Network for Learning’s (N4L) portal for schools, Pond, was unveiled at the Festival of Education in Auckland last week.
According to the company, a ground of school teachers are currently testing Pond’s core features, and feedback from the group is being used to refine and improve the portal environment before the next group of teachers are invited to use it in May this year.
All teachers are expected to get access to the portal by the end of the year.
The teachers testing Pond now are using the search tool to discover rich educational content.
In a later release of Pond, teachers will be able to create “learning bundles” of curated content, which can be reviewed, re-used and adapted by other teachers who are looking for classroom resources.
“This means that educators looking for material aren’t endlessly reinventing the wheel,” said N4L CEO John Hanna. “For example, educators that are new to teaching science, or who may be looking for a better way of teaching a specific science topic, can go inside Pond to see what other teachers across the country have used in their classrooms.
“We are working with educators now to ensure Pond is easy to use, highly relevant and is a rewarding experience for schools.”
Other Pond users include organisations providing content and services to the education sector. According to N4L, more than 100 of these organisations have already created profiles inside Pond, including educational video service eTV, Google apps specialist Hapara, NZ On Screen, National Library and New Zealand Geographic.
Hanna said Pond’s development team will be continuously releasing new features and tools over the coming months, while closely reviewing all user feedback to ensure the portal remains relevant and responsive to teaching needs.