Teacher Review for InsertLearning

Good start, needs tweaking

Hannah R L.
Classroom teacher
Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, United States
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My Grades 8
My Subjects Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I used InsertLearning (IL) to have students annotate text on a digital book for social studies. Students are prompted to insert images that relate to the text, highlight and provide definitions to key terms, discuss reactions and connections, and show that they are engaged in the material. It took time to add prompts for discussion and directions regarding highlighting and underlining. Students were required to insert a minimum of two images per chapter we read that related to the story. I also posted a discussion question after each chapter as an exit slip. A couple of my students promptly began trolling the discussion by posting many times and burying other student's posts. I was preoccupied with reading the chapter out loud and did not see the spam posts until after class. It would be nice to mute students or limit postings to one or two. When going back to check on how students did with annotating the text I found it to be bothersome to have to enter each student's screen separately. I also could not know immediately whether or not students were annotating during class without having to click on each student's screen. When editing the master document it updates the students' pages automatically. It was frustrating because it would be nice to have control over whether or not the updates are sent out to everyone.
My Take
I enjoy the direction that Insert Learning is joining technology and reading but it needs some work. The interface could be improved and needs to be easier to view student work. There should be more options for collaboration and annotation. If this were a free service then I wouldn't expect more from it, but since it is not I am left wanting more.