Author(s): Liisa Ilomäki
Affiliation(s): University of Helsinki
Date of publication: February 22, 2016
The Educational Problem
In many educational situations, it would be good to get ideas and comments collected quickly and easily from all participants, and encourage everyone to say something. In face-to-face discussions only a few participants usually speak and the ideas might be lost after the discussion.
Tricider is a virtual collaborative tool which supports the creation of ideas, writing and commenting of opinions and even voting for them. It is free of charge, and for registered users, it offers extra tools and affordances (such as saving and managing the virtual walls). It is, however, possible to use its basic functions also without registration: create virtual walls, share them with invited persons or via the link to anyone. Because Tricider can be used via tablets and mobile phones, practically everyone can participate in the virtual discussion and argumentation.
The tool has been used, e.g., in teacher training when discussing about the benefits of using digital technology in education, or sharing the participants' experiences about good teacher training events. The possibilities for using Tricider in school are remarkable: for learning to argue better, for creating ideas, for discussing about content, for language learning etc. For pupils and older students one essential information skill is to argue well for an opinion. That is typically somewhat taught, e.g., in discussion training, but for learning proper argumentation skills it is often not sufficient.
The benefits of Tricider are same as with many other digital tools: everyone can participate, not only the talkative ones; the writings are saved (if the wall is created by a registered user); participation is possible at different times and from different locations; it is easy and effective to collect many ideas and opinions in a short time, and it is free of charge. Tricider is also easy to use and can be applied in many subjects and contexts without much extra work.
It is, however, a limited tool, not for writing longer texts or sharing anything else than text. Voting results can be saved in Excel format.