No matter how hard some instructor try, traditional classroom discussions can be quite boring. An analog classroom discussion usually involves the same five students, the others are checking their phones, doing another classes work or even taking naps. It’s always been hard to stay engaged and alert during a classroom discussion. It’s even harder for this latest generation of Gen-Z students.
A Philadelphia edtech startup called YellowDig is hoping to change the classroom discussion forever, by making it more social.
A social learning experience can drive engagement. YellowDig is doing just that. Don’t believe us? Just ask schools like Wharton, Duke and UVA who are already on the platform.
Millennial and post millennial students need tools that look and feel like the tools their used to and if you can’t access it on a laptop, tablet and smartphone than it’s a waste of time. You see today’s students also have very brief attention spans and are prone to do six things at once, so while they may be engaged in their coursework on their computer they may decide to up and go to grab a cup of coffee and want to resume the work at a redlight.
Yellowdig is a digital pinboard built around a professors class, lecture or coursework. Professors can build pinboards around their courses that can be shared with individual classes or with the entire school. Within Yellowdig students can congregate, collaborate and explore new ideas around the content. They can pin articles, videos and research that’s relevant to the class.
But Yellowdig goes well beyond “Pinterest for education”. What they’ve done is replaced the traditional blackboard/whiteboard discussion with a much more interactive, immersive experience. They allow students to participate how they want to, when they want to and it sparks a granular, organic conversation, similar to when you share something interesting on Facebook. Yellowdig is also a more engaging replacement for traditional LMS message boards.
“Yellowdig replaced the traditional blackboard discussion boards that we had been using because these discussion boards weren’t creating meaningful engagement for students” Professor Morgan Jehn at Arizona State University said.
Yellowdig offers participation points which give instructors a real time look at how much students are participating in the discussion, far more effective than looking to see which students are raising their hands. The points system can also integrate into the grade book systems of popular LMS systems like Blackboard, Canvas, and Bright Space. The point system along with the general ethos of Yellowdig help gamify the material. Of course students always want to earn the most points, but professors are finding that students want to get the last word in as well, often backing their points with more relevant research.
We got a chance to spend some time with YellowDig at EDUCAUSE. Check out the video above and for more info online, visit yellowdig.com