Friday, February 18, 2011

Curriculum Resource: Qwiki Is Turning Information into an Experience

I've recently discovered Qwiki, which bills itself as the first company to turn information into an experience.

For example, my son recently gave a short presentation on the Mason-Dixon line for our history coop.  But here is what it looks like as a Qwiki:

You can click on many of the pictures to see them in more detail, or if you watch it on the Qwiki website, you can watch it in "Contents" and see the written text all at once with explanations of the related pictures or videos.  Also on the website is the ability to contribute to the "wiki" part of Qwiki by rating the presentation, giving feedback, or offering additional information or resources to improve the experience.

Apparently, it does all this on the fly, searching the web for open source material such as Wikipedia and putting those items into a computer-generated presentation.  So I think that is pretty amazing.  But they are working on a version that publishers can use to create similar presentations out of their proprietary information sources.  The company recently got $8 million in investment money from people like the co-founders of Facebook and YouTube--the kind of people who know what they are doing in the new world of social digital media.  I think this indicates that Qwiki may be a major player in the next level of digital information packaging over the Web.

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