In a world full of new web platforms for education, I was excited to find a new one at ICE 2013 that stands out. MashPlant Studio is a free platform that allows teachers to create safe spaces for students that add a new layer of creativity, collaboration, and engagement to any curriculum.
Teachers create one or more studios - small, private social networks - and invite their students to join via assignments on the teacher's blog. Teachers maintain a degree of control to keep order if necessary.
Students can upload their work in one of many document or multimedia formats, critique and collaborate using familiar social media tools, celebrate their achievements and growth together. The site will soon include dozens of tutorials that teach students the fine points of creating professional-grade videos.
The interface is intuitive and fun to use; MashPlant says its beta testers were sharing work and uploading media even when it wasn't assigned, a sign of passionate attachment that we don't see enough of in students any more.
"When we built Studio, we had no idea how many different ways teachers would find to use it," said MashPlant CEO Jason Brett. That inspired MashPlant to create the Teachers Lounge, where every educator with a Studio can share his curriculum ideas and explore new ways to use Studio in the classroom.
"We think this is a product that can revolutionize the classroom and take today's curriculum to the next level and we can't wait to get it into more teachers' hands," said Brett. MashPlant Studio is completely free for teachers to use. The product is paid for by what Brett calls "mission aligned advertising" - curated ads highlighting brands and organizations that offer a positive influence. A truly neat adaptions is that ads cannot be clicked on during the school day!
Create your own free account at http://www.mashplantstudio.com and see what the buzz is all about.