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If You’re Not Using Figment, You Should Be

 

I’ve always believed that when you hear about something more than three times in various situations, it’s time to investigate further. A few months ago, a parent I know asked me if I had used Figment with my students. Next, I stumbled across the Alice’s Tea Cup pop-up cafe/bookstore and as soon as I entered, I noticed a Figment bookmark right under my nose. More recently, I was Skyping with a faraway teacher-friend who mentioned Figment to me in passing. Finally I decided that I better investigate this “Figment business” and see what it’s all about…and boy am I glad I did. I will be sharing about Figment with every teacher, parent and student I know. And as for EdTech entrepreneurs, keep reading to find out how to use Figment as a model…

What is Figment All About?

Honestly, Figment is my dream come true. Writing has always been my favorite area to teach and learn. Figment addresses 21st Century Learning by bringing the idea of the writer’s workshop online. It is a friendly, online community of writers (and readers of course) who want to share their own work and read the work of others. This may not seem so unique, there are other forums where writers can share their work. What is so special about Figment?

Figment is Special Because:

  • The interface is highly engaging for middle school and high school students.
  • There is an educator feature where a teacher can create a private group where his/her students can share their writing, interact and offer each other support.
  • This kind of friendly environment, where community members follow you, heart your work and share feedback is encouraging to young writers.
  • It offers a unique opportunity for a group of friends, classmates and/or the public to offer feedback that can help young writers grow.
  • It offers a solution to teachers who want to give meaningful feedback to their students, but don’t have enough time during class. I imagine I would use this to add comments from my home computer.
  • This writing community is a step in the right direction for encouraging non-techie teachers to take the plunge and incorporate technology into their teaching.
For EdTech Entrepreneurs:
Here is your model! Having attended multiple conferences and spoken to a variety of educators ranging from tech guru to tech terrified, I’m telling you, use Figment as a model. Figment is less intimidating to educators than other technologies for a few reasons:
  • At Figment’s core is a model that is used IN THE CLASSROOM: the writer’s workshop. Teachers are more inclined to feel comfortable with a tech tool that supports what they are already doing in their classroom.
  • It’s interface is engaging for students, yet simple for teachers.
  • The Educator Page is inviting and the video uses animation to literally teach an educator about all of the different Figment features
  • While learning this new technology may take a little time for a tech newbie, in the end it will save time (especially in the area of giving feedback) and peak engagement.

Figment Groups

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