I am posting to introduce myself and company, Koollage, and to request feedback as we work towards refining existing features of our site and developing new features with applicability to schools.
Koollage is a web 2.0 solution that could revolutionize the way that students and teachers author, communicate, and present their ideas. Using Koollage's extremely simple and easy-to-use interface and integrated internet search tools, students can aggregate multimedia content - including video, images, audio, feeds and webpages – within small packages-on-demand (or Pods). These Pods can be shared by email, embedded in webpages, posted to social networks and can easily be authored from and viewed on iPhones (other mobile devices coming soon). You can check out the recent launch of our public beta site at the DEMOfall conference and other recent highlights in our Koollage Blog-Pod: http://koollage.com/pod.html
Myself and the CEO of Koollage led an educational technology program in under-resourced schools in India, which we grew to 1500 schools across 13 states with the support of state governments, corporations and private citizens. We have since moved on to Koollage and are particularly committed to working with educators and developing features geared towards their needs - especially educators with limited resources whose creativity and commitment enable them to use cutting edge technology to engage their students in innovative ways.
I have listed below some immediate benefits from pods based on our current offering to give you some insight into ways pods have been and could be explored. I look forward to hearing more from all of you once you have had the chance to take a look at the first rev of our site. I will try to answer whatever questions I can and contribute to your discussions about related topics in a manner that I hope will be beneficial to your work and to your exploration of this technology. I appreciate your time.
Best Regards, Geetha
Benefits of Koollage Pods in the School Environment:
• Each pod has its own URL that can be accessed directly, so students can keep subject-related content organized and can share with each other, teachers, and parents with one click.
• Pods can be created collaboratively (i.e. multiple students and/or teachers can contribute content to a single pod) around a particular topic or project.
• Koollage provides workspaces or klubs for teachers and students to post pods related to particular projects or events. These klubs have their own URLs and can be shared with parents and the larger school community. -- user-owned klubs are being released this week.
• Students and teachers who blog can convert their blogs in seconds and set their blogs on the go – distributing across social networks, webpages and mobile devices. If you would like to convert your blog into a pod and own it on Koollage.com, please see instructions here.
• Koollage allows for posting from mobile devices. Students and teachers can currently add text posts from their phones (photo posts from phones are just a few weeks away). If you want to share a moment with your class – you can do so immediately – right into the pod and klub of your choice. Students will be notified of your updates.
Applications for Pods in the School Environment:
• Projects related to writing and collaborative writing that engage creative outlets and multimedia content.
• Research projects that require internet research and the aggregation of media, ideas and student/teacher feedback.
• Media projects that enable students to create their own film, images, audio clips and share them with each other and teachers. Especially projects that require multiple revisions and feedback.
• Events promoted by students, student associations, the school administration. Pods are an efficient and engaging mechanism for event promotion. Pods can be posted across the web and can be added to email signatures, creating a simple, free marketing tool.
• Pods can catalogue projects, field trips etc. The posting from mobile option enables instantaneous and beneficial interaction between students, teachers and parents to enrich overall experience.
• Pods also allow parents to have a window into events and share media from events in a safe environment. Klubs can be completely private.
• Pods are great for creative writing contests that ask each student to present content in a media-rich fashion. Students can submit entire pods or submit individual posts to a single contest pod that can be shared easily.
• Teachers can use pods for certain types of lesson plans to present collections of reference materials and also to build awareness about projects that they are furthering in their classrooms.