“This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.”

Gollum’s final riddle to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

When we put the ode proposition in front of our (potential) users can you guess what their No. 1 reaction was?

  • Quality content at microprices?
  • Ability to sell their own learning resources?
  • Accurate keyword searches?
  • Social networking?
  • Easy to use design?

Nope. It was: “That will save me time”.

More than perhaps ever before educators have found themselves with less and less time available. There are many reasons for this but any educator will likely say that it’s due in part to a determination to source complimentary teaching materials, a process that often happens outside the day job.

With most of those materials being digital it becomes an issue mainly because of the sheer number of elearning websites (and the quality of those websites) that are out there, let alone finding them in the first place via Google.

So a one stop shop for digital content made their eyes light up. It will take away much of the current need to visit that multitude of home made websites, search engines and resource repositories which can take hours of detailed searching with wildly varying degrees of success.

Does that put ode in the same position of Tesco vs the local corner shops (why visit 10 shops when you can visit one big one)? I don’t believe so as Tesco doesn’t compete against free which is our main competitor. Tesco’s “everything under one roof” ethos wouldn’t last long if everyone else gave their product away.

Most resources Teachers source and use are cheap, cheerful and free. We have to make ode have noticeable value to our users to make it worth their while.

One way we’re doing that is to allow complete personalisation of the platform. Every second we shave off a typical content search without compromising the experience is worth it’s weight in gold to our users. So once you have the hang of the platform you will be able to tweak it in many ways. Actually what you will be able to do is take stuff away, to cleanse it of elements and functionality you don’t need and don’t want.

Through your profile you will make ode follow your orders: “I am a Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 History teacher, specialising in Tudor England and modern World History and I only want to buy video.”

We will allow you to limit ode to those criteria so when you search you will only see returned results that fit those stipulations. You will only see reviews from others who have also nominated themselves as Key Stage 3 and/or 4 History teachers. You will only see sponsored keyword advertising that’s relevant to your profile. You could set your ode home page to just show History. And so on. You will be able turn off this platform wide filtering but it’s there if you desire it.

The rest of ode will be happening around you in a global sense but you won’t see any of it and hopefully it will speed up your content gathering process. Every educator that creates a profile will have their own view of ode, likely completely different from any other.

Because time, my preciousssss, is a commodity worth spending wisely.