I just installed Thoughtback, an app that allows users to enter ideas that the app will send back to you at random at a later date. At first, my interest was personal. For me, it’s a fun way to capture thoughts on having a new baby, who will undoubtedly be different each time I get a “thought back” on him. But there are potential interesting uses for learning and professional development.
Imagine if students recorded quotes, images, or insights from classroom lectures in Thoughtback. Using the app in this way creates a nice opportunity for students to recall key reflections from past courses and to measure how much they’ve learned or changed since the time of that first thought.
It can be used much the same way for professional development – to capture reflections, insights, and new ideas. It would enable all the creativity and energy from conferences to inspire at later points throughout the year, for example. And it’s a good tool to measure how you change (or not) in relationship to emerging trends in learning and technology. Imagine if we all had a timeline of our thoughts on MOOCs, for example. It would be interesting to see if getting your thought back would be haunting, or not.