Welcome to the Beta Test

A welcome and a warning

Before you start a new class, you manage expectations, right? That's what we're doing here.

What you get out of this

You get, for free, a service that I think is worth paying for... or will be, in the future. It will:

  • Manage vocabulary lists on a by-class basis.
  • Using those lists, make "normal" vocab worksheets at the click of a button. These worksheets are predictable and bring back classroom specific vocab. These can become a mundane and recurring - but helpful - feature in any lesson.
  • Use resources written by a teacher, not Merriam Webster. When I can, I write worksheet parts that make learners smile. Or, even better, connect to their surroudings.
  • Make other review activities (crosswords, wordsearches, memory, etc) using only vocabulary specific to that class.

I think the idea is so great that I spent years learning how to code and then making it. Now that I've been using it, my students like it.

As I said above, I think it's worth paying for (and, in fact, do pay to make it work) and think free is a bargain.

What are the downsides?

"Downsides?" That's a strong word. I prefer to think of them as "opportunities for imrpovement." Still, you're not dumb. You know that it wouldn't be free if it were perfect.

Here are some things you can also expect, phrased as positively as possible:

  • "The interface is continuously improving." That's marketing-speak for "I don't always communicate very well and need some guinea pigs to test this one." Guess which lucky beta testers get to be the guinea pigs.
  • "There is an ever-expanding collection of resources." That is to say: I've added translations, definitions, and gapfills for more than 8,000 words. The words I've taught so far. Every week, I teach twenty or thirty new words that aren't in the system. Some of the words you teach may not be immediately available, or you'll have to add them on your own. (That's why the beta test is limited. I genuinely don't know how much work this will generate for me).
  • "Vocab review that makes learners smile." Many of the things I added, I added to make learners smile. If it turns out that your learners think they're unprofessional, I'll slowly sanitize things. But that's why I need beta testers.
  • "Localized examples hint to learners that you invested a lot of time in these worksheets." This is on both lists, because I'm sure that, if you live and teach in Frankfurt, a reference to the Elbe river may not seem so localized. The system is set up to handle that, we--my lucky beta testers and I--just have to find those examples with time.
  • "I believe in giving young coding talent an opportunity." That is to say: I'm still doing this alone. Occasionally, things will break, you'll have to accept that as a possibility. And I'll have to do my best to avoid it.
  • "I'm passionate about customer communication." Look at the number of words on this page. Or, if you're a colleague or someone from LinkedIn, think about how much I talked to you when asking you to do this. You can expect me to be communicative. If you ghost me, though, it's nothing I'm not familiar with.

I think that's pretty fair. If you agree, we just have to go through the code of conduct and then you can sign up.

Take me to the next step

Sign me up for the adventure.