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What’s new, interwebs?

Recently I came across a site called ThoughtExchange and thought it would be a fun and interactive way for students to respond to prompts. Well, what a nightmare that was. When trying to create a ThoughtExchange lead to payment options and the inability to easily access the cite for student or teacher benefits.

I enjoyed using the website when my division sent out a question / prompt for Connected Educators to fill out, however I feel that the cost of the cite does not provide that many benefits to the user. I have used Mentimeter, Forms, Google Forms, etc. and these sites provide just as quality feedback that ThoughtExchange does.

I noticed with ThoughtExchange that you can answer the question as many times as you wish and then add feedback to other posts (as well as give other responses a 1-5 Star rating), however, for the purposes of my classroom, I do not think that the cost would really make a huge difference in the intended

goal of the survey or feedback response. Often I have had students respond on FlipGrid, however, sometimes students can respond in inappropriate ways (and that is with their name being attached to their response). The ThoughtExchange did not require me to show my name or any other user information.

Recently, I signed up for TikTok. I have been saying for a couple years that I am too old for the app, and that I have finally really noticed a divide between the apps that I use and the apps that my students use. For the beginning of my career, I was on top of Instagram and Snapchat because I use those platforms as well… but TikTok was the first one that made me cringe and I avoided it. Until now.

It is a fun app and I appreciate why it is so addicting; however I have a hard time investing too much time into absorbing so much content. One main reason is that other platforms can be used while out in public becuase you do not need sound for Snaps or Instas, but with TikTok, I feel the need to sit down and listen to the videos without feeling like I am disturbing those around me.

There are some educational benefits to TikTok (if used properly) and many of the students COULD accomplish this by watching more how-to videos or engaging with more social justice oriented content. The problem is, they don’t. More often than not, students focus on their TikTok challenges and following their favourite celebrities or influencers. As educators, I feel we can use the content (dances, video creation, etc.) to motivate students to create; however,

I personally and professionally feel that moving those creations or dance ideas to a safer, more controlled platform would be best. FlipGrid is a great app for sharing videos but has the ability for teacher moderation and overview of the class, rather than 30 different TikTok accounts that are so open ended and lack social guidance or restrictions/parameters.

This site helped me while I was trying to create a video and got stuck on importing and editing my content.

8 thoughts on “What’s new, interwebs?

  1. Dalton, my school division has been using ThoughtExchange for a few years now. We use it to help identify items to be discussed at admin meetings and use it as a tool to gather information and feedback from stakeholders, especially parents and community members. I know that the platform comes with a cost, but it seems to be a great tool to gather feedback,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This post is the sole reason I just remembered I have work to do on ThoughtExchange! Thank you for the reminder! Like you with TikTok I have been putting off my assignment on thought exchange because I had no idea how it works and I didn’t yet have the mental energy it takes to learn a new form of social media. I better summon the energy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never heard of though exchange before but I do use Google forms quite often in my class and with the staff. I was reluctant to get TikTok at first as well but now I quite enjoy the educational side of it. I find that I can locate quite an engaing lesson with the right # search. I haven’t incorporated TikTok into my classroom as far as the students using it to create content but am thinking in the near future that might happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dalton,

    It was interesting your perspective on Tik Tok surrounding volume and how you have to technically listen to the videos to be engaged by the content. This is definitely not something I have thought too deeply about, but connects to desirability of the videos and their catchy tune with visual content.

    I have used Flipgrid in other uni classes, and I wish there was more control from the leader to filter content/names/responses to limit issues surrounding those things. Until then, I will stick to google forms.. super vanilla, but you always know what you are getting in the end.

    Any chance you have utilized flipgrid for math content? Asking as a math teacher who is intrigued by it..


    1. FlipGrid of SeeSaw would be an easy one to use for math. I have asked more challenging, open-ended problems via FlipGrid and had students respond orally, and allow them to use diagrams or draw their answers out on paper or the board. Kind of a neat way of doing it… Sort of like having students post their answer to a forum and having other students critique it or ask questions about how they arrived at the answer!


  4. Like Curtis, I have not heard of Thought Exchange before and therefore have never used it. I do use Google Forms and Mentimeter quite a bit in my classroom with parents/guardians, staff as well as the kiddos. I am still reluctant to try TikTok, and have frankly stayed away from it. I can see the educational potential, however, I can’t seem to get on board with it right now. Maybe in the future, but as of yet, I still need time to digest it. I have to admit that I am quite shy when it comes to using social media with my kiddos. Maybe it’s because of privacy policies, or past experiences dealing with issues surrounding it leaking into the classroom, or just trying to separate some of the time my kiddos spend using it. Not sure. But definitely something to look further into I think.


    1. I agree… it is a little bit of a daunting concept especially when we are so used to the zero-tolerance policy of cellphones at school; now we are being challenged to scrap that and integrate it further. Definitely a learning curve. I am not opposed to it, but every teacher has varying comfort levels regarding phones and social media. I find there are many adults that are more reluctant towards TikTok, but also know some who are completely addicted. I suppose that is similar to when Snapchat and Instagram came out. Many people did not want to get involved…. but eventually did anyway! Funny how times change! Thanks for the response.


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