Monday, July 09, 2007

Pownce: selective sharing

Pownce is going to be the next big thing on the Net, so let's be prepared and see how it can be used for teaching English.

But first of all, what is it? Pownce lets you share links, news, images, events, even files (up to 10 MBs in the free version) with your fellow Powncers (or the whole world). They will also be able to respond. The great thing is that you can create groups of your friends/partners and choose who gets to see what.

Let's see how Pownce is different from other, already existing services. You could use e-mail to send the information you want to share. But if you send messages to a lot of addresses, it can get cumbersome; plus, chances are that at least some of your recipients' spam filters will be triggered. In Pownce, you just choose the group "colleagues" to send a note about a staff meeting, "family" to share that photo from your honeymoon, and "hard rock fans" to show your fellow enthusiasts what you're listening to.

If you're a teacher and you already have a blog, of course, you can give your students all the links there. But file sharing is much easier in Pownce; plus, each group (or even student) only has to see what is relevant to them - they don't have to sift through all your posts for your other classes.

So, the uses of Pownce for teachers are obvious: create separate groups for all your classes and send them links you want them to visit. Prompt them for feedback - even shy students will be willing to respond, knowing that only you will be reading their responses, not the whole wide world. Or send them images or documents you want them to study and let them discuss them. You can also ask your students to find certain bits of information or the answer to a question and see who gets to post it first. They can also submit their files to you (compositions, writings of any kind) and choose to share them with other students who can reflect on them. Of course, you need to make sure that all your students have a Pownce account - it's free (the pro version for $20/year lets you share files up to 100 MBs and removes the ads). I'm sure you'll be able to think of other uses as well - please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Links to Pownce-related posts and articles (plus a video):

TechCrunch post and comments

Mashable post and comments
DownloadSquad post and comments

Pownce is still in "invitations only" mode as it is very young (less than a month old!), so you should sign up for an invite at the site and wait or find someone who can send you an invite.

Update: I have a couple of new invites so send me an e-mail if you'd like to get one.

Disclaimer: probably needless to say, but here we go anyway: I'm not affiliated with Pownce in any way - I'm just a user there. Also, I don't have an invite to send right now as I've used all six I was initially given. Check back here for updates as more invites might become available and then I'll be glad to send you one.

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At 26 July, 2007 15:51, Blogger English Studio said...

very interested in pownce for elt- please add me can I get yours?

At 09 October, 2007 21:23, Blogger Elek Mathe said...

I'm sorry I missed this comment for so long - Blogger failed to notify me, or perhaps it got trapped in my spam filter, I don't know. My Pownce user name is ElekMathe - I've already signed up as your friend! :).
I should have included my Pownce address in the post, but let me add it here now:

At 16 October, 2007 18:08, Anonymous david said...

Still in Invitation Only mode? When will it open to everyone?

At 16 October, 2007 19:45, Blogger Elek Mathe said...

It's still in Invitation Only mode, but I can send you an invite if you like.

At 18 October, 2007 23:54, Anonymous david said...

Yes, please. david AT kantalk DOT com. Thanks.

At 19 October, 2007 00:17, Blogger Elek Mathe said...

Invite sent - if anybody else needs one, I still have a couple left.

At 06 February, 2008 10:06, Blogger Elek Mathe said...

Pownce no longer requires an invite - everybody can join now!


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