Curriculet is an online app available compatible with Edmodo. It acts as an ereader and its main educational feature is to annotate texts and give assignments directly on the platform.
Curriculet is a fairly straight-forward ereading app. You first create an account, either as a teacher or as a student. As a teacher, you have access to your students, which you can assign to your different classes. Then, you can look in the store to find books to assign as an assignment. Once you selected your books, you can annotate them, and even add questions in the margins that appear at specific moments through the student’s lecture. Questions can either be multiple choices or short-answer questions. You can also highlight right in the text and assign URLs to the highlighted words. Urls can be links to websites or other medium. It is compatible with youtube videos; youtube videos can be played right from the margins. Curriculet also keeps track of how much time does each individual student spend on different tasks and keep track of their grades through different assignments done on the app. There is also a feature that allows the teacher to view the assignments as a student, so they can really know what it looks like from a student’s point of view.
Jason Shiroff from Graphite reviewed Curriculet 4 stars out of 5. He says that for a student who needs to develop close reading skills, the app can be a great learning tool. He adds that it boosts engagement and learning of students. The system of homework is also very well done and helps to check for completion in a second; which is far more efficient and time saving than having to pick them all up and then having to correct. The only counterpart he finds is that at the moment, the library is not as vast as some teachers might expect. However, teachers have the possibility to upload their own texts so there is something to do even when teachers want specific readings that are not available.
Elizabeth (Her last name is not mentioned), a teacher in highschool, wrote a review about Curriculet on Edsurge. She first begins by showing the price of the app, which is available in 4 formats: Free, a one year unlimited subscription that costs 49$, per book rental (between 0.99 and 3.49$ per book), or a premium schoolwide subscription that costs 4.99$ per student. As of 2015, 450 000 students and 50 000 teachers have been using the app. She also mentions it is easy to use and visually very appealing. However, she does not use it anymore because her school doesn’t offer one-to-one devices and she didn’t think it would be fair since the richer families would beneficiate from the app far more than the poorer ones with no device.
As an ESL teacher, Curriculet looks like a very engaging tool. However, I don’t think I would use it. If I was in an English school teaching English as a first language, maybe I would, but as a second language, I don’t think it would be very useful. First, because we don’t see students enough and giving them books to read is not really my way to do. Then, for 50$, I can show interactive videos instead of reading; which are far more appealing to a student than a novel. I would really go for a more technology-oriented teaching; such as showing videos or doing interactive activities on which we can discuss as a group.
To conclude, Curriculet is a great tool to use as a first language teacher, but maybe not as an ESL teacher since it would require students to be highly proficient and motivated in reading, which is not favorable to occur in the Quebec school system.