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Written by David on July 10th, 2014.      1 comments


I have spent some time this week updating this site, uploading content to You Tube and removing content from Video Class.  It has been a multimedia hot house at the offices of dakinane limited.  The final act of the day today has been to create content for N4L's Pond.  Yes I have dipped my toes into the service that has taken over two years to launch and is still in BETA, let us hope that it is not a perpetual BETA and that the funding, rather like its baby brother, School Zone does not evaporate. 

As a provider of content, I have to say that the interface is designed for those that have one thing to offer and nothing else, there is no batch anything on Pond.  Despite comma separating my tags, the Pond engine does not recognise comma separated values or CSV.  This is annoying, so my separated values are in fact just one long tag on Pond.  Note to Pond developers here:  If you think that I am seriously going to just add one or two items as a a supplier or type individual tags for every entry, you are seriously deluded!  Please sort this out. 

For those of you who are interested to find out what items I have loaded to Pond, you will need to log in to Pond and search for me.  Better still, check out the content here, it is better presented here anyway and is not so glitchy.  That's perpetual BETA for you...


Ian Allan says ...
Hi David, thanks for the feedback.

Yes, the tags have been an interesting one to observe. This was originally by design - so that users could tag things singularly or in a group of tags, which could be useful given multiple users can tag a single resource.

The idea was that a teacher could tag a resource as for example, "Anzac Day • History • NCEA L1" while another teacher might tag the same resource as "Social Studies • Y10" or "English • AS12345 • WW1"; or a provider might tag a resource as "blended learning • primary" plus "science • gardening". The hope was that each tag group would carry more significance than a list of 8 individual tags (or one long tag group); further teachers could come in and agree with the most suitable tag groups - or add their own - with the best ones rising to the top.

However for the most part, because of the loose and not particularly obvious way we've created the feature, it is unsurprisingly being used in loose ways. I thought its usage might develop organically by seeing how other teachers use it, and I can see that some are starting to group tags quite interestingly, but generally it remains a very mixed bag.

So, I have on my to do list to look at breaking up all tags into individual ones and removing the idea of groups of similar tags. Either that or the feature needs to be much more explicit in how it can be used.

We've had suggestions/requests from several providers for a data import, and it's certainly on our radar, however we are a small team and have a few things to knock off first (groups, bundles, Q&As, SSO, real Twitter/YT integration, duplicate handling and the like). Still, based on feedback our roadmap's always shifting, so keep it up!

Thanks again for the feedback; we have a significant update coming by the end of the month to support among other things, tablets and mobiles and an overall UX refresh.

Product Development Lead, N4L


David has been a specialist in the field of elearning for over 12 years. He has presented on elearning at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His consultancy work includes education and business clients. READ MORE


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