Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2016

Tackk

Visually appealing creation site offers unique ways to share ideas

Common Sense says
Teachers say (7 Reviews)
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Grades
6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Inventive visual tool for sharing ideas through dynamic design; a good vehicle for starting online conversations.

Cons: Privacy controls and other features are difficult to find and tough to manage.

Bottom Line: An engaging, creative platform for sharing ideas, but success will rely mostly on the quality of content that teachers and students create.

Possibilities for this tool are endless for the creative teacher. Teachers can create assignments using unique tags (for example, "Mr. Brown’s third-period English class") that students search for. Students can then create content or Tackks and use the same tag. Teachers can also have a class Tackkboard asking students to tag Tackks with a unique name or hashtag (this can be done in the options tab in “Tackkboards”). Teachers can collate, organize, and display these boards. Also, to give feedback, teachers can use the "stream" feature with a student to share ideas.

Without a teacher dashboard to use, teachers need to be creative and thoughtful about how they connect with their students and their creations. Keep in mind that the privacy controls can be tough to moderate; discuss this with your students and come up with clear guidelines for classroom use.

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Tackk is a social creation and collaboration tool. After signing in, users can create pieces of blog-like content known as Tackks. Tackks can be blogs, school projects, or events or even start as blank canvases to help students and teachers present information. Students and teachers can also participate in streams, which are private messages between users where comments, photos, and videos can be shared.

The site (and Chrome app) is image-rich, and content can be searched for by specific user or by using tags. This virtual world is like a Pinterest-meets-Facebook platform in a smaller setting, allowing for curating, creation, collaboration, and communication. The site connects users on a creative level, allowing for discussions on user-created content.

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Tackk invites the creation of original and inventive digital media. This highly engaging visual tool allows for a great deal of creativity in expressing one’s ideas and knowledge. The variety of Tackks that students can create can be empowering, and taking ownership of their projects, discussions, and writings can help increase mastery. The site could be a good tool for creating digital portfolios, and it's a great way to share work and elicit discussions. For many users, the process of sorting through the feed and creating Tackks will be intuitive, but some teachers may want to seek out help at first. 

Meanwhile, keep in mind that students may not think critically about their work here unless prompted with a specific request from their teacher. The platform's flexibility offers many opportunities for learning, but teachers will still need to do some legwork to ensure that students' time on the site is meaningful. Teachers can share assignments through a Tackk or push them out via Google Docs or Edmodo, but using those features might create additional (and potentially redundant) work. Overall, a few key features would be a big help -- specifically, students being able to collaborate on projects in groups, and the inclusion of a dedicated teacher dashboard. Along with a dashboard, it would help if the privacy controls were easier to manage. As it is, Tackks can be password-protected but default to a public, search engine-accessible setting. Privacy options are otherwise a bit concealed, which may give some teachers pause.

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Overall Rating
3

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

A highly social tool; students will be intrigued by the visual experience and ability to create many different types of Tackks. Its appealing design is useful for promoting discussions and events and making presentations.

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

This can be a great tool for showcasing knowledge or starting discussions. Students will take an active role in creating their knowledge, but the depth to which learning occurs is reliant on how the Tackks are used in class.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Supports for teachers are somewhat buried on the site; adding multiple ways to access help would open the site to a wider audience of educators. Within the site's help area, it's tough to target specific answers.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

5
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Featured review by
Elizabeth H. , Other
Other
Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax, VA
3
Very cool tool, but the Stream is unsupervised and at times contains objectionable content.

This is an amazing tool, but the under-moderated Stream makes it a resource we are choosing not to support in our district. Recently I was working on creating a demo for how it works and I came across pornographic images posted to the Stream. I reached out to Tackk via email and on Twitter and did not get a response. I'm disappointed to abandon this tool, because it offers a unique and valuable resource.

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