One of the major goals, and struggles, of teaching English is the need to evaluate the students on an almost daily basis. This problem is even bigger when teaching in an intensive program, a situation I experienced last month during my third practicum. During my practicum I used a variety of strategies to evaluate my student daily, there is one, however, that I did not have time to try and it consists of having the students write a diary. Penzu would have been a perfect website to materialize my project.
Penzu is an online private diary. It only takes a couple minutes to sign up to Penzu and it is absolutely free. The layout opf the website and of the actual journal is very attractive, the diary in itslef is fully customizable. Upon signing up, one can ask Penzu to send the user an electronic reminder to write down in the diary every day, week, month, whatever. You can link photos, pictures, leave comments, and many other features that cannot be done on a paper diary. Toptenreviews.com are full of praises towards Penzu, giving the website an almost perfect score on their review. The review websites mentions that it is virtually impossible to hack someone’s diary as they all are encrypted the same way goverment documents are. Moreoever, it can be hard to go back a find an old entry if you write daily in the diary; Penzu solved the problem by ading a tagging option to the entries. Just write down some keywords and you will always find your way through old posts. But where Penzu gets a lot of points is for customization. You can change the way your diary looks, the way the pages look, you can change the font. You can highlight stuff to make it stand out in your text. Bref, you do whatever you want with your diary.
App Storm is also giving Penzu good reviews saying it is an easy to use, user-friendly website that makes it very easy to share entries on different social media. One of the downsides presnted in App Storm’s article deals with Penzu’s security. As mentionned earlier in the text, Penzu encrypts your diary in a manner that makes it almost impossible to breach. If however you lose you password it is impossible for you to change it or get another one. Forgetting your password means you lose your entire diary and all that is inside. Bummer.
Penzu would be great in a classroom if you want daily input on your students. Have them write an entry on whatever topic after each day of each period and there you go!