In my blog, I like to share and reflect on technologies that I think represent exciting new potential for the future, are relevant to education ICT integration, or provide tangible examples of larger trends.  Montage, a tech preview from Microsoft’s Fuse Labs…does all three. 

Certainly, the way in which teachers and students use the web is changing…as such the way in which we search, share and present information should also evolve.  Montage provides an incredibly easy to use web-based service that makes it fun to create and share a visual album of the web on the topics you care about.

Imagine a teacher who could easily create a Montage around a class topic and share it in advance with students in preparation for the day’s lecture...or students that could use Montage to create a navigation for their school report. Students and teachers can use Montage to add content from a variety of sources, including RSS feeds, Twitter, Bing News, and YouTube.  The creation then can be easily edited and shared out for review. Check out this video here for inspiration.

I think the potential here is exciting and it hints at the way in which not only web-based content and search is evolving, but the ways in which content providers need to think about the future for digital books and the integration with online content. It’s a great example of having a dynamic and easy to modify topic-based view of the web. Imagine this dynamically integrating publisher content, or providing active appendices to traditional digital books. The Montage is constantly evolving as you create and arrange each area with the content of your choice…even after it’s published, your Montage keeps itself up-to-date by automatically pulling in new tweets, news, pictures and more.

Digital books should not be static “electronic texts”…this technology provides an option for the future and is something fun to try today.  Check out http://fuse.microsoft.com/project/Montage.aspx for more info and stay tuned for updates by following @getmontage on Twitter.

Example screen shot: