I've received a bunch of emails recently from companies who want me to check out their products and promote them either in my blog or on PalmBreezeCAFE. Now, either that's a nice nod to our show or perhaps they've got some uburgeeks writing a program that blasts their emails to every EdTech blogger.
Besides being part of my job, I'm always interested in new and exciting things popping up in the world of Web 2.0. So, it is kinda nice for some of them to find me for a change!
This past week, I received two very interesting emails with requests and links to their sites that I think would offer great value to teachers. (I'll post about the 2nd one later on.) The first one is from the folks at Nibipedia.
Hope I have the right person. Are you the educational tech blogger?
Wanted to connect, since you love all things Web 2.0 and we're working
on a pretty Web 2.0 project (we mashed Youtube and wikipedia) that's a
learning teaching environment. (www.nibipedia.com) I'd love to talk to
you about it. If you're interested, I can send the most recent press
release. We're interested in getting feedback from educators and have
a limited number of beta spaces.....
Sent from my iPhone
There are not many videos up there yet, but I decided to check out Seth Godin's Sliced Bread and Other Marketing Delights. It took only a few moments for me to get acclimated as it all pretty much makes sense right away. I clicked to play the video and I saw that as the video progressed, and as Seth Godin spoke, the images beneath the video (called "nibs") advanced to the left. When Seth spoke about "sliced bread," an image of sliced bread appeared as a "nib." If I clicked on it, the video continued with no interruption, but to the right was a Wikipedia article on bread. This continued throughout the entire video. Being a "wiki," I could add a "nib" as well. I simply advance to the part of the video where I want my nib to appear, click "Add a Nib," and enter a keyword into the search field. This field searches Wikipedia. I then just have to click on the result and it appears in the timeline for others to see and to click on when they are viewing the video as well.
There's also an option to search Amazon and leave a Nib that links there. So, if Seth refers to a book, the image & link to the book appear AS HE MENTIONS IT! I love how the video is never interrupted unless the user clicks the controls.
The other nice feature is the "Other videos that link to this article."
I see a great future for not just aligning great content but truly connecting it all in meaningful ways. I can see students creating new digital stories, knowing in advance that what they say in their videos will impact their Nibs. What will this do for fluency, vocabulary, writing, listening, researching? With this, we're another step closer to being able to use the great academic content that's in some of those "evil" sites such as YouTube and WikiPedia. This may even bring us inches closer to influencing decision-makers to take another peek. At some point, someone has got to notice that there are people, companies and organizations spending lots of money and time trying to harness the educational power of these social media sites; so there must be some value!
Not to be a buzz-kill, but I believe for now it will be blocked in many (if not, most) schools. However, if the folks at Nibipedia do their homework, they'll find a way to ensure that school district IT folks' blood pressure stays down. I believe they've already thought some of these things through. In a follow-up email, Troy indicated to me:
- Wikipedia and Amazon vet their own content but others can flag the content. For inappropriate words that make it through? They are planning to ask beta testers for a list of offending words for batch removal. With the most offensive words gone, the rest can be flagged for later removal.
- For educators to contribute (after registering an account), you simply create a playlist in YouTube (which will also be your Nibipedia profile and ID) and all videos you add to that playlist in YouTube will automatically feed into Nibipedia.
- Troy also mentioned future Twitter integration "to release synchronous cohort learning" :)
I know my suggestions sound terribly restrictive and I can imagine that many social networking advocates are thinking that I'm choking the "walled garden" even more. If you know me, read my blog, follow me on Twitter or watch my segments, you KNOW that I'm all for putting it all out there, BUT the reality is, if we don't start somewhere, we are going nowhere.
And I do like where this is going! What are your thoughts on this?