As a future teacher, I would like everything I teach my students to be related to the real world, to content they could face in a normal English environment. This way, I would know that what they are learning is useful and relevant. Now, my questions was, how can I make them read something related to the real world? A book? That’s good, but there must be better than that! What about articles? Articles are related to real people doing real stuff, that’s about as real as it gets! After doing some research, I found the perfect site for anyone to read about articles of any subject. Then, they can comment on it, and post it to their own page. It’s called Scoop it!
What is it?
Basically, Scoop it is a website that allows you to create your own web page in which you share topics and article you find interesting. The website has organisation tools to make it easier for the users to gather content on their page. Also, it gives users the possibility not only to share the content on their page, but also on many social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
How to use it?
When I first wanted to know more about Scoop it, I did my usual YouTube research and found Jack and his passion for electric guitar. Have a look at this video which will explain you how Scoop it works in a funny and simple way. Scoop it also has its own YouTube channel in which you can find tutorials and more information about the website. According to me, the website is not the simplest website to use, but once you have understood how it works, it’s not too bad. To summarise, once you go the website, you first need to subscribe. Then, the website asks you to enter topics you like, so you enter for example education, learning, teaching, etc. When this is done, the website will “curate” articles that might interest you. You can then go through them, find the ones you like, read them, comment them, and post them on your page for your followers to read them. To understand it better, I myself made a page that you can have a look at. You can see under the articles that I could have wrote my impressions on the subjects. As a users of Scoop it, you could also right your own comments about the article I scooped. This is where is gets interesting to use it as a teacher…
What can you do with it as a teacher?
With Scoop it, you can create a webpage for a topic in particular. For example, if in your class you are discussing about a specific topic such as countries, you can put articles about the different countries you want your students to talk about and have them read the articles on your webpage. Also, you can do it differently and ask the students to create their own webpage about articles related to the country they chose. You can have them right under the articles either their impressions or what they learned. This way, they practice reading skills, writing skills, and reinvesting understanding skills.
Also, you can publish a magazine for colleagues or people who share your interests on what you think are interesting or pertinent topics. As a teacher, it can be very interesting to receive articles scooped by other teachers and share articles you like with them. You can never learn to much from others.
Another way in which Scoop it is interesting is that uou can use a Scoop it page to share educational videos, online quizzes, spelling resources, etc. and have your students find everything at one place.
Also, every week, you could have your students read an article of their choice, comment it and share with you. Students could follow each other and read the content scooped by their classmates.
In my opinion, Scoop it is a perfect website to have the students improve every competency. If I were to use this website, I would first ask them to chose a topic they like (I might give them a list to make sure it’s appropriate). Then, I would ask them to read a few articles and find one they particularly like. They would have to right a comment on it about their impressions and what they learned in the article. Finally, they would be asked to present it in front of the class to share their knowledge of the subject they chose.
Obviously, Scoop it is a relatively complex tool to use for students, which is why I would use it with students from secondary 3 to 5. I would also make sure to explain them properly how it works and have them practice in class so I can help them. It is probably not the kind of website they are used to work with and they might need help to understand its functions. However, if it is to be used every week, it is definitely worth showing them.
Finally, Scoop it is a very interesting website for students to create their own “magazines”, share their interests while practicing the target language and share their knowledge with their peers. My goal of teaching them real world content would definitely be achieved if I were using this tool!