Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ideal for a primary parents' support area

If you're running Moodle in a primary school and have an area for parents (probably open, or open via guest access through an enrolment key), here's an interesting resource to link to from it, or the front page of your school's Moodle.

BBC Backpage is a research project which asks for homework help tips from parents, carers and families and then shares them through a simple web site.
If you're a teacher and would like to submit something, the Beeb would like you to - there's a page which explains the process.
One obvious thing that's missing is an RSS feed to enable this content to be used beyond the Backpage site - but then one of the issues with RSS feeds is that you have little control over what's fed into your site. That's why the CBBC News RSS feed is one of the only nearly watertight RSS feeds suitable for primaries - it's edited specifically for kids.
One way might be for the Backpage project (which is only running for four months, so get your skates on) to offer the ability to create your own feed ("only Year 4 revision tips rated 4 out of 5 or better") to offer some sort of control over what's fed to another site.
There's also no way of embedding the videos in your own site, YouTube or GoogleVideo style, but with a little faffing it might be possible. Too much faffing for the average user though.
Also, as the site is done entirely in Flash, it exists at a single URL, so even linking to an individual video, Year or subject isn't possible. Boooo!
One interesting line on the About page says

We have developed this research site for a limited period of four months but we will keep any video tips submitted for use in any possible future resource.
Hmmm. Having a quick look at the upload process there's not much about intellectual property. Still, it's an interesting project. I attempted to contact the project through the feedback page, but got a server error... ah well.

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