We’re at the end of August which means it’s back to school, so I thought it might be useful to my fellow educators to review a tool that helps you organize, manage and share course resources with colleagues and students.
However, in times of established social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter where educators share openly with peers and students or your school’s Learning Management System (LMS) of choice, is there enough room for yet another collaborative platform?
TheHubEdu – Connect, Collect, Collaborate
My pick for this month is called TheHubEdu and it claims to fill the gap between social networks and the existing LMS on the market.
According to Tiffany Reiss, co-founder of TheHubEdu, being an instructor herself and having worked for more than a decade in higher education, social platforms like Facebook might on the one hand be hugely popular by students but lack the privacy and control that are often necessary in an educational context.
On the other hand, LMS like Moodle certainly have their place within the educator community, but appear as outdated from a design point of view and complicated in their structure, thus aren’t particularly attractive to today’s students.
TheHubEdu wants to provide stakeholders in education with a simple, streamlined solution to manage and share their work. This is how the team came up with the term shelf: users of the platform upload their content and create shelves. These shelves can either be public which means they are visible to everybody else on the platform or they can be private where only the person or group of people you decide to share with can see them.
I basically see three possibilities to use TheHubEdu.
- As an individual teacher or individual student who wants to organize their content or courses for private use and management.
- Research; a group of educators or a teacher with their class can work collaboratively on a project where everyone can either create their own shelves and then view or contribute to shared shelves. Each project’s work/resources can stay private and just be accessible to group members or be made public if the members/teachers decide to do so.
- A completely open use of the platform in order to create a hub for useful study materials and course content that is accessible to all other members of TheHubEdu.
You have the choice between public and private shelves
- TheHubEdu is easy to use: You only have to push a button in your browser to add content. Just like any other popular bookmarking service, eg. Evernote.
- It’s part of a new generation of edtech tools that focus on user experience and has a clean modern design
- It’s social which means that every user has the possibility to make new peers based on common interests = new social connections through content discovery
- TheHubEdu is currently free to use
- No search option which makes browsing public shelves impossible and thus content discovery harder. You can also not browse your own shelves and that is not ideal when you have a large collection of materials.
- You have to upload one document at a time.
- TheHubEdu is still in beta, so you may experience some hiccups as a consequence.
- No information about future monetization ideas or business model.
Lastly, I’d personally be interested in your opinion a) was this article a helpful recommendation b) do you consider the service c) what are your experiences with the platform? You can find me on Twitter @KirstenWinkler.