CASTALIA RELEASES “goocus for Univ.,” AN INTERNAL, SMARTPHONE-BASED SOCIAL LEARNING SERVICE, TO BE FIRST INTRODUCED IN INFORMATIONAL EDUCATION AT FERRIS UNIVERSITY

Implements a social learning experience that consolidates searches, acquirements of knowledge, and relearning from learning history, in order to improve learning efficiency
Also launches a demonstration experiment on studies for TOEIC exams using contents made by Obunsha
Castalia Co., Ltd. (registered main office: Nagano, Japan / headquarters: Tokyo, Japan / CEO: Satoshi Yamawaki) is pleased to announce the release of “goocus for Univ.” (pronounced “goocus for university” and abbreviated as “g4u” / http://gooc.us/g4u/ ) on May 31, as well as its introduction in the informational education program at Ferris University from June 2013.


“g4u” is an application and a series of service specialized for use in a closed community of currently enrolled students. It is a customized version of “goocus”, a social Wikipedia reader developed and openly offered by Castalia. Compatible with smarphones that many students own and based on Wikipedia, “g4u” offers a learning environment that takes advantage of the portability and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices that do not require certain times or locations. It allows the students to spontaneously discover new things to learn, find triggers of learning opportunities, and share of knowledge within their school, classes, and seminars.

[Features of goocus for Univ.]
1. Implements social learning specialized for a closed environment within the university
“g4u” is the only application that allows a closed social learning environment offered only to registered students. Of all the features on “goocus” which “g4u” is based on, we omitted the Facebook login and ID registration functions that allows anyone to use the application, as well as the interactive posting function on social networking services namely Facebook and Twitter, in order to specialize the application for internal use that places great importance on privacy. Like social networking services where friends share their day-to-day experiences, “social learning” is to share knowledge, related information, and new discoveries acquired through a learning experience, and to improve learning efficiency by learning together with the fellow learners. And “g4u” is designed to generate “interpersonal connections (sociality),” in which social learning is rooted, within its learning group.
2. Home screen can be customized with university logo
Assuming that the application will specialized for internal use, a home screen customization function is available.
“g4u” will be first introduced as a learning platform of the informational education program at Ferris University from June 2013, Professor Yoshikatsu Haruki, head of the IT Center / Faculty of Global and Inter-cultural Studies, comments on the implementation: “What we educators need to take into consideration today is not the educational environment of the teachers; it is the learning environment of the students. The result of a survey on our freshmen this year shows that over 90% of them own a smartphone; using Internet instead of dictionaries is now a common practice among students. Thus from now on, we will need an education to select necessary and reliable pieces of information among many in order to learn spontaneously, and to support such activities. Whereas many schools prohibit the use of smartphones during classes, it is better to use such a widely spread tool in a proactive manner. With the introduction of “g4u,” we believe we can also incorporate an active learning-like element into traditional, lecture-style classes.”
From the educator’s standpoint, the use of “g4u” enables to collect and analyze each student’s detailed data of learning history, and to raise the knowledge level of the entire school by letting the students share knowledge with others. Students can expect to gain triggers of learning opportunities by learning from their fellow students’ learning experiences, as well as to gain edifice of knowledge regardless of time and location.
[Demonstration experiment on studies for TOEIC exams using contents made by Obunsha]
In addition, Castalia will also launch a demonstration experience of “goocus pro,” Castalia’s mobile learning platform for corporations and organizations, as a joint project with Haruki Laboratory at Ferris University. With the help from Obunsha Co., Ltd., we stored a TOEIC exercise book in “goocus pro” for group learning as in the case with “g4u”. Based on off-line personal connections, we aim to enhance the efficiency of social learning online, thus to create a knowledge network. Through the demonstration experiment, we will analyze the students’ dynamic state of learning on smartphones, and measure the learning efficiency generated from social functions and mentoring.
[goocus for Univ.: Application details]
“goocus for Univ.” (pronounced “goocus for university”) http://gooc.us/g4u/

Compatible with: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (4th generation or higher), iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Retina display model, iPad mini / Requires iOS 4.3 or higher / Works on X2 mode on iPads.

Compatible with: Android OS 2.1 or higher (Please contact us for recommended devices.)

Please contact us for the price. You will also need to register to use this service.
■About goocus
“goocus” is a smartphone-based (iPhone and Android) social Wikipedia reader free of charge. It is designed to offer a highly simple social learning experience where a user can collect his/her search history as well as socially learn and discover new things from the fellow users, by searching on Wikipedia with languages or his/her location information.
■About goocus pro
“goocus pro” is a mobile learning platform born out of an intensive research of learning with rapidly spreading smartphones. It takes full advantage of the portability of mobile devices, an always-on learning environment that does not require certain times or locations, emergence of ideas and competition born from the sharing of knowledge and discoveries by users connected with one another through social networking services such as Facebook, the habitual power of gaming elements, the management of users by the administrator and the utilization of the users’ learning history, resulting in a new service that replaces the traditional learning systems. It allows you to create both multiple choice and written questions using texts, photos and images, and audio and visual contents, utilizing the existing internal training materials.
■About Castalia Co., Ltd.
Castalia Co., Ltd. (Registered Main Office: Nagano, Japan / Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan / CEO: Satoshi Yamawaki) produces educational digital content solutions and operates web media for learning, under the concept of “Mobile & Social”. Castalia offers a new and educational communication channel between content-providing corporations/educational institutes and individuals, contributing to the further enhancement of their significance.

 

【For more information, please contact】
Castalia Co., Ltd.
info [at] castalia.co.jp
6th Floor, DF Building, 2-2-8 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-0062 Japan
Phone: (81)-3-3401-4191
http://www.castalia.co.jp/en/