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Winner: Students Circle Network
Students have long benefited from study groups, and not just the kind where everyone copies the smart kid's homework. Study groups allow students to pool resources, maximizing efficiency like an assembly line of learning. Students Circle Network takes the study group concept and expands it to an online, global community. Instead of four or five students sitting together in a library, the site facilitates study groups comprised of students from throughout the world, supporting each other and learning collaboratively.
Students Circle Network was started in 2010 by the young Nigerian Gossy Ukanwoke, who has been called the Mark Zuckerberg of Nigeria. While Zuckerberg's Facebook thrives on status updates and casual stalking of exes, Ukanwoke's social network enables students to answer each others' questions, brainstorm together and learn from its vast resources. Those resources include a database of more than 10,000 OpenCourseWare courses.
Not content to just bring students together, Students Circle Network offers several additional benefits. Students can seek out on and off-campus internships through the site's partners. There are also numerous scholarship opportunities to help students reach their education goals. Plus, Students Circle Network partners with 200 universities in 120 countries where students can transfer the credits they've earned in the site's free courses to help them complete their degrees.
Wikipedia has become the go-to source for students researching everything from the biography of Abraham Lincoln to the plot of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. One of its affiliated sites, Wikiversity, is similar in design but focused exclusively on providing open learning resources. Wikiversity caters to students from pre-school through graduate school, as well as teachers and researchers. Our voters praised its 'clean layout,' noting that it's 'easy to navigate,' notable for a site where 'you can find almost anything.'
Finalist: OER Glue
There are terrific open education resources housed on disparate sites spread across the Internet. Some sites try to take content from those sites and build their own patchwork quilts from them. OER Glue follows a different approach. This site is devoted to binding those resources together, but leaving them where they are, so that logically related content from separate sites are joined as though they were glued together. This makes OER Glue a one stop shop for students seeking the best resources and for teachers looking to build curricula.