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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Read It Later

by Nate Weiner
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Aug 28, 2011 by Teacher Education
Overview: Read It Later is a collection of applications that allow a reader to mark webpages to read at a later date, even if they are offline.
Learning Goals: The Read It Later application is a tool to make reading of web based material easier to access. The goal would be to increase availability and accessibility of web based material for students. There are no learning goals associated with the application but it could be related to whatever goals an instructor or student has set for him or herself.
Target Student Population: Intermediate elementary grade students through University students and teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users must have one of the browsers or mobile tools that allow use of Read It Later and Internet access.
Type of Material: Social networking tool and applications
Recommended Uses: This app would allow students and professors to download reading material for courses as well as resources for teaching and learning. This app is perfect for those who are trying to minimize internet usage (for instance, while traveling). It could be used by students to access a web-based assignment and to revisit it at their convenience.
Technical Requirements: Read it Later is integrated into over 135 applications across many platforms. This is because Read It Later has an open API that allows users and developers to create their own Read It Later applications and integrate them into their existing apps, and share them with other RIL users. The Read It Later platform is host to 4328 user created applications, 135 of which have been released publicly in an app directory on the Read It Later site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The application is available on a wide variety of formats and meets a need for students and teachers who need to have access to internet based materials offline. The tool can make web-based readings easier to access and revisit.
Concerns: Some platforms have a fee for the app. Others are free but a paid version is available as well.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This tool will allow those who are traveling, for instance, to download material to read offline. The Read it Later Digest sorts materials into categories. At the time of this review, the Digest is only available by invitation in beta form.
Concerns: Until beta is available, users must organize materials on their own.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The app is easy to use on a variety of tools. There is support on the website as well as a blog, news, and other ways to learn to use the application.
Concerns: While there is a free version for many tools, there is also a paid version touted as easier to use. It is not clear to a new user which options are most appropriate for a particular computer.