This product is no longer available. Check out top picks for more great tools.
Review by Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013

Springpad

Innovative, image-rich app with focus on lifestyle, buying, sharing

Common Sense says
Teachers say (3 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Grades
10-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Robust, clean design, integration between different genres.

Cons: Teens can easily view adult-oriented content, and the app has a strong commercial focus.

Bottom Line: Slick productivity app lets mature teens communicate and collaborate using technology.

You might encourage teens to think about traditional methods of organizing school or social activities and compare them to Springpad, or to think about the ways an interest, like interior design, could be furthered using Springpad. Discussion might include ways in which technology like Facebook and Springpad have been used to accomplish goals beyond basic sharing.

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Editor's Note: Springpad has closed and is no longer available.

Springpad is a robust app that's Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, and Google (somewhat) all rolled into one. Users "spring" –- that is, add Web-based items to notebooks via category-restricted searches or exploration of public notebooks. Teens can learn about concepts of presentation and organization –- using productivity functions like note, map, audio, event, photo, place, link, and tasks –- and produce their own content, perhaps to manage a school club, present a research project, or keep in touch with teachers. The app mines the current location if enabled. Users must create an account with an email for sharing and synchronization; they can also sign in via Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Yahoo.

At the My Notebooks page, users select the plus symbol to add an item or a new notebook, choosing title, background, color, and public or private setting. Users add items from a menu of 12 categories, a third or so being productivity-oriented. The browser-based version synchronizes perfectly with the app, though functionality is slightly different.

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For ease, depth, and sophistication, this app is top-notch, although it occasionally crashes when users return to the app from retail sites. Users are asked to "Spring it!" to add items (not release them), which is, concept-wise, a bit confusing. It would be nice if "springs," or items listed in All My Stuff, linked to notebooks that included them. Small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

Safety notes: Public notebooks can be cloud-shared easily, but only a double warning stands between you and sharing a private notebook. Aslo, Springpad is aimed at adult users but allows teens 13 or older to have an account. Because of potential access to mature commercial content, however, 16 is a safer age.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Because teens drive the experience, they'll be able to tailor it to their own interests. Design is smooth, and images and text are optimized and scaled perfectly for devices.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

While the overall depth and breadth of content is lacking, the potential is huge. Teens are empowered, and they can learn a wide range of skills that transfer to their offline world. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Depending on the platform, navigation isn't always intuitive, but there are several help notebooks under the "springpadtips" account.


Teacher Reviews

3
(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews)
Featured review by
Laura S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Trinity Lutheran School
Joppa, MD
3
Love Springpad for organizational purposes. Similar to Pinterest.

I personally LOVE this website for my own use. It's like my own personal organization binder for home use. I mainly use it to organize recipes. I like that you can have notebooks for each topic you choose, and still apply "tags" to your various items so they can be found no matter what notebook they are in. I have yet to try this in the classroom, but I would like to pilot it with an older class to see how they adapt to it.

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