Home Free Tools & Resources “If This Then That” as a Teaching and Learning Aid?

“If This Then That” as a Teaching and Learning Aid?


Anyone Using This Platform in an Educational Context?

If This Then That, or “IFTTT” (https://ifttt.com/), is a free online app that will allow you to define relationships between applications and devices you use, and set up triggers so that X happens, Y will happen. This can creates myriad possibilities for automation.

For example, you can do something as simple as “check Bitcoin's price at 6 AM every day and notify me”, or something fancier like, “synch my Alexa To Do list with my Reminders on my phone”. This can even funkier when you start incorporating “IoT” devices, like a programmable thermostat or automated light switches. This article, “Automate all the little stuff in your life with these awesome IFTTT recipes“, provides a bunch of interesting examples (the sets of logic you define in IFTTT are called “recipes”).

I've been curious about this tool for quite a while now, but to be quite honest, when I wear my CIO hat, I can't bring myself to share multiple user names and passwords with an online app. It just makes my too nervous. Nevertheless, I imagine there could be some cool uses for IFTTT in the classroom if you are willing to take a little security risk (maybe I'm just being paranoid, this Reddit thread explains that IFTTT uses tokens and APIs and doesn't necessarily store your usernames and passwords in a retrievable way – I need to spend some time understanding that better).

I did poke around the web looking for examples of IFTTT use for education and found these resources which are worth exploring if you are interested:

Of course, I'd love to hear from someone who has actually used the platform (in or not in the educational context), so please share if you are using this and have used IFTTT. Thanks!



  1. Thanks Kelly,
    Let’s see how it works out before anything else. i hope to implement my idea next week sometimes as we will be close to finishing our book.

  2. Although I might not use IFTTT in the traditional way that it was designed I’m actually going to modify it and use it in my English class as another means for student choice analysis and extrapolation. I can see presenting a central IFTTT topic/theme from the book we are reading and have students connect to that. Initially they would individually connect and support their connection with textural evidence. Then what I think might work is to have students share their connection and have others connect with evidence from the original students connection. Students can then continue to connect with each other and so forth. perhaps using a Google doc page or something similar where everyone can connect. Yes it sounds like webbing of sorts but I think in this case it might be more textural evidence based. I think being able to utilize other media resources – videos that apply, fake Facebook posts etc., might be collaborative fun where the end result has students discussing and analyzing in greater depth thereby deepening the analytical skill sets and making the passage or reading more meaningful. Just a thought. I’m off to set it up.


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