Sophia.org is a social learning application that allows users to share their knowledge and expertise while expanding their minds with information provided by other users. To keep the data manageable, Sophia.org organized each item into a learning packet. A learning packet is a small tutorial that covers a specific objective. A packet consists of a question and answer conversation that allows users to learn from both content and supplementary discussions. The site also utilizes a five star rating system. Each learning packet can be rated by users to help others decide which are worthwhile. Self-declared “subject matter experts” are also found within the Sophia.org community and spend some of their time rating packets. Users can publish learning packets in three ways, either as an unpublished draft, or a published version that is available either privately or publically. Users can also join groups within Sophia.org and make their private packets available to the group. A scoring system is included to show how much each user has contributed to the Sophia.org community.
Sophia.org was created to build an online learning community for everyone. The site caters to both sides of the educational equation, from the learner or student to teachers, instructors and experts. Users can share their knowledge and gain knowledge by completing learning packets. Today, many people use Sophia.org as a way to expand their minds and abilities.
Sophia.org offers a unique opportunity for educators and those who would like to learn from them. Teachers can build groups of students and share their packets with them or create learning packets intended for the Sophia.org community. This creates a constant flow of information that is available on Sophia.org.
The Sophia.org website has a very elegant appeal to it. Newcomers are greeted by a black header with vibrantly colored flower designs that encircle the “S” in the site name. These are depicted in blue, orange, yellow and pink, which give the site a lot of personality without detracting from its clean, neat layout. A search bar is available at the top of the page while the remainder is presented against a white background.
New users can join the Sophia.org learning community by clicking the black “Create a Free Account” button found in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. Doing so takes the user to the registration form, which requires a first and last name, email address, password, date of birth (the user must be at least 13 years of age) and a time zone. The user must also successfully enter the Captcha code provided. At the very bottom of the form, users will find a small check box that is automatically selected to sign them up for Sophia.org updates. The user must manually uncheck the box to opt out.
Sophia.org is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges for using the site or posting learning packets. The user retains all copyrights to the packets they create as well. This is definitely a great approach because it makes Sophia.org accessible to all educators and learners. Users will be more likely to sign up and participate when they can do so at no cost. No premium paid membership currently exists with no indication that this will change any time soon.
Sophia.org is a valuable tool for learners and educators. The site gives users a place to put together learning packets and share their knowledge as well as a resource to learn a new skill or expand their understanding of a topic.