Monday, January 23, 2012

Classroom Window

I've been looking forward to getting an email from the folks at ClassroomWindow for sometime now. Today I received an email from them announcing that they will be launching their website at the end of this week. If you haven't heard of ClassroomWindow, they are a startup out of Needham, MA that has created a website that allows users to rate and review different Ed. Tech. resources. Here's an excerpt from their website:

No one knows better than teachers what works – or doesn’t work – in the classroom. But until now there hasn’t been a way for teachers to share their expert opinions about the books, curricula, and tools they use every day.
At ClassroomWindow we want teachers to have a seat at the table. We want their voices to be heard by publishers, product developers, and district decision makers.
After all, with today's focus on student performance, shouldn't we know if teachers are being given the best tools?

Works for me! I couldn't resist the temptation to review a few "Web Tools" right away. It was very easy. You are given the space to write about what you like, a space for what you don't like, and an "overall" section for any other comments you may have. I chose to write something about Diigo and Evernote. There are not a ton of resources at the moment, but as a registered member of their site you are also able to submit resources of your own liking. I submitted a review about XtraMath, and it was up and running very quickly. I think they review your submission before it goes live.

There are character limits on everything a user writes, so you have to get used to being concise, which for me was a bit of a challenge. It should be fun to watch this site grow. ClassroomWindow is basically doing what Ed. Tech. bloggers have been doing for a while now, but they are organizing the information in a much more accessible way, and accepting reveiws by people who are actually using these resources. It's one thing to have a blogger tell you all about a "great" website, but unless they are actually using that product in their classroom, it's hard to tell how truly effective that site may be. Like I said, the site should be fully up and running by the end of the week. Check it out when it's available.

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