There are many fantastic educational technologies out there, and much to rave about. But this tool isn’t one of them! Called Summarize This it’s a free tool – and free is always good. It’s web-based, which is good – no downloads, and no user logins are required, which is also a big plus in the classroom! On the face of it it’s a great tool. You type in some lengthy text and out pops a quick summary of the text. So useful for students who can get quick summaries while researching a topic!
Firstly, the examples I tried produced pretty poor summaries. As an English teacher I felt my blood curdling and my hand reached for the red pen! F-, I’m afraid! The summaries produced did a good job of picking out strong topic sentences, but not necessarily the right ones, and the thesis statement was often missed entirely.
Secondly, and here is my main point, for me the whole point of technology in education is that it should enable critical thinking, not replace it. As a teacher I actually want students to make their own summaries. Technology that enables that is great, but technology that purports to take away the need for it is missing the point entirely!
Here’s what the technology made of this blog post. Not a summary that any English teacher I know would recognise at all!