Originally posted September 2nd, 2008.
Living in Silicon Valley and hearing about the latest technology news from local sources, it is easy to forget about what is happening in the rest of the world! However, being a foreign languages aficionado and having worked in Community Development with Egbert Van Keulen, I continued to follow up with his latest ventures as he worked on Myngle: the global online language e-learning platform, connecting people and cultures from all over the world. I knew Egbert was extremely bright from hearing his input on Community, but did not expect he would have up to 20,000 users in less than 7 months, not to mention the 800.000 euros raised already!! Myngle has proved to be one of the most promising ICT companies in Benelux.
Although personally I prefer to learn languages through in person human interaction, if I did have to choose an online method, Myngle would certainly be my top choice. Since December 2007, Myngle has brought together language teachers and students from all over the world, enabling live lessons or conversational practice over the Internet. Myngle offers a solution that provides the possibility of teaching or receiving live one-on-one classes from the comfort of your home for practically any language and level from any type of teacher.
Myngle brilliantly removes the physical dimension to learning a new language, and allows students and teachers to get together for real time lessons in the best possible combinations, at the most convenient times, and – crucially – between any two points in the world. Students are able to find teachers online for any language, and a method that meets their individual needs.
Myngle is unique as it has developed the first in online education special search algorithm that matches the student’s needs with the right courses, and already offers about 900 different teacher/course combinations students can choose from. Teachers (and even offline language schools) are able to reach students anywhere in the world, and showcase their abilities and services to a much wider audience.
How do teachers and students communicate?
Myngle offers a toolkit for synchronous learning, which consists of VoIP (Skype) plus own integrated whiteboard, payment systems (Paypal), feedback and a community environment. Myngle’s feedback system is made up of comments and ratings left by students who were taught by the relevant teacher. These comments and ratings are available in the public Feedback Profile of each member. Extra features will gradually be added to enrich the learning experience, such as podcasts, homework, 3D virtual reality classroom/roleplays, etc.
The most exciting features of Myngle, Virtual Classroom, will be launching sometime next week. This Virtual Classroom will empower teachers and students’ full interactivity in a lesson. Besides filesharing and Skype integration it will have:
Marking tools right above the lesson slides, or with a blank whiteboard (so that users can draw or write real-time);
Video feed (teachers can turn on/off when they wish to interact visually with the student);
Enabling lessons with several students;
And there will be a few surprise features we will have to wait until Thursday to discover!
Myngle’s team is composed of experienced Community and Foreign language devotees, formerly employees of eBay and Berlitz, and including all types of nationalities such as The Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Brazil, Ukraine, England, and Indonesia!
For additional information, screenshots, or photos feel free to contact:
Egbert van Keulen
As the Dutch say, “Veel plezier met leren!”