As we think of the final touches to our simple learning management and communication tool (coursefeeds.com
) we're drawn to the idea in education that these days there exists a basic standard of content on the web. A "standard of content" or SOC, used to be localized to schools and classrooms. It was based on the set of books that a teacher utilized during the school year.
So for example, in my social studies course back in 8th grade we had a social studies text, a history text about our state, news papers (for current events), the movie Gandhi, and any materials that were made by our teacher. It was limited, but it met/exceeded to the standards set forth by the state and did fine by me. All of these made up my basic standard of available content; I could augment it with other movies, books and such, but in the classroom, that was what was available to every student.
Today the internet provides several distinct SOCs that are accessible online (which augment the texts and information used in a classroom). Though the list of materials used is limited (perhaps as it should be), the list of available resources from which to select those materials is ever changing, growing and mostly freely available to those with internet access. Being connected has blown the roof, doors, windows and walls off the classroom. Wikipedia is a basic SOC (albeit perhaps not a very high standard), as are many news/blog sites, repositories of information and open courseware sites. Youtube provides an SOC for video (as do sites like the BBC
, and UStream
). The SOC available to students with internet access has been unhinged from the limited SOC once selected by teachers.
For teachers this means that the search for the best content has become more difficult and urgent. Every day (let alone every year), the SOC they select for their students could become outdated, or out-performed by new resources available on the web.
Isn't this a problem? We hope to help make finding and discussing new content easier (by capturing all content used on our system and indexing it for all other teachers and students to browse on their own). We think our platform will make communication easier in schools, and if we succeed in that we'll also be creating and curating a great repository of organized educational resources.
Sound good? If it does, request a beta account for our new platform. It'll be free to use and available as soon as possible: http://coursefeeds.com