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Using Montage: possible classroom application

montage 1Montage is a new development by Microsoft Fuse Labs. I spotted a link from Dave Garland and have had some time to play around with the app.

Here’s a quick video about the features:

montage 2

Here is a quick video of features:

Montage allows users to sign up via their Microsoft Live, facebook or Twitter accounts, so sign up is easy. Then it’s  a cse of entering a search term in the dialogue box.

montage 3

This is an example of what arrives.  The search results look and feel like a magazine, but each section is editable in terms of it’s content and display.  I was a little disappointed to see that Montage is very USA biased, and I hope that an option to limit searches within UK search results is available soon.  I also noticed that quite a lot of the content is quite commercial.

Having said this, I can see a number of potential uses for this, especially as users are able to edit, save and publish their Montages. The link could be put into a blog and shared with a class, although the app would greatly benefit from an embed code option (although I may have missed this, I did look around).

Here is an example of a custom Montage produced in around 10 minutes:

montage 4

Within the page there is:

  • A twitter feed for #uksnow
  • A youtube video interviewing travellers in the UK
  • A selection of photographs
  • A ‘pinned’ article on Gatwick (although this linked to a US newspaper)
  • 2 rolling news items – these are populated with latest pages for the search inputted (for example ‘positive effects snow’)

Visit the Montage here. (I’d be interested to know what you see there…)

montage 5

There are currently eight panel choices, including a text function which would allow a teacher to set a task at the top of a page. It would also be good to be able to include specific URLs.

Montage 6

I can see a number of classroom applications for this:

  • Illustrating the limitations of web searching and bias – why have I selected the information in each panel?
  • A montage could be created and shared with a class to limit search time.  this would be good for classes that are new to the enquiry process, or if there isn’t enough time to allow a fully independent and open enquiry.

All in all, looks like a potentially useful tool, but will need some classroom trials first….


  1. You could get the students to do a country study of some kind - maybe limit the panels they could use. To trial, perhaps as a homework?
    I love the idea of it! Good resource found there.

  2. For the image and news searches you can use any Bing query syntax. For example site:uk

  3. One of the things that Montage does is import RSS feeds. At this link, I brought in the feeds of a number of Ontario EduBloggers.

    I could see this as a unique RSS aggregator for personal use or also as a way to view a collection of student blogs at a glance.


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