Berlin, 26. September 2011
Digital Campus Opens its Gates – International Network for Teaching and Research Brings Web 2.0 Technology to Higher Education.
Starting today, students and faculty will be able to use the online platform iversity for free.
iversity leverages the potential of Web 2.0 technology to improve academic collaboration in courses, research and informal learning groups. During the beta-phase, over 11,500 students and faculty from more than 80 higher education institutions have used the platform to exchange learning materials, to connect with their peers and to hold online group discussions. Their feedback and the investment of over 1 million Euros by public investment fund BFB (financed by the European Union and Federal State of Brandenburg) and the 'bmp media investors' allowed for a comprehensive redesign of the platform in the past months. As of today the result of this work is publicly accessible.
iversity allows students and faculty to collaboratively engage with learning materials; for example by commenting directly within text pdf-documents or images. This new form of 'social reading' allows for extensive student engagement, even in seminars of more than 50 participants. As opposed to the solutions that are currently being used by most institutions of higher education, iversity unites the benefits of a social network with those of an online workspace. “Unlike the static PDF-cemeteries that we encountered during our time at university, iversity is an elegant platform that enables real collaboration independent of time and place,” says managing director Hannes Klöpper.
Thomas Goldstrasz, lecturer at the University of Applied Science Düsseldorf and an avid user of the platform during the beta-phase, explains: “The idea is to give students more freedom and to support them in the preparation of their coursework by providing them with real-time feedback, comments and suggestions online. This approach has the benefit of motivating independent research; it encourages the continuation of high-quality discussions outside the classroom and thus teaches what is most important in today's complex new media environment: the competence to acquire new competencies.”
iversity's approach is both interdisciplinary as well as decidedly international. For the time being, the platform is available in English and German. “In a sense we are going back to the original vision of the World Wide Web: to facilitate the exchange of information and to build a network of knowledge within the academic community,” explains Jonas Liepmann, who founded iversity while he was still at university.
iversity is developed by an interdisciplinary and international team of 20 young graduates. Members of the team have studied at universities such as Cambridge, Columbia, Duke, Humboldt, Princeton, the Sorbonne, the Freie Universität Berlin and the National University of Singapore. Together they want to build a learning infrastructure for the digital age.
Following an EXIST-Founder Scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, iversity received more than 1 million Euros in funding from the BFB Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg (EU 75% / Brandenburg 25%) and bmp media investors in July 2011.
Hannes Klöpper email@example.com Cell: +49 (0)170 239 07 56 Office: +49 (0)3338 60 48 00
iversity GmbH Breitscheidstraße 51 16321 Bernau/Berlin