I've been beta testing for a while.
I love the excitement of new innovation. I especially like to beta test with students, yet I'm limited to a large degree due to protocols and policies in my current position.
I can, however, beta test with tools and materials that help me with regard to learning design, so that's where I'll place my beta testing efforts at this time.
What does that mean?
First, it means that I'm open to exploring new tools that I think will help me teach my students better. If the tool has merit in that regard, I'd love to try it out.
Once I try it out, if I like it, I'm happy to write about that tool in exchange for free use of the tool.
I've done this before with CodeCampKidz, UClass, Educanon, 30Hands, and ListenCurrent. I really like all these tools and was happy to have the chance to try them out and participate in some early stage work.
I found CampCodeKidz to be an ideal way to learn to code. The program is intuitive and well designed. I look forward to using it more, and the product designer opened it up to my students' use at home. Many gravitated toward the platform with interest.
My work with UClass brought me deeply into standards-based learning design. Since that time they have moved their work to a focus on content curation and assessment for systems which was not a direct match for my teaching/learning interests.
Educanon, 30Hands, and ListenCurrent are terrific tools that I simply have run out of time with regard to incorporating into my work. Perhaps as time goes on and my charge becomes more streamlined, I'll have more time to incorporate those wonderful tools.
I hope to continue to work with my system with regard to beta testing good, new tools. In the meantime, I'm open to trying out tools that will make my learning design work more profitable to the students I teach.