Co-authored by Jessy Troy and Tom Chu
Jessy Troy is a home-school mom and professional blogger. Tom Chu is the SEO manager at PsPrint, an online printing company.
Studies have shown that students at every age and level do better on tests when they study in a group setting. Collaborative learning is a natural direction for the Internet, which has provided a great deal of collaborative platforms and resources students and educators including Grockit, OpenStudy and Edmodo.
Grockit is essentially a social media site aimed at education. It works by allowing students to get together on a site similar to Facebook or other social networking platforms, allowing students to post updates, ask questions and get homework help. There are various tools and resources, such as a score prediction program, which will predict a student’s potential score based on the student’s current knowledge on various tests.
So far, Grockit is compatible with ACT, AP, GMAT, GRE, CAT, LSAT and SAT. It is simple and user-friendly, which makes it a useful tool for teachers and students.
Rating: 8 out of 10
- Based on online user reviews, one user said, “Grockit doesn’t have a very strong library of practice GMAT questions.”
- A Grockit review from Wall Street Journal concluded, “If you’re looking for an inexpensive and more enjoyable way to study for big tests, Grockit is a viable and easily accessible option.”
- The Grockit official case study reported, “We found that learners were more likely to answer questions correctly when they were in a group study session than when they were alone.”
OpenStudy, an open platform that leverages crowdsourcing, is a collection of study groups based on any given topic. Anyone can join the discussions at any level to learn with like-minded people both in and out of school. It is open to anyone over the age of 13, anywhere in the world. It’s a great resource for people currently in school or for those who just want to learn new material.
Users can post questions or answer others’ questions as well as participate in in-depth conversation on any subject ranging from history to English (both literature and as a language). It is the brainchild of UC Irvine, MIT, NYU, Smart History and Free Math Help.
Rating: 6 out of 10
- User reviews range from excellent to very poor.
- View this solid, well-structured review of the platform from App Apeal.
- ReadWriteWeb discussed the gamification features of OpenStudy in a recent news article.
- Comments in a Techcrunch review stated, “I’m a Stanford alum and use this site to help people out all the time…when I was in high school it was always only the rich kids who could use tutors.”
Edmodo is a must-have tool for any teacher or tutor. Made to mimic Facebook’s format, it is a secure social network that has been created with education as a main focus. A visitor can sign up as either a teacher or a student, and connect immediately with anyone in the class, study group or home-school network. From there, teachers and students can communicate, create activities and send assignments through the site itself.
Educators can create groups based on age, grade level, subject matter or classes. Students can then create a profile with the group code to get started. Edmodo offers a very useful, and a modern way of handling homework and saving on supplies.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Reviews and real-life examples:
- There are a few possible challenges. For example one educator reported, “Students can post off-topic messages, so this needs to be monitored.” In addition, “Some students may use it more as a social networking site than a site for academic purposes.” Others said, “Teachers need to make students aware of copyright laws when posting material.” (Note: Teachers set up groups and students can only message the teacher or the entire class, not each other.)
- One technology education teacher published some student reviews in a video.
- A high school teacher wrote a well-structured and detailed professional review concluding that Edmodo “allows teachers to present information in new and exciting ways.”
- One teacher on the Edmodo blog reported, “I just set up a co-classroom with a teacher from Spain so our ESL students can work together.”
These are three amazing resources that make group learning simple and easy to maintain, either as a student or a teacher. Check out all three to see which you prefer, and take advantage of what they have to offer.
Edmodo is a Learn Capital portfolio company where Tom is a partner.