Monthly Archives: March 2014

Airbase: web made easy

UPDATE: Airhead Education Ltd have built a production version of AirBase. Check it out here!

Airbase is a resource I’ve put together to help learners and educators by giving them a place to record and find exciting Web stuff for learning and teaching. The simple premise of this project is that the Web is useful for learning and teaching. It’s useful because stuff on the Web is dynamic, accessible and very often free.

The Web is no longer just about information. For every piece of software on your computer, there’s probably an equivalent free Web app. Not only that, but Web apps don’t need installing, supporting or updating. The strength of the Web is also its weakness. There’s a lot of stuff out there and most of it is not easy to find, even with a good search engine. Airbase is a crowd-sourced solution to this challenge.

Educators and learners all around the world are finding really useful stuff on the Web all the time. The challenge is collecting this information together in one place and making it easy to find what you need, when you need it. Crowd sourcing uses a little bit of a lot of people’s time. If 10,000 people spend 10 minutes entering their top 10 web resources or apps into Airbase, we’ll have 50,000 great items for you to search! The Web makes this possible. If you like the resource, recommend it to a friend. If you don’t, tell us how to improve it.

I’ve built Airbase with two free Web apps: Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets. Google Forms is used to collect the information. Google Spreadsheets is used to store and filter the information. The information is freely shared for anyone to use. If this approach proves successful, I will move the resources across to a database so they can be searched more easily. This will also be free!

In order to contribute to Airbase, all you have to do is complete this form for any great Web sites, apps, resources or files you find on your Web travels. The more information you put in, the better it is for everyone. I estimate it takes less than one minute to enter all the data for one item.

The benefits of Airbase for you are that:

  • Educational categorisation means you’ll quickly find the stuff you need
  • You’ll only take time to submit good stuff so you’ll only find good stuff
  • Ratings and reviews will help you to identify the best of the best

All the entries are automatically stored in a spreadsheet which you can visit. The spreadsheet has filters which mean you can quickly find useful stuff which meets your particular needs. Don’t worry about duplicating information. Although you can search to find if a site already exists, each duplicate will carry its own rating and possibly other unique information. I will worry about rationalising data if the concept works.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please comment here or include them in the suggestion box at the end of the submission form. Yes, that means you have to submit an item in order to make a suggestion!