Tricider is a versatile learning tool that makes brainstorming, group decisions and discussions easier to implement in the classroom and enjoyable to all students. “Try it now! It’s free. No sign-up”, indicates the home page: enter any question and boom! you are ready to tricide.
Once the main question/theme/subject found, it is possible to invite participants via e-mail or social networks to start gathering ideas. For the teacher and her students to be already in contact online (in a Facebook group, for instance) would therefore be ideal before sharing tricisions. As the ideas begin to flow, the students may vote for their favourite and even state arguments for and against each idea given. With these possibilities, the teacher could ask students to discuss elements of form and content in a novel, to give their opinion on a defined subject (hopefully arousing debates), to summarise notions seen in class, or to generate preliminary thoughts on the chapter that is to be covered in class. Moreover, the teacher may define a deadline, located at the right-top of the page: useful for weekly participation or assignments to be handed in at the end of class. Hence Tricider’s suitability for various situations, from discussing essay topics to organising the class’ day trip. Other settings include character limitation and SPAM protection, to prevent looong answers or uninvited people to join the conversation (+). More importantly, students may use this tool for themselves to organise team presentations or online revision for exams.
An advantage of online group discussion is to allow shyer students to have their voice heard (+)! While in-class interaction is the extrovert’s playground, it is the introvert’s nightmare. Some students behave very differently in and out of class. To diversify media of interaction may surprise a few on the real capacities of nerds.
eDidaktik interestingly explains how Tricider is convenient for both the dialogal and the polyphonic form of teaching. In the dialogal form, Tricider basically sustains discussion, written argumentation and organisation of thoughts. In the polyphonic from, Tricider helps in rating ideas or solving management issues (that is, for example, not spending precious class time to choose the order of oral presentations, but previously establishing it online and taking care of serious stuff in class).
Lastly, since it may weaken face to face communication between students, Tricider should not be the only way for students to discuss in-depth subjects. Oral interaction in class should prevail whenever possible.