Website review by Melissa Powers, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2021

Gimkit Ink

Safe, focused space for students to share, discuss ideas

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
8–12
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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Pros: One-click integration with other tools; students can easily create/share work.

Cons: Feedback limited to comments; no rubric or grading options.

Bottom Line: This is a simple tool just about any classroom can make use of that lets students share and solicit feedback on their work.

Gimkit Ink is a simple and safe way for teachers to foster conversation and sharing among students. Gimkit Ink offers two things -- a place to share and a publishing interface. As a place to share, Gimkit Ink is a great way to post conversation prompts, collect assignment reflections, or use as a collaborative brainstorming space. If you've been wishing you could use a social media or blogging platform in your classroom, Gimkit Ink can give you that feeling with the privacy and security you need. The text/slide publishing interface is very simple, but students can attach media from YouTube, Google Docs or Slides. There's a lot of possibility there for students to create media elsewhere and then integrate it into Gimkit Ink. If you already have a classroom learning management system (LMS) that works for you, you might not need Gimkit Ink. However, if you're looking for a better way to promote conversation and feedback within your class, or just within a small group of students like a project team or after-school club, Gimkit Ink might be perfect.

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Gimkit Ink is a web-based publishing platform where students can share ideas, conversations, and projects with their teacher and classmates. Students' ideas can be shared via more traditional, scrollable articles called Posts, or via Stories which present information in a clickthrough, slide-based format. To get students going, teachers create a project or conversation prompts (with a nice set of features for customization). Students then post their responses to that assignment. In lieu of a teacher-created prompt, students can also just create independent work unprompted; these are called Solos and can be shared via a link. Teachers can organize students into groups of any size and can tweak a variety of privacy and security options. Students control whether or not their classmates, or just their teacher, can see their content. Students and teachers can read what's posted in the Paper, a kind of front page of what's happening. Teachers can respond to posts and give feedback publicly or privately; they also have access to the Index, a filterable and browsable archive of all activity.

Given it's privacy features, Gimkit Ink can function as a safer social media-like platform for classroom discussion or as an online share-space where students post digital projects. Gimkit Ink projects are not viewable for the general public, though teachers can invite non-students to participate in specific threads with a link. Gimkit integrates with a variety of platforms including Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom and G-Suite, Remind, Desmos, Flipgrid, Scratch, Anchor, and Codepen. Anyone can participate with a link, but students must have an account to join a class. They can log in with Google account or with a valid email address. Gimkit Ink classes also work with the quiz platform Gimkit Live and teachers can access both with a single subscription.

Gimkit Ink is a unique type of tool, and it's important to set expectations. It isn't a digital portfolio platform; it's more for short-term sharing among a small group or classroom of learners. The web-based platform works well on mobile devices, and, when combined with the intuitive creations tools, students can quickly jot down ideas and thoughts and share them with the class or a teacher. The option to choose to create a Post or a Story is handy, but the publishing tools are limited compared to tools like Google Slides. In this way, while Gimkit Ink is a publishing platform, it's more in line with something like Medium or Tumblr than Microsoft Sway or Adobe Spark. What it loses in formatting features, it gains in swift, focused sharing that centers the conversational experience.

Gimkit Ink organizes students' work, both into chronological feeds/threads and a filterable index vs. an inbox or folder system of assignments. This makes it easy to see what students are sharing at a glance, but it could quickly become overwhelming if you're collecting content from multiple classes or projects at once. It’s great that students can choose whether or not they want to share their work with their classmates (or anyone at all), but, in most situations, they can’t share their work outside of the class or cohort to which they’ve been assigned.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Students can easily share their ideas using text alongside media from other platforms. Emojis and peer feedback help make the platform fun and relevant.

Pedagogy

Students' work is placed in conversation. By encouraging constructive peer feedback, teachers can move beyond “show and tell.”

Support

There's a read-to-me feature, high contrast design, keyboard navigation, and modifiable readability options. Could use a rubric feature.


Common Sense reviewer
Melissa Powers Media specialist/librarian

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Featured review by
SKYLAR H. ,
Gimkit Ink seems like social media for schools!
Gimkit Ink seems like a fun software that's student-centered and engaging!
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