Triptico – an overview
I would describe Triptico as a suite of applications that are designed to be used in the classroom, on an electronic whiteboard, for making interactive activities. At last count, there were about 30 applications. Some of my favourites include:
- Word Magnets – for creating draggable words and images
- Student Group – for grouping students in the classroom
- Class Count – a voting app
- Find Ten – for making quizzes e.g. find the mistakes in sentences
- Text Spinner – for making random selections
There are also a range of timers and score keeping apps, and while many similar apps can found on the Internet, Triptico brings them all together on one convenient site with no intrusive ads.
I first encountered Triptico in 2011, when it was a stand-alone piece of software that had to be installed on Windows. David Riley, the creator of Triptico, has since evolved it into a resource is accessed via the tripticoplus website.
- There are many resources that can truly make the electronic whiteboard interactive, enabling you to relinquish control of the IWB to the students;
- There are a wide range of resources. Some of the resources, such as Word Magnets, Class Count and Student Group, are really easy to use and quick to set up. Others, such as Find Ten and What’s The Question require more preparation, but offer users greater variety. The range of resources available can be a bit overwhelming to a new user; personally I find that I use a core group of apps most of the time. I would suggest a new user to start off with Word Magnets, Class Count or Text Spinner and perhaps a timer and a sore keeper;
- Once set up, some resources can be used again and again e.g. Student Group. This is really great for busy teachers. It took me a couple of minutes to enter the names of students in my class onto Student Group, which could then be used for the whole academic year. Other resources, such as quizzes, do require more time to create and have somewhat limited reusability. Nevertheless, they are great for trying out new ideas;
- Data from some apps can be imported into other apps. For example, a list of students from Student Group can be transferred onto Word Magnets and used to create different activities. Again, really great for busy teachers.
The not so good
- The majority of the resources are not free. Single user licences are reasonably priced at £15 for a year. Site licences are also available. There was a special offer in the summer of 2015 when single licences were £10 and a site licence was £249 for a year;
- Having around 30 apps on a page does look impressive to a potential subscriber, but it doesn’t make for a particularly user-friendly layout. For example, having 5 different types of timer really seems like overkill – it would be better to integrate them into a single app which lets the user choose the timer they prefer. The same goes for the different spinners and scoring apps. This would make the website more streamlined, more user-friendly and less overwhelming;
- David has been working very hard to get the web version of Triptico up and running and it is constantly improving. However, there are some niggles that need to be sorted out and are a source of irritation. For example, when using Word Magnets, I often add more magnets or change the colour to highlight something for the students while in the class. However, the menu takes up almost half the screen, making the magnets hard to read for the students.