Network for Learning (N4L) has opened up Pond to New Zealanders around the country, allowing users to make materials in the online catalogue available for public viewing.
From today, users can chose to make every contribution they add to Pond available to the public.
This means items set for public viewing inside Pond are visible to anyone who searches for that topic on the web.
Links to the hub's resources marked for public viewing can also be shared via email and social media.
For example, St Patrick’s College teacher Douglas Walker has chosen to share a video of a flaming ethanol bottle rocket, which he’s added to the catalogue.
He tagged the item as being useful for NCEA Level 1 Physics, so now anyone searching for learning resources on this topic can discover it when searching on the Pond site or via search engine like Google.
Similarly, Green Bay High School teacher Heather Eccles has grouped a collection of human rights resources into a ‘bucket’ within Pond and made it available for public viewing.
Since Pond was introduced to teachers in the middle of last year, the community has grown to more than 8,600 users.
The majority of this group are teachers, with the other 333 users being organisations offering content and services relevant to the education sector.
More than 1,000 new Pond users are signing up to the digital hub every month, according to N4L.
Chris South, N4L head of dynamic services, leads Pond’s development team and says allowing greater visibility of quality learning resources benefits everyone.
“Pond is designed to act as a central hub for digital discovery and participation, to help educators discover and share resources, and to facilitate connections and collaborations within the teaching community.
“Allowing teachers to share their contributions and lesson plans more widely makes it easier for those who are not yet inside Pond to find information about how other educators across New Zealand are approaching curriculum topics and fulfilling NCEA achievement standards,” he says.
The default setting for all Pond user contributions is private. Each user needs to manually set each item they publish in Pond to be publicly visible, otherwise it is only accessible to registered Pond users.
Inside Pond, teachers can follow and connect with other teachers around the country who share a mutual interest or speciality teaching subject.
They can share best practices and learn from their peers, growing their own knowledge and networks, and adding to the Pond community as a whole.
All of Pond’s content is created by its user community, where it can be tagged, reviewed, bundled with other items and shared with registered users.