I work in higher ed (no secret) and discovered some new websites today. Some of these sites were sent to me from colleagues and one from a student (which is very cool). So, let’s look at these three tools.
Recently, a friend had shared Padlet with me. She highly values this tool in her classes for coupling information in a way that is easy to present. In particular, we could choose the ‘Backpack’ option. This lets an educational institution brand the site. At $5 per educator (with free student logins) per month this is a great deal. Even easier, Google can be used as the tool for signing on.
A student shared Quizlet with me. Beyond the fact that it is very cool that a student shared an educational tool with me, this seems to be a good one to be shared. This tool has both a web version and mobile apps for building flashcards. As an educator, no one has to speak to me about the value of flashcards. Since every student now packs a phone, it’s a great choice.
Another site, which I have not explored, is CLASSCRAFT. Many talks over the last few years seem to point us that gamification of education is a serious direction and seriously useful. (Duolingo has shown us that.) The site seems geared to middle and high school education and may not really be geared to higher education. The pricing link on the page generates some broken scripting (for me in Google Chrome).
In the end, most tools are exactly what the educator makes of them. If you use a tool well, students can and will learn; If you use a tool poorly, students won’t. No single tool is the end-all of digital education and even the best tools can be rendered inert from poor instructors. Can these tools be great? Probably! But we’ll never know unless we try them.
Leave your comments below and let me know what you think about these tools. Which ones should I try?