Yahoo! Teachers

Yahoo! Teachers, currently in beta, is a collaborative tool enabling teachers to easily collect, create, and share teaching materials with others. Yahoo recently opened up the site to beta users for educators wanting an early look at the new tool. Most of the information on the Yahoo! Teachers site and in recent news articles describes the Gobbler. This browser add-on allows educators to quickly grab content, media, and and even entire sites; organize that material easily into projects; create handouts and other teaching content from the gathered material; tag this content; and share it with the rest of the world. (View video demo of the Gobbler here.) Yahoo! Teacher looks promising as a fledgling social networking site for educators.

2 thoughts on “Yahoo! Teachers

  1. Looks promising. Two things I wonder about this:

    1. Copyright issues. I wonder if this is going to stir up some new debates or not. Copyright holders can tend to lean towards the stingy side when it comes to education. Many companies (especially movie corporations) just don’t seem to understand the amount of free advertising their products get when used in classrooms. I haven’t looked in to this service yet, but are copyright issues covered in there? Will powerful companies find ways to sue Yahoo for what their users do? Or will companies finally take a chill pill when dealing with teachers and start going after actual pirates?
    2. Popularity. That last statement in the video was key. Will they get the word of mouth out there? Yahoo hasn’t proven as effective in the past in garnering attention for services like Google has. I’m not sure if word-of-mouth is that way to go with this. My experience is that word-of-mouth rarely travels from one school to another. Individual teachers either tend to be ultra connected to the larger education community, or ultra isolated. Those that are connected spend all their time being connected, and not exploring new technology. Not all are like that, but a lot of them seem to be. It’s pretty common to see one school coming up with great solutions for problems, and then the next school down the road struggling with the same issues and not having a clue as to what to do about them.
  2. Very interesting service, but like Matt, I also wonder about copyright. In order to get by with Fair Use, wouldn’t Yahoo need to restrict access to the service to only verified educators? I don’t see a lot of teachers jumping on the bandwagon if it’s a real hassle to join.

    Maybe Yahoo is planning on playing the ‘we just offer a service’ card and leaving the teachers to justify their own fair use?

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