Common Sense Review
Updated May 2013

Scoop.it

Compile content, create front page news with handy Web curation tool
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Let your own interests populate this online newspaper.
Pros
Teachers and students can collaborate on pages; it's a fresh way to start conversation on any topic out there.
Cons
Users may need to pull from external, unregulated sites, as well as share to social media outlets.
Bottom Line
Classrooms can work together to research and publish info; safe as long as teachers keep an eye on content.
Erin Brereton
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Kids should enjoy sharing items on topics they select and have fun organizing their pages. In the educator version, teachers can make kids curators to get them actively involved, which should keep them engaged. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

With a little guidance, teens will get research and communication experience and can learn about publishing and source validity. They'll get social by sharing and discussing pages and content with peers.

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

A demo on posting appears after registration, and an FAQ offers help using the site. Users can submit site improvements, but aside from the built-in user community, there aren't many educational extras.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

You can post topic-related site links, articles, or other resources you'd like to share with students. Scoop.it's educational platform also lets teachers authorize up to 30 registered site members to be curators for a topic, which lets them post and share items. Information on user views could be used to teach teens about Web metrics, marketing, and analyzing data. You'll probably need to provide additional resources to teach teens about publishing -- e.g., explaining things like how to identify legit informational sources with verified content.

 

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What's It Like?

Scoop.it is a content curation and publishing platform that lets users compile and share items in a format that looks like a newspaper's front page or an e-newsletter. You're essentially creating ongoing newsfeeds on topics that include updates from various sources and images. Other users can follow your topic, and you can also publicize items to audiences who aren't on Scoop.it by transferring them to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Once you identify a topic of interest, the site offers suggestions from outlets like Google News, Twitter, and posts from other users. You can also add items by entering a link to an article or website or by keying a title and other content into a form. If you'd like to send the final product out as an e-newsletter, you can download it as a zip file and distribute it using an external email account, or send one newsletter per topic with MailChimp each month at no cost.

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Is It Good For Learning?

It has a clear proposition for the business community: Scoop.it says it was built "to help the marketers, the consultants, and the entrepreneurs increase their visibility online." The classroom benefit may be a little less obvious, but kids can use Scoop.it to learn self-expression, discussion, and research skills. They'll get communication practice by adding notes on items they post and responding to user comments, plus learn about how PR, publicity, and building an audience works. Lots of people use Scoop.it for pure fun; there are numerous pages dedicated to Justin Bieber, and kids can collaborate on any topic they like.

The educator-specific version of the site allows teachers and up to 30 students to team up and research, gather, and comment on items. Teachers submit the topics curators follow, so they can ensure at least part of the Scoop.it experience is safe. However, there’s no guarantee teens won't see questionable content from outside sources like YouTube (link suggestions for a seemingly safe topic like education include headlines such as "Forced to Masturbate for College Class?") or other users’ posts.

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See how teachers are using Scoop.it

Lesson Plans