Whilst checking my twitter feed this afternoon I came across the following from ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott:
My first thought was how great it is to see leaders in any field utilising social media effectively, because so few actually know how to! My second one (and more pertinent as far as this post goes) was that I’d better have a 2 minute glance at this ABC Splash and find out if it was, as Mr Scott put it, ‘something interesting’.
Well, 2 minutes quickly morphed into an hour, which I now believe qualifies me to share my impressions of the hot-off-the-press ABS Splash!
First off, the site is visually appealing, with nice large icons to help teachers, parents and students get around easily. You have the option to search for content by learning area (English, Maths, Science or History) or by the phase of schooling (Early Primary, Upper Primary or Secondary).
As it currently stands, the site more or less acts as a media archive, with all content linked to the Australian Curriculum. Typically, the clips come from a range of ABC programs including staples such as BTN, Catalyst, The 7:30 Report and Four Corners, as well as one-off series’ and features. Having a look through the content with my Year 6 teacher hat on, I was able to find plenty of stuff that related to specific strands and content descriptors from the Australian Curriculum for Science that I already happen to be teaching – Earthquakes and Tectonic Plates, Tsunamis, Tidal and Solar Power, Wetlands, Salinity and Native Flora just to name a few. Sure, there were a few clips that I’d come across previously, but having fully customisable search powers that assist in finding reliable content, produced for an Australian audience no less, was hugely advantageous.
Another feature that I’m extremely keen on is the information box that accompanies each resource:
Many classroom teachers would admit that correct referencing of electronic material can occassionally be replaced by merely copying and pasting a site’s URL from the address bar. Having a standardised box that kids can use to correctly cite their work, whilst checking and adherring to the copyright details is a great step forward for teaching digital literacy in the 21st century. Well done with this one, Splash!
The ABC states that they’ll be beefing up the content significantly in the coming weeks and months to include more videos, games and interactives, which will be great. Indeed, it’s worth remembering that this is a Beta version, and they’re asking for feedback via a conspicuous ‘Tell us what you think’ button on each page . My suggestion when it comes time to check this out for yourself? Try to look at it with its potential in mind as it’s clearly a work in progress. Are you able to create learning paths for your students? Not within the site, but with the proliferation of social media, teacher blogs and school/class portals I can’t see the need to.
So there you go – ABC Splash has landed. What are your first impressions? Please share them by leaving a comment on here or via Twitter as I’d love to hear from you. And, FWIW, I’m sure Mark Scott would too!