This is a great resource, Ryan. There are a great many things to love about it, but I have to agree with Ryan S., the direct networking opportunities are particularly appealing. Many similar online resources offer networking potential in theory, but without any tangible real-time person to person connection. It’s easy to guess why: the time and resource investment in such a venture must be costly. It’s unlikely this could happen without the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The idea that a site like this could actually facilitate networking and connecting in such a tangible way is highly appealing. Of course, I wonder how successful their matchmaking algorithm is. It is easy to imagine LOOP conversations that are very beneficial for one of the two parties but less so for the other. I notice a few positive reviews on the site, but little else. The other networking opportunity provided by Edsurge seems equally positive. That’s the live hour-long Twitter chat typically held the second Tuesday of each month #DLNchat – hashtag short for Digital Learning Network). The chat is discussed in detail in an Educause blog by Krisi DePaul.
Thanks again for bringing this resource to our attention, Ryan. I look forward to interacting with it in the future.