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Website review by Mary Beth Hertz, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013
Learnist

Learnist

Locate, curate, and share multimedia content on tidy little boards

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Character & SEL, Critical Thinking, College & Career Prep

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: There are lots of boards to choose from -- many created by teachers and professionals who know their stuff.

Cons: Not all content is helpful for kids; you have to sift a bit to find truly educational boards.

Bottom Line: Easy-to-use organizational tool lets kids get a taste of all kinds of info, plus create their own content compilations.

You can use Learnist to create boards of articles, images, video, and other media for a course, a particular novel, time period, math concept, or anything else to help students explore content (or even to provide them a launching pad for a larger project). Project the board on a screen and you can create a lesson around it. Students who have accounts can then add your lessons to their own boards, share them with friends, and organize them however they wish. You could even ask that students create a Learnist board instead of a bibliography for a research project, citing their sources visually as well as with text. When they finish with assignments, kids can also create "fun" boards that you could also incorporate into class time, allowing them to share their hobbies and interests with the rest of the class (and maybe teaching a little something as well!).

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Editor's Note: The Learnist website is no longer available. There is an app available for download, but it has not been updated since 2015.

Learnist is a website that lets you create and view boards containing text, images, or video on a particular subject. Using the search feature, you can browse articles, videos, audio files, books, and more by scrolling through a tile-like layout of boards created by other users or content organized into categories like Technology, Education, Science, Health & Fitness, and more. You can create a profile and follow other users; kids must be 13 or older to create an account and curate their own content. Each tile links to a piece of content, which you can "like" to add it to your collection or share the content with your own followers. Plus, you can install a bookmarklet in your browser that allows you to add content from any webpage to any of your boards without having to navigate to the Learnist site. It's a lot like Pinterest, but for learning.

Learnist is primarily for self-directed learners; it's a lot of browsing around, finding the content that interests you, and compiling your own boards. Students can use Learnist to explore and create collections of digital resources revolving around tough concepts, homework materials, or just silly stuff. It can also be used to curate materials for research projects, connect with other users to share resources, or access resources curated by a teacher around a particular course or topic.

However, kids who aren't as self-directed may need assistance deciding on a topic and browsing the Web to find links; once they do, Learnist's page templates make it easy to drop in content to create a simple board. You can also make boards as educational or fun as you like; a board on amphibians could include headings like "My favorite rainforest frogs" and "Watch out for poison!" Kids can personalize the info they've collected with their own commentary, which is fun and helps them to process the content as well.

Kids already familiar with social media sites will quickly pick up Learnist's "like," "share," and "follow" buttons that allow them to collaborate with peers around school-based projects and and more. There's a lot of content, and not all of it is educational; boards run from the oddly simple "Lemons vs. Limes" to "Dangerous and Bizarre Fishing Techniques from Around the World." Alternately, there are a bunch of Common Core-aligned lessons written by teachers available, like "Describing Objects Geometrically."

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Learnist's simple, image-focused layout and organization makes it appealing to users and easy to navigate. Putting together boards could be fun for kids -- depending on the topic, of course.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Aside from learning to compile and organize info, Learnist's learning potential isn't ingrained in the site itself; it depends largely on the user and their purpose. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Learnist has a library of how-to videos that are easily located from the home page, but there aren't many extensions beyond the digital experience or adaptations for ELL or kids with learning disabilities. 


Common Sense reviewer
Mary Beth Hertz Classroom teacher

Community Rating


Featured review by
Adina S. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Search for or create resources on topics of interest
The site itself is relatively easy to set up and use. You do have to have an email address to set up an account, so that would prevent many from being able to create boards. One of the nice features is that you can search for images or videos from within the site. Unfortunately, the results are very limited. The tool isn't the best for more than just a small amount of information due the the layout, and is a limiting choice for student creation.
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Privacy Rating

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