An interesting new website called Zapd has popped up recently. The idea is for you to create mini-websites on the go based around specific ideas or topics that are maybe too small or focused for creating a full-blown website or blog. I am not sure if there has been much buzz on this one or not – I actually found it while killing time in the iPhone app store.
The basic idea is that you get some content (probably some pictures on your phone), pick a theme in Zapd, add your content, and then save it all as a mini-site. You then share the link with just the people that you wish to share it with – you can post it to Facebook or just send it to a few colleagues. The website mentions everything from travel pictures to small businesses to portfolios. The only thing I don’t see is a way to keep your link out of the showcase on the front page on the Zapd website.
And about that website – you can’t sign up or do anything other than look at created sites on their main website. Many websites let you sign up and do everything from their app, but this is one of those that has to be set-up completely through the app. An interesting concept.
This could be a simple tool for educators to use. Send your students out around town or school to take pictures for a project and have them create their portfolio on the spot. Art, history, politics, social studies, music, science, and whole host of other subjects could use something like this to make it easier to apply the concepts from class to the world around the students, all the while giving students an easy way to share their learning.
I created a quick zap here: http://mgk.zapd.co/ (yep – seems like all links look like they are straight from some URL-shortener). I can go back in and edit or even add text entries under the pictures for more details. But it was pretty quick and easy. It also would have let me take a picture on the spot and use it – they didn’t have to already exist.
It would be nice to see videos added (like a YouTube embedder). Maybe even some mash-ups with Google Maps for location based sharing. But it is still new and I am sure there will be other features added soon.
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.