You Bring the Learning Content, I’ll Bring the Engagement

By: Michael Croft

It seems obvious that content is king. That’s what people say, and what we learn is often driven by content — e.g. articles, books, assessments — and so this is what current educational platforms and Learning Management Systems (LMS) focus on. I agree content is important, however, I decided to focus learning technology in a different area: engagement.

When I envisioned my next company (my first was an enterprise software development company that built custom applications used by leading fortune companies and organizations), I imagined a global marketplace of branded, connectable, digital learning tools that would help people learn in extraordinary ways. I thought, let’s take the best, most creative teaching and learning minds, and wrap them in technology that sparks engagement by personalizing the user’s learning experience.

Of course, the “best and most creative” is subjective. But that’s the point – personalizing a learning experience is subjective and the user’s experience is what matters. So, here’s the conundrum: scaling personalized education. It sounds like an oxymoron and until now, it has been; until Volute that is.

When I created Volute, my team and I set out to meet with entrepreneurs, consultants, coaches, students, faculty and staff. We developed a process to extract their ideas and productize them as interoperable, micro-learning tools offered collectively in a globally accessible, a la carte cloud marketplace. As for the user’s content? It gets wrapped by the tool but can also become the tool. In Volute, tools are the new content. Akin to turning blueprints into a tangible thing, extrapolation of IP from teaching ideas and methods becomes a working, tangible tool. Tools engage the learner and draw her into a new world of online interaction and experiential learning.

Online learning is not about uploading documents and clicking links. It’s about distribution and consumption. Consumption is engagement, while interaction is personalization. Many of us learn by doing, and we do things with tools.

Tools offer another opportunity – applied learning for performance outcomes. A tool used in an academic context can also be used in a real-world context. Now learners can access their own pedagogical toolbox anytime, anywhere and on any device. They can also leverage tool data to identify learning gaps. These gaps are remediated when refactoring the implementation of the learning objective by rearranging or assembling new tools.

Volute has a growing list of tool requests, and the more tools our ecosystem offers, the more unique educational solutions we can provide.

The tools are owned by universities, institutions, organizations and vetted individuals, who receive royalties when others use their tools.

My vision of a global sharing economy for education is being realized, thanks to the innovators who understand status quo doesn’t advance.

Call Volute at 888-316-6303 or email