Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bitlr - Social Networking Meet File Sharing

Bitlr is a social networking site that allows you to easily update status by including files with those status updates.  I am a fan of using Facebook in the classroom and creating a page for classrooms that students and parents.  We need to go where they are.  Although Bitlr is not Facebook, the concept is a great one if you find yourself constantly updating a web page and including documents for your students to access. 

The user interface is very similar to Facebook.  Each status is limited to 500 symbols/characters.  You can easily upload files and images to your status.  You can also embed a video from a URL.  A great way to share a video and then use the comment section for discussion.  You can invite students to join by sending them an email.  You can do this by typing them in, or importing them. 

If it is a feature of Facebook, it is generally a feature on Bitlr.  The combination of networking and file sharing was something I always thought was missing from Facebook.  Makes me wonder how long (if this gets popular) before Facebook buys the rights to this.  You can see a screenshot of the website below.  I do wonder about some safety features of this site, so that would require further investigation if look at using it.  Plus, it is probably blocked, so that might be something else worth looking into.

If your district is still wondering about social networking with students, show them Edmodo as another option.