University of Wisconsin–Madison

10.23.15: Siftr Photo Mapping with Margene Anderson

Margene AndersonMargene Anderson shared how she uses Siftr assignments each week to extend her students’ learning. Low risk, super-simple to create and use, Siftrs help embody learning through student-crowdsourced sharing of examples of course content.

Siftr Activity sheet  Notes

Margene’s Siftr Story

Cathy Middlecamp also gave a session on Siftr in Spring 2015. For more on that session, click here.


  • Siftrs are cheap and easy – instead of making ONE for your class, create a new SIFTR map each week with a new theme (plaques & landmarks, cool thing to do, quiet places, culture, find advisor’s office, a place connected to their identity – or with themes that would provide evidence for your course’s learning objectives).
  • Great way for students to learn from each other’s work, rather than have papers turned in to the instructor only without classmates seeing them.
  • Embed a Siftr map in D2L or Moodle, and student sharing can happen there.
  • Siftr uses the brain in a different way than more traditional assignments, written assignments specifically.
  • Siftrs can be private or public.
  • Instructor and students can learn about all the students based on what they choose to post – allows validation and community building among students.
  • There is a Siftr widget for D2L
  • Use “categories” within a Siftr map (it’s the tag icon) to break down/sort types of posts.
  • Sort by Categories, or use hashtags in  photo descriptions to sort.
  • Use Siftr as an icebreaker in class.
  • Add other people (e.g., TAs) as editors to your Siftr.
  • What if not all students have phones? Put them in teams – at least one of them will have a phone! Anything with a web browser works.

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