As a student, you might not always have a teacher or peer around to be able to ask questions. While looking through the list of 50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About, I was intrigued by OpenStudy. I had never heard about OpenStudy before looking on this list and was quite interested to find out what it was. The site describes itself by being an open community for students/learners to ask each other questions as well as help answer other members questions. OpenStudy is a free site that either makes you make your own account using an email, or to sign in using Facebook. OpenStudy states it has over 1 million students in over 160 countries with 190 study groups. When I investigated further, I had understood that it is broken up into categories or “study group” such as mathematics or chemistry, and after entering a group you were able to either post your own question or answer someone else’s. I wanted to experiment with the site a little and so I posted one question (which was answered in 2 hours) and then answered one. This would be a really great resource for students who were feeling absolutely strained and couldn’t ask a better source. It does help that the subjects are divided into groups but you don’t know how reliable and true of an answer you are getting. With this being its downfall, I do however really like the idea of group learning. It is a positive thing to see a site that is completely centered around group learning- and also a site that shows student initiative to their own learning. I don’t know if I would actually use this in my classroom, but I would show it to my students so they could use it when they wanted to. However, I would use it for my own learning if I had a question during the weekend and couldn’t figure it out another way.
Here is a video that also shows what the site is about.
After more research, some more helpful resources include:
1. LessonCast– a free website that offers creative ideas for lesson plans submitted by teachers around the world
2. Glogster Edu– a free site that enables student/teacher learning blogs
3. Storybird– a great site that allows the user to create picture stories
4. Flashcard Machine- a site that enables the teacher to make online flashcards for the students
5. Edmodo– a teacher/student version of Facebook that allows the teacher to send reminders, post assignments, etc.