What is it?
InsertLearning is a Chrome extension that you can use to insert your own educational content into a webpage. If you go to InsertLearning’s homepage, you can check it out before you download and install the extension.
How does it work?
Below is a screenshot from a sample lesson. If you want to see the teacher view, you can use this link (you will probably be prompted to install the extension and login before you can view it). It’s an NPR article on the Declaration of Independence:
On the left, you can see what all you can insert into a webpage. I annotated what each of the icons mean.
- Assign Lesson. You can share the lesson with the students, either by sharing it directly to Google classroom, or by sending students to this link: insertlearning.com/signup and providing them with a class code.
- Highlight Text. This is pretty self-explanatory.
- Sticky Note. This allows you to type your own commentary on the webpage, or you can insert media, like a YouTube video, embed code, or (I like this alot) you can record a video of your own and insert that.
- Assessment Questions. These can be either open-ended questions or multiple choice questions. You can give these questions point values and view student achievement in your InsertLearning dashboard.
- Discussions. You can insert a discussion prompt; students can respond and then view their classmates’ responses.
Strengths, Limitations, and Applications
The free version of InsertLearning lets you store 5 lessons. Upgrading to a $40/year plan gives you unlimited lessons, which seems reasonable.
InsertLearning has a Google integration, and so teachers/student sign in with their Google accounts. It also works well with Chromebooks, and can be shared directly to Google classroom. Because of this Google integration, you’re able to create “enhanced” Google docs. In other words, you could create a worksheet with Google docs, and then turn it into something more interactive by inserting sticky notes, video explanations, assessments, discussions, etc.
I really liked this tool and think that it could have a number of applications, for K-12, higher ed, and in an online context. When I taught political science I would frequently assign students online articles– and they weren’t always easy reading. With InsertLearning, it would be simple to turn those reading assignments into something more interactive. If the article referenced a concept I think they would find difficult, I could insert a YouTube video or record my own quick explanation. If the article brought up something controversial, I could add a discussion question. If the article was lengthy and I wanted to make sure they made it to the end, I could add in assessment questions throughout. Overall, I love that this tool turns reading into a more interactive and social experience, which would undoubtedly enhance student engagement with and retention of the content.