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Volute Claims Patent for New Digital Learning Ecosystem


Volute, an edtech company, claims a patent for a new digital ecosystem that crowdsources and shares teaching methods and ideas as digital learning products called tools.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (PRWEB) July 20, 2018

Despite being relatively new to the digital learning landscape, Volute is making a bold entrance.

The Providence-based company's focus is corporate training however, the team has also launched a
variety of learning solutions for business schools, universities and communities. Volute works with universities to improve engagement for online and hybrid programs, focusing initially on executive education to better align themselves for large scale rollouts with fortune companies' employee training.

Volute's patent supports this with its digital learning ecosystem. The ecosystem is a framework designed to support a hybrid digital economy consisting of a sharing economy and a knowledge economy. The sharing economy allows individuals to publish and share digital products, called tools. The knowledge economy refers to the way tools embody educational intellectual property of industry thought leaders.

"There's too much content, and too little engagement," says Michael Croft, founder and CEO of Volute and the patent's author and owner. "Current platforms still focus on curating content, and that's important, but they're missing engagement. If the best content isn't consumed, what good is it?" Croft continues, "What's exciting about our model is that we play nice with everyone. We provide a way for top minds to productize their ideas and methods into modern, digital tools that connect with other tools. These tools can then be plugged into existing learning platforms and even workplace technology for employee training."

Croft states that the patent supports and promotes hyper-specialization. He cites Adam Smith, a Scottish economist and philosopher, who said "divisions of labor result in lower costs, greater efficiencies, and higher quality."

Hyper-specialization is also a subject of a 2011 Harvard Business Review article by Thomas Malone, Robert Laubacher and Tammy Johns.

"Today, thanks to the rise of knowledge work and communications technology, this subdivision of labor has advanced to a point where the next difference in degree will constitute a difference in kind," according to the Harvard Business Review article. "We are entering an era of hyperspecialization--a very different, and not yet widely understood, world of work."

Croft makes the connection between his ecosystem and hyper-specialization.

"Volute crowdsources a community of teaching minds, each specializing in a particular educational topic, emulating division of labor across educational skill sets," Croft says. "As each tool is a digital representation of a teaching method, topic or objective, we provide the collective value of multiple ideas that can be scaled and assembled to support a specified educational value chain."

Volute's ecosystem includes a marketplace which houses the tools. Unlike apps from app stores, Volute's tools connect and communicate. This is important for streamlined learning and is a key part of the patent, which cites communication among tools without compromising the scope, or responsibility, of the tool.

Volute is working on an Application Programing Interface (API) around its patent to allow third-parties to build their own tools and contribute to the ecosystem.

"We've received many requests from university and corporate clients who want to build their own tools," Croft asserts. "We're also receiving requests from renowned thought leaders who spend much of their time traveling and meeting face-to-face with clients to provide training. They're looking for ways to scale and to be part of a larger ecosystem – which we provide for them."

A recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report claims that people are quick to adopt new technology, however businesses are slower to make moves. This is not surprising, and sheds light on some of the issues surrounding the advancement of modern educational solutions. There is a conundrum at the axis of business growth, evolution and technology adoption. While technology advancements can promote growth, slow adoption can hinder it. The report also presents a view of the "Organization of the Future," which references an augmented workforce with networks of teams. Volute's ecosystem is manifesting impact within these concepts.

"It's a bold mission, but one that must be undertaken, and I love the challenge of doing so," says Croft. "We can't continue to follow trends for the illusion of being relevant. We need a community bold enough to tackle our educational challenges head on, and our mission is to put an ecosystem in place that allow them to do so."


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