Move over Blackboard: A New Education Technology Platform is in Town

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Move over Blackboard: A New Education Technology Platform is in Town

Don’t we all want a little homework help?

As one of the only girls in her undergraduate program at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, an elite engineering school in India, Pooja Nath had a hard time getting some extra help with her work when all the boys band together to collaborate on assignments. In fact, Nath recounts to the New York Times that she sat “on the sidelines just watching” as others got the homework help they needed.

That experience, however, served as the catalyst for her creating Piazza, a website in which students can post questions to their course page and then peers and educators can respond. Instructors are able to watch over the discussion, mark the best responses and provide comments of their own. Each Piazza homepage is tailored to the individual student, and coeds can enjoy threads of conversations with their peers and teachers until their questions are answered.

This new platform may at first sound similar to the fellow education technology platform Blackboard, which allows students and teachers to communicate via the Internet, but Piazza is designed specifically to accelerate response time as the average question will receive an answer within 14 minutes.

The site is pretty impressive, as evidenced by stats such as the average user spends two to three hours a day on the site and the site has expanded from three colleges to more than 330 in the last year.

As a student who had her fair share of frustration over learning the difference between sedimentary and igneous rocks in college (and yes I know I learned them in eighth grade too!) I can certainly say I would have loved this feature while I was a student. After all, if your schedule is booked when the professor has her office hours what do you do if you have a homework question? Call a friend? Beg them to give up a few minutes of their “Thirsty Thursday” pre-game ritual so that you don’t get an incomplete on the assignment? Not likely.

With Piazza, however, chances are that someone (either your peer or your professor) will be able to get back to you… and quickly. Boy those rocks would have been a whole lot easier.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Articles to 'Move over Blackboard: A New Education Technology Platform is in Town'
new teacher.jpg
blog pic.jpg
College Admissions
Feedback for Move over Blackboard: A New Education Technology Platform is in Town

Leave a comment