While serving as the president of the educational technology student organization (the Society for Learning Design and Technology Everywhere, or SLATE) at San Diego State University, I was asked by club members if I would design and build an online portal where all educational technology students in our program could network with one another and collaborate on projects. I hence got to work designing and developing such a platform. However, as the project was near completion, I was unexpectedly informed by our program's administrators that they had made a recent decision that they wanted to to host the student organization's website on their existing Wordpress website instead. Since I was already near finished with developing the platform, I decided to simply repurpose the work I had done for a different project.

This is when I decided to found the Society for Educational Research and Technology (SERTify), a professional organization and website for educational technology specialists. The platform hosts a professional social network where EdTech specialists from around the globe and EdTech students from numerous campuses can network with one another via professional profiles, groups, events, galleries, and more (similar to LinkedIN).

Among many of its features, the website contains a live-streaming video channel for streaming lessons or seminars to an audience in real-time; a job board for learning technology jobs; and a project management section where users can join teams to collaborate on instructional design projects, assign and track work, monitor tasks and deadlines, and share files.

To make the website's content "self-updating," I decided to incorporate RebelMouse, which is a type of hashtag tracker. In short, it crawls social networks seeking specific hashtags, tags, or keywords that you set for it to find. It then gathers the most recently updated content or "news" within these hashtags, and then automatically populates a page with a summary of these posts. It can also be set to crawl RSS feeds, which means that it can be used to gather updates from blog posts or news feeds from other educational technology professional organization websites (like ASTD or ISTE), and can then automatically populate a page with previews of all these updates. This is an excellent strategy for keeping SERTify members regularly updated with the most recent news and "going-ons" directly from the field in real-time.

You may watch a short, informative video below, which I developed back when I was initially building the platform for the SDSU educational technology student organization (SLATE). The video presents viewers with an overview of all the features on the platform and how to utilize them. The primary difference between this platform and the revised SERtify platform is the incorporation of RebelMouse.