Tract–A new way to learn
Tract is a peer-to-peer, on-demand, project-based learning platform designed for grades 3-12. It includes classes and lesson plans, even themed clubs. It focuses on building student creativity, critical thinking, and independence–skills students need to become prosperous, happy adults.
If you haven’t heard of Tract, that’s alright. It’s the new way to inspire students to become lifelong learners. It doesn’t focus on state or international standards (though it does meet them–just don’t look for that in the learning path detail). Its purpose is to spark student creativity and empower them to explore their passions at their own pace. Lessons are given by high school and college students who clearly show their love of the subject. Content is vetted, curated, and reviewed by qualified teachers to ensure its educational rigor.
The best part for you as a teacher: There’s no professional development required. Teachers setup and start using Tract in the classroom in under 24 hours!
Do you get the idea that the Tract learning platform breaks the mold of what students and teachers typically think of as school? Listen to this: Learning is presented via videos and hands-on projects with ample opportunity for peer interaction. They can cover traditional topics in science and math or more eclectic ones like popular culture, current events, music, entrepreneurship, Minecraft, and TikTok. Curious about the topics? Here are some examples:
How to Be A 12-Year-Old CEO–of a coding company!
Unusual Creatures of the Congo
Can Trees Really Talk to One Another
Build a Bongo
Want to Become a music producer
Investing in Different Sectors of the Stock Market
Why select a platform that doesn’t do education the way it’s always been done? That’s why. Every teacher I know has students who are bored by conventional education, who equate learning with yuck. Tract’s approach is completely different from anything they’ve seen. It motivates reluctant students, awakens their love of learning by including topics they care about. Say goodbye to forced participation. That doesn’t happen with Tract. Here’s feedback on one of the classes:
Need more reasons to try Tract? How about these:
- It makes it OK for students to explore new interests in school.
- Students learn through peers, often a group they will listen to more closely than adults.
- It reinforces the idea that students are part of a larger world by awarding coins for completed work that can be donated to worthy causes.
Who are the Creators (teachers)?
Peer-to-peer learning is what sets Tract apart from other learning platforms. All Tract learning paths are delivered by High School and College-age kids who are enthusiastic about their subjects and eager to share their knowledge. They are carefully selected for their innate ability to reach peers, their enthusiasm for learning, and the depth of their knowledge. There are biographies of each Creator on the website. And, if students like the way one Creator presents, they can find more of their learning paths, even follow them.
Here are some of the Creators:
How to sign up for Tract as a teacher
Visit Teach.Tract.app and set up your free account (until they run out). Use the access code ASKATECHTEACHER to get the free discount.
If you are the first Educator from your school signing up, the Tract team will review your information (usually within an hour) and send you an email with login instructions. If you are joining from a school already on Tract, log in will be immediate!
From your educator dashboard, you’ll be able to:
- manage your classrooms
- explore classes (paths), projects, clubs, and Creators
- view donation-based, digital, and physical prizes
- receive coins, which you can use to award your students
- reach out to Tract for help
Invite students to your classes with a link or an access code.
How do students participate:
After you (as teacher) create a classroom, students to https://tract.app/get-started/kid. From there, they enter the unique Educator Code or use the special link you provide. After clicking “Submit”, they create a username and password.
Once they’re signed in, they gain access to a long list of learning paths such as these:
They pick one that interests them and get a screen something like this with a video, required supplies, and Missions (tasks to complete to fulfill the learning path):
When finished, the assignment is submitted to the teacher and posted to the Tract gallery to share with peers. Anyone can watch, offer kudos, and/or comments
Students win ‘Coins’ for completed work–coins are an experience-based currency exclusive to Tract, where projects completed can be traded or donated:
If you want to put project-based, peer-to-peer learning into practice, you’ve found the right platform with Tract. Be one of the first 1,000 to request access at teach.tract.app. Use the access code ASKATECHTEACHER to get your free Tract teacher account.
–This post is sponsored by Tract. All opinions are my own.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.