Friday, 29 July 2011

The first zondle development day

Yesterday (Thursday 28 July) we held our first zondle development day – an invited group of teachers telling us their thoughts on zondle and discussing where they think we should go next...

Five teachers (@cerirwilliams, @largerama, @primarypete_, @mscoxenglish and @mscoxenglish’s daughter who is just about to join Apple as a management trainee) joined us (@bartoneducation and @wayneholmes) in a rather posh conference room in Birmingham, where we chatted for almost five hours.

The most important thing to say straightaway is what a fantastic group of people! Everyone was extremely generous with their time and ideas – and all they got in return was some coffee and a bite to eat!

The conversation was very free-flowing. We discussed how they were using zondle, what they liked about it and (more importantly) what they didn’t like, what would make it easier for them to use zondle, and which of our proposed developments they thought were worth pursuing first (if at all). They also suggested several new ideas, all of which will definitely go on our ever-growing development list.

So, a very productive day – which Ben and I really enjoyed. We learned a great deal and hope that the day will be just the first in an occasional sequence over the coming months and years.

If you would like to join us when we next have a zondle development day, if you’ve some ideas (or some gripes) that you’d like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Great overview of zondle phonics and the zondle builder

We just wanted to say a big thank you to Simon Mills (twowhizzy) for his blog post about zondle builder and phonics in zondle. If you don't know about phonics on zondle then you might wanna check it out. It's about to get really cool over the next 2-3 months with some of the things we have in the development pipeline. Not sure we're going to be getting a great deal of sleep!

Here are a few video tutorials that show some of the features for phonics and spelling on zondle.

Zondle builder - used to filter words and quickly create phonics and spelling topics

Phonics 1 - click the phonemes question type
Phonics 2 - select the phoneme

These just show 2 of 9 different types of phonics and spelling question that you can use to customise your phonics and spelling topics to your learners' needs.

Zondle releases Unicode support for any language you need!

As a part of our ongoing effort to make sure that zondle is as useful as it can be to you we added full support for the Unicode character set to zondle today.

For any of you who are not familiar with this, it basically means that zondle questions can now be entered in any language!

We are very excited about this. Clearly it’s a new addition and so we expect some teething issues, so please just let us know how you get on.

Here is a test game that I created today using 6 questions, all in different languages.

Chinese version of zondle

OK, so we have now got a Chinese (simplified) version of zondle. We are a little less secure on this since we don’t speak a word of Chinese, but we have to say a very big thank you to Classroom Aid (twitter) who have very kindly said they would cast an eye over our translations and check that we aren’t too far out. How amazing can people be!? You guys are very kind.

Of course if anyone else finds something wrong with the translated version then please just let us know!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Spanish goes live on zondle

Well, our attempt at translating zondle into Spanish is now live. We don't speak any Spanish, so we have had to rely heavily on Google Translate for this.

We would be very interested to hear if you have suggestions for improving the translation. Better still, if you would like to proof read the content so that the site is perfectly translated please get in touch and we can send you all the bits you would need to do this.

Your browser needs to be configured for Spanish to see the translated version.

We hope this is useful and look forward to hearing how you all get on!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Today French, tomorrow Spanish!

Wow, localising a site like zondle is no mean feat! However, we are pleased to announce that today we finished the vast majority of the conversion of zondle to support multiple languages.

Now we just need to populate them.

As a first attempt we are using Google translate to get the site translated to a reasonable standard in as many languages as seems sensible in a short time frame and with minimal expense.

Clearly this won't produce a perfect translated version of the site. We are hoping that with help from the zondle community we will be able to then tweak the translation files to get them spot on.

French went live today and we hope to release Spanish tomorrow. If you have your browser's language set to French you will see the site in French.

Friday, 15 July 2011

We're translating zondle!

We’ve had a great deal of positive feedback about which has been great. As you know we love to hear suggestions as to how we can improve zondle and one of the things that has been coming up frequently is support for languages other than English.

With this in mind we are in the process of setting up zondle for translation so that you can use it in whatever your native tongue is.

Being a community driven site we are very open to suggestion as to which languages we support. So if you would like your language supported then please let us know.

We are also looking for people who might be interested in helping us to translate the site. So if you would like to be involved in the translating zondle into your language then we would love to hear from you.

Thank you to all zondlers for your great suggestions and help in building what we hope is a great resource for learners all over the world.

Update: We have now got all elements in place for translation. See how you can translate zondle into your own language here.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Fish nosh" the new zondle game!

Today we released a new zondle game. In "Fish nosh" you answer a question and then get the chance to swim around eating the smaller fishies. Be careful though, there are helicopters trying to bomb you with helibombs!

Of course you can play any topic you like in this game, but you can play a few questions from the topic "French colours" in "Fish nosh" below: