This fall iversity will open its gates

Credits: Baili Min

by Hannes Klöpper

iversity is about to improve the way academics collaborate online.

It all started when iversity’s founder Jonas was still a student. He found himself stunned by the lack of suitable web-based tools designed for students, educators and researchers. The technology existed, but none of the up-and-coming web 2.0 platforms met the specific needs of academia. At the same time the existing learning management systems used little to none state-of-the-art technology. In short, the academic web resembled an antiquated wasteland, devoid of truly user-friendly and interactive products.

Today’s e-learning systems still break with the spirit of the modern web. They are insular platforms that are restricted to single institutions. Ideas don’t go viral on blackboards. Jonas’ concept was different: What if people could independently organise their teaching and research projects together online, free of institutional boundaries.

Together with a team of like-minded friends and programmers, Jonas began to work on iversity at the Freie Universität Berlin. Until now, 11,000 users signed up for the beta version of iversity and together with co-founder Hannes Klöpper, the team finally raised seven figure funding in July 2011. Meanwhile, a young energetic team has been eagerly at work to get the new iversity ready for the start of the academic year this fall.

So, don’t forget to sign up for a launch notification at www.iversity.org, or find us on Facebook or Twitter, where you can share your insights, observations and/or suggestions!

In the coming weeks, this blog will introduce you to our team members, our vision of innovation in the field of education, and even the odd scintillating piece of office gossip. We have set out to tackle one of today’s greatest challenges: building a new learning environment designed for the digital era. We would be thrilled if you shared some of your thoughts with us along the way.