused on improving the process of learning new things with the help of our peers.” They view learning as a social pursuit, so it only makes sense for there to be a social network devoted to it.
Learnist allows users to share videos, podcasts, images, blogs, and lesson plans through their social network. Their greatest feature is that all of this information is presented in a visually pleasing platform that is easy for people to understand. Content is listed under specific categories. Let’s assume that we are interested in learning about art. All you need to do is click on the Art&Design category and it will connect you to featured lessons.
If we click on the Learnboard titled Learning How to Sketch we can see guide by guide lessons that take you through the basics of becoming a master sketch artist. We can see that 3,650 members have saved this Learnboard as well. This allows us to connect with people who have similar interests in learning.
The Learnboard creature has even designed her lesson for users of various skill levels. She connects us to unique articles and youtube instruction videos that help us learn how to become better sketch artist. Now I can finally perfect my part time hobby, full time obsession of drawing Johnny Depp fan art.
Or if sketching the chiseled beauty of Johnny Depp isn’t up your alley, you can always search for a topic that interests you. As many of you know, I am currently pursuing my master’s degree. I am constantly reading articles, blogs, and books on how to become more viable in the workforce. What’s great about Learnist is that it connects learning materials for me. I especially loved the Learnboard on Emporing Women as Entrepreneurs. The creature linked articles and videos to the board from Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Youtube, and Linked in that all pertain to female entrepreneurs.
On each article I am then able to share this to other major social media channels. Just look at the links that are located on the left side of the article. From the Learnboard for Women Entrepreneurs an article from Oprah.com was posted.
They have links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google+. Now all of my social network followers will be able to know I am living my best life, just like Oprah told me to. All joking aside, from a user perspective it makes the learning process easier and more effective. Sure, I would have been able to find all of this material by searching on my own, but this site is connecting me to all of this at once in an easy to use format. Their incorporation of IMC strategies just further enables me to share these in my own personal social network.
Opportunity for Proximity Marketing
Being that Learnist is a social networking site for all things education, the opportunities for location based marketing are endless. I learned from this article in Adweek, that the best proximity marketing techniques involve geolocation based beacons and coupons. Companies are able to send coupons, discount alerts, and news letters to members near their location.
Sponsors for Learnist are all connected to education or communication in some way. Learnist states they are backed by Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Discovery Communications, Inc., GSV Capital, Integral Capital Partners, and New Schools Ventures. If you check out a few of the links I have provided you can see that these partners are what we call “big deals” in the education community. Discovery in particular invested $20 million dollars into the social channel. These companies are based around the world, but often sponsor education events and programs. Learnist could send alerts and coupons through geolocation when members are near sponsors associated with the site.
Along with this, I think that a great next step for Learnist would be to sponsor live learning events and programs. Members of Learnist can go to events to learn new desired skills such as DIY Terrariums, Survival Courses, or Latte Art. The list of possibilities for them is endless. People can check in with Facebook checkin or Sqaurespace under Learnist. They would promote the network and further strengthen member loyalty.
Can Learnest Standout from the Crowd?
As I have said Learnist is an amazing resource for educators. Their format is simple and precise, making the learning process all the more enjoyable. At the same time, I do not believe that people outside of education have really heard about it. They have promoted the site by having celebrities, authors, and well know entrepreneurs create their own Learnboards. Don’t get me wrong, these are great starting points for the company. Plenty of people know about Learnist as a result, yet compared to other social networks their user numbers are nothing to brag about. In order for the company to stand the test of time, they need to increase their brand awareness by getting their name out into the real world. Live sponsored events could do just that for them. After all, education is meant to be implemented in the real world and not just the online community that Learnist devotes itself too. By self-actualizing their philosophy and bringing their lesson plans into a real world setting they will bring the Learnist brand to the next level.