iTunes U. Knowledge has intrinsic value, but the advantage of learning in a classroom, online or in-person, is the relationships you build. Those who build critical connections well before, during and after their course will get far more value from the experience – but on this score, iTunes U is lackluster. Again, profiles of learners and faculty are input manually by administrators. Detailed biographies may be provided by faculty in drop-down menus on courses – but not automatically. As well, the usefulness of these profiles for networking is only as good as the information you see there – which is lacking. Basically, it’s just the information you would see in an Apple smartphone Contacts app. Armed only with basic information, such as the name, email address and hometown of each participant, there are no natural data points learners can use to easily remember and engage with each other.
STEKIO. Importing profile data from detailed LinkedIn profiles generates instant value on the networking angle. Instantly connect the face to the name and see detailed biographies for individual profiles. Even better, you can instantly see the names and faces of anyone’s connections. That makes it much easier to notice mutual points of contact to help with introductions and forming cooperative teams right out of the gate. This category is a big win for STEKIO – and for the learners who want to stay connected.