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The internet provides educators with access to tens of thousands of free interactive lesson resources for use in the classroom. The problem is that educators generally have to spend hours previewing and selecting suitable materials and this waste of time deters most from their searches.

Xorro-ed is a free on-line community designed expressly to address this problem and make finding relevant resources faster and more efficient.

In discussions with users, we determined that the following would be essential characteristics for Xorro-ed to be useful to its user community:
– Free and immediate access to all users, regardless of the brand of hardware and software being used. Ideally, content should be translatable between brands;
– Searches should include keywords and titles, as well as text content in the documents themselves. Filtering by subject and age group is a requirement;
– Content must be moderated by educators from the same discipline as the intended users of that content;
– Sharers (or contributors of content) need to be rewarded through recognition, added value from the site’s services, prizes, or a combination of these, in proportion to the content’s usefulness to its users.
Xorro-ed provides an on-line venue where educators can upload lesson content they have created. This content receives feedback from downloaders (other educators intending to use the content). Based on that feedback the content is ranked in user searches.

To add improved relevance of search results, every community member is required to indicate their specific teaching interests. When performing searches, the feedback from other downloaders with similar interests has the highest impact on rankings of content. For instance, a teacher indicating that a subject interest in science will receive search results ranked y other science teachers’ feedback on content. In this way Xorro-ed can deliver far more relevant and useful search results to users searching for content.

It goes without saying, that Xorro-ed’s value relies on its users identifying their subject interests accurately and maintaining this in their profiles, and on users being attracted to the proposition that they share their work with the community. Furthermore, downloaders are required to provide instant feedback on content based on a scale of usefulness to their subject area.

Xorro-ed is a completely non-profit undertaking for its members. Discussions are currently underway to advance sponsors from the commercial arena, who will provide prizes for content contributors in proportion to the content’s popularity with the community (as determined from downloader feedback).

Over the summer Xorro-ed has had initial resources loaded into its library from donated materials at hand. We hope that members will quickly augment this with further contributions to make Xorro-ed a valuable source for all educators, of relevant lesson materials.

Join Xorro-ed here.

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Format chose Zinterlock as the easiest, most consistent and cost-effective way to flush mount cabinetry onto walls.

Manzana Xorro Christmas 2015
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This summer, the University of Auckland Department of Civil Engineering has supplied eight student interns to work with Xorro on developing a targeted learning solution. These interns have been working alongside another seven interns from Massey University contributing to product development in Xorro Workboook and Xorro-Q projects.

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This week Xorro releases version 2.2 of its Workbook whiteboarding software, co-branded Alphateach in the UK and Europe. The new version includes features such as PDF import, enhanced design of the ruler tool, added grid functions and much more.

Student response systems in use in class
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Recently we followed up with Dr Michael Rehm from University of Auckland’s Business School, on how he uses student response systems such as Xorro Q in his courses.

Label questions in Xorro-Q
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In September Xorro quietly released Label questions for the Xorro-Q audience assessment platform. Label questions provide a flexible and fast assessment tool suited to any topic.

Flexiroller, BalanceBox, Zinterlock
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Whether it’s raising an 84″ display to above head height for crowds, or bringing 55″ interactive screens within easy reach of pre-schoolers, better design adds up to winning flexibility, sturdiness and safety. Getting it wrong means less value from your display, and substantial costs and safety issues. We take a look at the latest & best options for securing, lifting and moving large displays, keeping safety and durability foremost.

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This week, after months of beta testing and progressive improvements, Xorro finally released version 2.0 of the powerful whiteboarding software Workbook (also branded Alphateach and Imergo Aqua in other markets). Workbook was originally written by 2Touch for use with 2Touch interactive whiteboards. Since 2013, Xorro has taken over all software related developments, and today Xorro Workbook is […]

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Xorro-Q provides a simple game-like context that motivates students to practice algebra concepts. Using any browser (no plug ins or downloads needed) your students can “play” a problem-based algebra activity set by you. Xorro-Q’s Free Facilitator is ideal (and free) for groups of less than 33 participants. Test your own linear algebra skills on the sampler in the article. Then read on to find the simple instructions to get underway with your own Free Facilitator access.

Zinterlock: your secure mounting solution
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Manzana and 2Touch Australia have developed Zinterlock: an extremely low-cost, ultra-secure yet very simple flush-mount solution for mounting large, heavy, fragile or valuable items onto walls.