I’m joining in this morning’s K12 HSN videoconference to learn more about edZone – a suite of applications for educators trying to figure out how to bring more of the blocked applications from the public Internet (e.g., YouTube, Blogger, Flickr) into their classrooms. EdZone offers basically unlimited storage for documents, videos, and podcasts for California educators. Coming up soon: wikis, moodle, and instant messaging. For non-California teachers, administrators, and IT folks, I think you’re going to be impressed with edZone, which could certainly be replicated in other states!
Benefits of edZone:
- “Federated” search across the Zone: If you click on any of the channels, a variety of resources across the board will appear. The same feature holds true for the Search function. Less than a week old – and there are already resources that have been tagged and posted!
- Blogs – EdZone’s setup is so easy. I’m really thinking about using edZone in my blogging workshops. Although the initial plan was to develop a blogging tool via WordPress, it proved easier to create a HSN tool, which can easily be modified and enhanced, based on user input.
- Videos – HSN is coding videos as Flash. Still a bit of tweaking on this application. But there is already content posted. You have the ability to create albums, which is a collection of content – with the ability to display your albums.
- Podcasts – Listen from your computer or download and listen later. Upload to your heart’s content! I really like to ability to create albums!
- Images – You can click on “Share” or not.
- Documents – I like the rating system. PDFs open right in the browser window.
- My EdZone Page – Shows all your areas (videos, document, podcasts, blogs) with number of uploads, tags, channels, and categories. You can make this content available only to you or to the public, but you also have to certify that you have the right to the content.
- Coming soon: Student accounts, the ability to create groups for sharing your content, personal avatars, ability to put other people’s content into your album; ability to embed videos into blog posting; further integration of help desk, and then Moodle.
- Professional development – start working with teachers to bring up issues of policy, copyright and fair use so that we do the roll out professionally.
- Figure how suite of tools fits into the collection of resources and tools at local CTAP regions and districts. Alan Phillips is already working on a user guide and training videos. No need to create the training materials:-)
- Terms of Service Agreement already in place. When you post, certification will be attached giving you right to your own materials.
- Flagging content as inappropriate is available for all posted content.
- Already looking at partnership with Exploratorium and Thinkfinity to bring the best into edZone with links back to site.
And did I mention that edZone if completely FREE?!