EdCast, a new information sharing platform announced May 30, 2015 promises to be like social media for sharing educational resources.
EdCast is an interactive user-driven way to access education and educational resources. The mini-MOOC platform allows users to create a profile from which they can share videos, text and other educational content as well as following other users to see what they post. It appears very similar to most social media platforms today, with liking, commenting and re-sharing options, and a Google Chrome extension.
Although the interface is similar to Twitter, what makes EdCast different according to its creators is the ability to share more than 140 characters and its focus on sharing educational and informative content. The site is split into ten channels, including Music, Entrepreneurship, Robotics and even Nuclear Security. A number of people, including students to academics have already set up their profile and begun EdCasting.
Willem van Valkenburg, the Manager of Production and Delivery of Open, Online and Blended Courses at TU Delft has an EdCast profile where he has started sharing content, everything from "Deadmau5 sues Disney" to "An Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering". Valkenburg is a member of the Open Education Consortium (OCC) and heavily involved in open-education and MOOCs – something TU Delft considers very important. When asked what appealed to him about the EdCast platform, he told Delta that he knew the people who made EdCast and said "I was interested in their new initiative. I visited their office in March and tried the new platform, it works very easily and looks interesting."
While it promotes itself as an education platform, EdCast does not offer structured courses like OpenCourseWare or MOOCs. Rather, as a sharing, social-media style platform it is more unstructured knowledge sharing. Van Valkenburg said "I don't think it is something specifically for online or open education, but more for informal learning." As the success of educational Youtube channels like 'Crash Course' have shown, there is a large audience for accessible nuggets, offering the opportunity to learn about a broad variety of topics. By following educators, academics and fellow EdCasters you can see what content they share and engage with it, so although not a replacement for structured online and open access educational resources, EdCasting potentially offers an interesting new way for students and teachers to interact, as well as a new resource for those not at school or university .