Classting is more than a brilliant productivity app for students and teachers; it may well represent a paradigm shift in how educators, students, and their parents communicate in and out of the classroom. It’s a collaboration and social media platform designed to streamline classroom communication and connect students, instructors, and parents in the same class and around the world.

The man behind the app, young Korean elementary school teacher Hyeon-gu Cho, noticed his students reluctance to involve teachers and parents in their online lives. He also noticed that they seemed to shy away from using the school’s website—and he couldn’t blame them.  Many schools have some sort of online bulletin board, but they’re usually awkward, out of date, and offer little useful functionality.  That’s especially apparent to students who are well-versed in streamlined, efficient, and attractive social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.  Cho theorized that students weren’t really hesitant to communicate with their teachers and parents online, they just didn’t want to muddy the boundaries between their social and educational pursuits.  He put this idea to the test and created what may be one of the most innovative applications of the year: Classting.

Classting users simply create an account and join their “class” virtually, gaining access to instant notifications from the instructor, a dynamic, interactive newsfeed that lets them collaborate on assignments and keep up on class events, and a personal home profile for sharing their own thoughts, ideas, and images.  Teachers can also counsel students privately, and students can comment on and “light up” one another’s comments and posts when they contribute positively to the ongoing exchange.  Each “class” forms its own group for announcements and notifications, which keeps things organized, but there’s also an option available to “ting” other classes, thus initiating a sort of online exchange program.

The app is beautifully easy to use and intuitively easy to understand.  Getting started is as simple as making an account and creating a class name and inviting other users.  And everyone can participate: the app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and for those lacking a smartphone or tablet, that’s no problem: there’s a web app as well. Visually, it’s bright, appealing, and sophisticated: exactly what today’s students expect from their online and mobile applications.  Its popularity is growing fast, and it appears Mr. Cho was on target with his theories as to why virtual classrooms hadn’t taken off yet.  They just needed the right platform, and Classting provides it.

There isn’t much to criticize about Classting at this point; as it grows, it’s likely that students and teachers will discover other features they wish they had.  With the conscientious development and constant attention it seems to be receiving though, Classting looks to be poised to evolve to meet its users’ needs as they arise.  The only problem with Classting, really, is that every class isn’t yet using it.  It’s spreading fast, however, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to find it required by many classes in the future. Classting is available now, and it’s free to download in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

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