Sunday, July 8, 2012

19 Pencils

19 Pencils is a website that has the goal of being your one stop shop for things on the Internet that you would want to use with your class.  They have a short video where they describe their vision.  Basically it allows you to save websites that you want to use with your class to your 19 Pencils class page.  It also has a Chrome extension for those who use that browser. This allows you to add websites to your 19 Pencils account without having to go to the 19 Pencils website.  Then students can visit this page and have access to all of the websites that you want them to visit.

In addition to just being a place to collect websites, you can also give each student their own log-in so that you can track how often students log in.  There is also a feature to create assignment and quizzes.  This feature has been giving me some trouble on my PC and didn't work well on my Mac either.

Right now they are still ironing about the kinks of this website as it is a beta.  I like the concept of this website and I am going to hang with a bit to see if it gets better (another review will follow if it does).  Until it's out of beta, when you create an account you are given the premium account for free.  In the future this will change and there will be a free and a premium account, but it's still unclear what features you will have to pay for.

My thoughts?  I like the idea of this website and I think it does have potential.  I would have students read through websites and then take a quiz on the content afterwards.  I really like this for when I am absent, because it's very self directed and I don't have to worry about which sub is in for me.  The user interface doesn't always work as it should, but hopefully that will be fixed.

Have you every used 19 Pencils?  What do you think of it?  Do you have a similar website that you use and like better?

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