Work is underway to strengthen the underlying content repository! We will soon migrate to an industry-proven “Content Management System” (CMS) which will allow contributors to participate in a more direct way. Included will be improved indexing and search capabilities.
There are five new categories in the Sandbox: Activities, Civics, Family, Health, and Work have joined the original nine.
37 new content packages have been added to the Sandbox!
The Sandbox and Kiosk are separate projects. But many of the initial uploads for the Sandbox have been focused on making audio content available.
But the scope of the Sandbox project has always been broader than that! It is a place for ESL teacher sharing and collaboration across all classes of teaching materials.
The new content includes mostly “documents”- Exercise sheets, classroom activities, reference materials.
For Kiosk users, there is one new package with audio: “Work hours in the U.S.” This piece (from VOA) is an article dealing with work-life. You can access the package through either the “Articles” or “Work” categories.
A few more audio packages are on their way over the next few weeks.
Don’t forget to leverage your own creative talent and submit materials to share with others. See the “Submitting content for the Sandbox” article in this news section, or just click the “Share Content” option on the Sandbox menu bar for more information.
Documentation has been added to explain the (interim) process for submitting creative content to the Sandbox. It comes down to a three step process.
Just go to “http://www.Open-ESL.org/Sandbox/SubmitContent“.
That is also one of the first pages added using a new format that will ultimately roll out to the rest of the site.
The “Submit Content” page provides some details about what kinds of content the Sandbox can “host”. It also explains a bit about copyrights etc.
There is a downloadable MS-Word “form” to capture needed information about the content.
I mentioned that this is an “interim” process. There is more work ahead as the site moves to make the process more “automated”.
In the meantime, take a look, and share your thoughts!
The submission form asks for a variety of information to categorize the content. This is to support future “searching” functionality to help users zero-in on content that will meet their needs.
Many of the field are optional. There is a trade off between maximizing search possibilities, and overwhelming the submitter with the process.
So, consider this stage an RFC (request for comments).
Note: Sharp-eyed users will note three distinct styles to pages on the site, based on when they were created. The oldest pages lack any navigation menu-bar. (Bad!! Bad!) The next generation has a menu-bar… but behind the scenes, each page has a custom menu-bar. The newest pages have a shared menu-bar that will make site maintenance MUCH easier! As time permits, all pages will be updated.
The “Sandbox”, a repository of freely usable ESL teaching / learning materials, is undergoing some changes. This will be done in phases over 2015. The initial step involves a redesign of the individual content pages.
A sample page is available at: http://Open-ESL.org/Sandbox/LevelOne/LevelTwo/LevelThree/T000000/
Try it on your computer. Try it on your SmartPhone.