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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Apricot - Easily Deliver Writing Prompts to Students (andParents) #edtech #ipaded #writing @justapricot

Apricot is a neat tool I read about today on FreeTech4teachers.com that allows teachers to quickly and easily deliver writing prompts to students.  There are a few things about this free service that I really like, the first being that it's free.  Actually, the first should be that there is a website that wants to help students become better writers, but free comes a close second.  The second is that it's very simple for students and parents to become a part of a teacher's class.  Websites that make signing up for their service tedious and difficult need to learn from sites like Apricot.  Give the students a code to sign up, don't put the onus upon the teacher to do all of the work.

Yet another thing is Apricot's interface.  It's very simple to use and the writing platform is just geared for writing, not a lot of bells and whistles, which can often get in the way of student's expression.  I don't care that you know how to use the Olde English Font in pink and size 72.  Finally, I love that it makes parents a part of the equation.  In today's digital world, having a teacher or a service send work directly to a parent's phone or laptop is priceless stuff.

In a nutshell, a teacher adds a prompt and the students are prompted to respond.  They click on the link, write away and turn in their work.  The teacher then gets a copy of each response on the Apricot site and then has the option to send that work out to parents.  Parents will get a copy of their own students work as well as the option to see three other students' work without the names provided.

Overall Apricot seems to have a nice niche in the writing delivery and collection department.  How is this different from using Google Classroom?  I think the nice feature of inviting parents into the environment is useful as well as the fact that all of the work stays right in the tool, it doesn't open up anything else to get the job done.

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