Source : Nick Acton , www.learninginspired.com
Simple quick wins. That is what most teachers are looking for when it comes to using technology in the classroom. We all want apps to offer something new and innovative. We all want an extra layer of engagement in the classroom through the use of tech. But, above all, it needs to be simple enough that we can actively embed it in the first place. Quizlet is a simplistic app that takes seconds to get to grips with. Ultimately, it is an app that enables children and teachers to create digital ‘study sets’ or ‘flash cards’. You simply type in your questions or ‘Terms’ and your answers or ‘Definitions’. These resources can then be engaged with and shared in a number of ways. The set up is ridiculously simple. However, the nice thing about the app is that you can expand the horizons of it’s use. This is how it can be embedded in to the classroom in a number of ways. Below, are just ten ways that this app can be used…
1) Revision Resources
First and foremost, this is an app that lends itself to revision. You can can engage with your ‘Study Sets’ in three main ways known as Cards, Learn and Match. ‘Cards’ creates a digital version of the traditional flash cards. Your question is on one side and the answer is on the other. ‘Learn’ takes on more of a quiz format. The question is asked and the child has to answer it by typing in the full answer. Finally ‘Match’ creates a memory match game where the child has to match the answer with the question or vice versa. An individual can create their own study set and use it for revision in three engaging ways.
2) Sharing Revision Resources
The study sets that children make and/or the teacher makes can be shared in a simplistic way. When you sign up to Quizlet you create a unique user name. Within the app children can search for their teacher’s name and engage with any of the study sets that are are pre-made. This easy searching format opens up the content that any Quizlet users can engage with and is key to the impact of the app in my opinion.
3) Differentiation Resources
In addition to being able to share resources easily, it is also not difficult to subtly differentiate the content as well. You can sort your study sets in to folders and/or set up specific classes. These can be searched for via the name of the class or folder and therefore it is easy to direct children to the right resources for them. For example you could set up a different folder for each table group. Alternatively, you could set up different classes for different groups.
4) Plenary Activities
Of course, it is not just teachers that can share resources with their children. The children can share study sets with each other. A nice plenary activity is to simply ask the class to create their own set of questions and answers based on the content of the lesson. They can then share them quickly and easily via the user name search function. This not only is a fun activity to offer up but it also involves some higher level learning. Children will really have to think about their subject knowledge if they wish to catch out other members of the class.
5) Ongoing Assessment
In the first instance, it seems as if the app hasn’t got a baring on assessment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t create a report for you in the background. There is no way of directly checking the progress of learners when they engage with the app. However, the app does create data in a number of ways. Firstly, if a child engages with a study set through the ‘Learn’ option this will create a quiz score. The trick is to make sure that everyone notes down their scores. If a child engages with the ‘Match’ game, the app times how long the user takes to complete every match. This again, can be noted down and added to on going assessment details. It’s very easy to ask children to make a note of this information in their work books.
The app itself is ‘web-based’. In other words, children and teachers can access the content on anything that can connect to the internet. Therefore, you do not have to use an iPad to be able to engage with the learning resources. This then opens up the possibility of sharing homework activities via Quizlet. Simply search for quizlet.com and login in. The content of a future lessons can be highlighted within one study set. Children can therefore begin to think about the subject of a lesson before they come into the classroom.
Logging in to an account means that collaborating is easy. For example, an entire department can use one account and edit study sets as a team. The resources can therefore be easily adapted for specific classes. Alternatively, the searching function means that departments can share resources amongst themselves easily.
8) Specific Provision
I have commented on the differentiation possibilities available within the app, however, one of the apps trump cards is it’s accessibility. When you create your questions and answers for a study set, the app asks if you with to add an automated voice to the written text. When a child engages with the content, the text can be read out loud by the app. This has massive implications within the field of Special Educational Needs. It also makes a big difference for auditory learners.
9) Language Learning
The automated voice has language options. In other words when you add your written text to the questions and answers of study sets you are able to stipulate which language the automated voice uses to read it out. This makes Quizlet the perfect tool to use within language learning. Teachers create bilingual learning resources for MFL lessons. This feature can also make a big difference within the field of EAL. A teacher could create entire study sets that provide auditory and written help for a child who struggles to communicate. This tool could be the resource that some teachers and children are looking for.
10) Free Learning Resources
Something that is not overly obvious when you first use Quizlet is that signing up gains you access to a huge amount of free learning resources that are simply a search away. Many teachers and educators have already done the ‘hard’ work and created level specific study sets for others to use. For example, Corbett Maths have create a huge amount of revision tools that are available through the app. Some schools have been really proactive and systematically created topic based resources. Many have linked their study sets to exam questions. If nothing else, the app can be used to provide your class with an unlimited number of revision aids.