This education-focused free media and resource sharing site is a great tool for teachers and students.
[ED NOTE: Sorry folks – looks like Learnist is no longer in business. Such is the challenge of free web apps. If anyone knows more about what happened to them, please drop a comment and let us know. Thanks! – KW 7/24/18]
I love Learnist. I’ve had an account with them since it was in invite-only beta form and now, luckily for everyone, anyone can create an account with their Facebook credentials or with a valid email.
What Is Learnist?
Learnist allows you to create “learn boards” that are dedicated to a particular topic of choice. For example, I teach Advanced Placement (AP) French through the College Board. The course is divided into six themes. I created learn boards for each of these themes. The learn boards are basically “file folders” that keep track of all the websites and resources I use to teach each of the themes, as well as a number of other topics. Each individual resource posted is called a “learning.”
You don’t just have to limit your learn boards to traditionally educational topics. Are you a great cook? Are you passionate about personal fitness? How about a champion for a charitable cause? You can create learn boards for all of these and more. The idea is that anyone can learn about anything they are interested in just by logging on. I’d always wondered exactly how the Electoral College works…well, there are learn boards created by people “in the know” who are sharing this knowledge.
Recently at my school, we’ve started an Online Educational Resources (OER) initiative to reduce spending on print textbooks. Each teacher has been charged with finding resources online, evaluate them, and possibly adopt them into their own resource library to facilitate instruction. I’ve created a learn board for this and am encouraging all of my colleagues to use it for that purpose, too. Once I evaluate a resource as viable, I put it on my learn board.
Why I Love it!
Here is what I love about Learnist: it allows me to keep all of my relevant resources together in one place; it is accessible to me all the time and I can re-visit any of the saved resources immediately; plus, I can share my “page” with my students and they can easily access any of the sites that I send them to. They don’t have to remember websites; I don’t have to send them laundry lists of links. It has made sharing resources easier and faster. You can even post your own content, which I have done with my YouTube channel, but not with files or pictures at this time.
Once you have an account, you can follow people with similar interests, and they can follow you, you can “like” learn boards or individual “learnings” (the individual resources posted on the boards). You can make comments on boards and read others’ comments, as well. You can even collaborate with other colleagues on boards for cross-curricular activities. So far, all of my experiences have been very positive.
Does this sound like Pinterest? Yes, it is a lot like Pinterest. I love Pinterest, too, but it is blocked at my school. Learnist is not. Learnist is dedicated to Learning. I have not found one iota of inappropriate or offensive material on this site.
Is there an app for that? Yes! Learnist launched its iPad and iPhone apps back in August 2012.
What can Learnist do for you? I think that all depends on you. Maybe you can find your own creative way of using the site with your students. However you use it, I am sure you’ll find it to be a positive experience.
You can get started with Learnist by going to a board called “How to Use Learnist on the Web” created by its founder, Farbood Nivi.
Sign up for Learnist at http://learni.st/.
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Three Ways Pinterest is Getting Used by Teachers
7 Reasons To Leverage Social Networking Tools in the Classroom