Now that we’ve discussed what Learnist is, let’s make our first learn board.
1. First, click on “+Add” at the top right of the toolbar on the Learnist site.
2. Next, select “Create a New Board”.
Nota Bene: If you already have an existing board on Learnist, you can add learning to these boards by either selecting “Add from a URL” or “Upload Your Own”.
3. Give your board a name, select the category to which it will belong, list your collaborators (if applicable), and write a brief description.
4. There are three basic ways to add content to your learn board. You can click “+Add” at the top right of the toolbar on the site (as you did to begin creating a new board); you can drag and drop the boomarklet “Learn it!” to your browser toolbar and click it each time you want to add a site, video, map, etc.; or, you can click the “re-add” button while browsing Learnist to add learnings from other users’ boards. For my part, I used option #2 (the “Learn it!” bookmarklet). I have found this to be the easiest way to add new content.
5. Here’s the “Learn it!” bookmarklet once it’s been dragged and dropped to the browser toolbar. You can simply click on it whenever you find something on the web that you want to add to your boards. A separate small dialog box will pop up and will prompt you to choose an image to represent your learning, as well as ask you for a description to accompany your image.
6. Here’s the “Add from URL” option for adding content. It’s as simple as copying and pasting the URL of the site you’d like to include.
If you choose to add your own content, you’ll be asked to upload an image from your computer:
Once you’ve uploaded an image from your computer, you’ll be asked to include a description/explanation to accompany this image on your board.
7. Once you’ve either chosen to upload content by URL or through the “Learn it!” bookmarklet, the Learnist site generates a group of thumbnail images from the site/video/map, etc. You will then need to select one image to represent this learning on your board.
8. Now you will need to write a caption/description to accompany the image you have chosen. You can give a general description of the image/site/video clip/map, etc. and/or you can include interesting facts or anecdotes that will be memorable to your readers and pique their interest.
9. Now here’s a preview of the learning you’ve just created for your board.
10. Once you’ve finished adding all the learnings for your board, you will be returned to your “dashboard” page. Here you can see a thumbnail representation of each board, complete with stats such as # of views, “likes”, and # of comments. You can also easily and quickly edit and add learnings to your boards at any time.
I am very excited about Learnist because it allows users to teach what they know (and are passionate about) and share it, but it also allows users to learn about subjects they don’t know by exploring the boards created by others. This is a great tool for classroom use, because it allows teachers to share additional resources with students for the purpose of enrichment. Speaking from personal experience, there are so many sites, video clips, and other resources I’d like to share with my students, but class time is limited. This would be a great way to share those resources with students. Also, this would be a great tool for students to use to group, organize, and share their learnings with one another. The ability of a learner to arrange his/her own learning and to engage in meaning-making with the material is one of the best ways to approach the learning process. After all, the best way to learn something is to teach and explain it to others.
If you’ve used Learnist with your students, how have you used it? Please do share!