Will KakaoTalk Be The Next Big Thing On Campus?

And what if KakaoTalk and EdX had a baby?

September 8, 2015

My family has gone KakaoTalk crazy.

KakaoTalk has become the main way that my wife’s side of the family conducts their intergenerational communication.

Can higher education be far behind?

Do you know what KakaoTalk is? I didn’t.

KakaoTalk is the mobile messaging app that is installed on 93 percent of smartphones in Korea.  

KakaoTalk is the Swiss Army knife of free mobile communications platforms. Text, picture, and video sharing are all free. Apparently, the app lets you make free conference calls over WiFi (I’ve never tried it). You can use KakaoTalk to create an instant poll. Talk to a friend with a walkie-talker like feature. Play games. Hail a taxi in Korea.

I can tell you that KakaoTalk is huge amongst the retired Korean population of Northern Virginia. My mother-in-law is constantly KakaoTalking with a seemingly endless supply of American and Korean friends. 

My oldest daughter, who just got to Seoul for a gap year in Korea, has been sending pictures and videos on KakaoTalk.

Has KakaoTalk come to your campus yet?  

Students will love this app because it seems to do so much, so quickly. It is an always on platform designed to share with a constrained group of friends. Communication is increasingly done through phone captured video or pictures.

From watching how my family uses KakaoTalk, I could envision a wholesale retreat from Facebook. Facebook is too broad, too slow, and populated with too many people. 

KakaoTalk could go viral on American campuses precisely because it is South Korean. 

KakaoTalk could be the next big higher ed thing because it is not Facebook.

What would result if KakaoTalk and EdX had a baby?

Could open online education become another blade in the KakaoTalk Swiss Army knife?

Why is it that we don’t hear about more edtech companies coming out of South Korea?

Will the phone ever change learning as it has changed communication?

What is your vote for the next technology that will be huge on your campus?



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