By Peter Magers on Thu, 12/19/2013
Social media platforms like Facebook have changed the way we interact with friends and family, and many would say for the better. It’s become easy to get in touch, stay in touch, and reconnect, and the practical applications have been endless. Planning a get-together, project, or reunion? Disseminating information efficiently is a breeze. Private conversations and group conversations are intuitive and simple. So is sharing photos, files, and links. Now a new app, Classting, is changing the way real classrooms interact—virtually.
Hyeon-gu Cho was an elementary school teacher who noted that students didn’t want to add teachers and parents to their social media accounts. He also took note of the fact that the school’s website and communication options were clunky, old fashioned, and largely rejected by his students, who didn’t visit it. A light bulb went on: Why not create a fun, easy-to-use social media app designed specifically for education? One that could create virtual classrooms in an intuitive, dynamic manner. Thus was born Classting. Instructors start virtual “classrooms” which allow their students to interact with one another and the instructor. Parents can join in, too. The UI is similar to popular social media platforms, but tweaked to offer special school-focused features.
Some of the more valuable features include an instantly updated notification feed strictly for class announcements; an ongoing newsfeed to find out everything that’s going on with the classroom; and the ability to leave feedback and reward helpful comments, share files, and more. Teachers and students can also engage in confidential messages. Finally, there’s also an option for “tinging” other virtual classrooms for an online exchange program. The possibilities associated with this are endless. Tutoring, cross-cultural exchanges, and more are potential pluses of this feature. Users also have a personal home page which they can use to express their thoughts and ideas, share stories and photos, and socialize casually.
Classting is easy to navigate, and it’s bright, attractive graphics are worlds above the usual outdated online bulletin boards many schools have used up until this point. It’s also incredibly easy to get started, and it’s ready to go almost immediately. Inviting students, adding instructors and parents, and getting the whole class involved is a painless endeavor. What’s more, Classting is cross platform, offering a web app for PC users, an iOS app for those with Apple devices, and an Android app for those with other smartphones and tablets.
Classting is a game changer in educational collaboration software. It’s more than a productivity app, in this sense. It’s brilliant, and at first glance one wonders why it hasn’t been done before now. Now that it’s out there, however, it’s likely that students, parents, and teachers will soon wonder how we ever went without it. It’s available now, and can be downloaded for no charge in the iTunes App Store. Users can also explore Classting at www.classting.com.