In an effort to ‘simplify’ our busy lives with technology, it’s all too easy to end up swamped in a stressful world of logins, passwords, emails and notifications. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a beautifully simple tool that can streamline a lot of your day to day tech-tasks by automating all sorts of digital interactions. Using the concept of ‘recipes‘, IFTTT allows you to create simple rulesets to allow your different web services to work together, saving time, effort and sanity.
Compatibility: Desktop / Mobile
Access: Email signup
A Quick Look
The below are a few examples of ‘recipes’ that could be applied in any classroom, but I really urge you to go and explore. IFTTT is now supported by so many popular tools that the possibilities really are endless.
1. Publish blogs or videos to a school Facebook page
If you or your students publish a class blog or upload videos to YouTube, try using IFTTT to automatically publish to a school or class Facebook page. This can save time and duplicated effort as well as make sure your school community are always up to date on the activities of your students.
2. Save Twitter favourites to Evernote or Diigo
Do you often find useful links and information on Twitter? Try using IFTTT to automatically save your favorite Tweets to a bookmarking service such as Evernote or Diigo. This can be particularly useful for staff professional development if you share notebooks or collections with colleagues.
3. Deliver SMS reminders and notifications
This is a great recipe idea from PE teacher Jarrod Robinson. If you have a recurring appointment or an event that you cannot afford to miss, you can use IFTTT to send you an SMS reminder. For Jarrod, this was ‘yard duty’ at 12:30pm every Wednesday, but reminders can be set up for all kinds of events such as weather, location or even on receiving email from a particular person.
4. Get new recipes straight to your inbox
Depending on how thoroughly you embrace IFTTT, you could end up one of the many addicted users who is always on the look out for the latest and greatest recipes. If that’s the case then IFTTT has you covered. You can set up a recipe to send you a new recommended recipe in your inbox every day.
5. Automate your classroom
This final idea is really for the ‘bleeding edge’ tech teachers… Not to say it could not be done by anyone, but beware, this could blow minds! Using a small piece of hardware called WeMO, you can connect IFTTT to any electronic device in your classroom. Turn on lights using SIRI. Charge devices when you leave for the day. Even hoist a flag at the end of a test! Talk about classroom of the future!
Links and Next Steps
- IFTTT Premade Recipes -- Search recipes from the IFTTT community
- IFTTT Channels – List of the 150+ services that can be automated with IFTTT
- If This Then That: IFTTT in the classroom
- How I use If This Than That (IFTTT) in my classroom – Video (6 min)
- Optimising Your Workflow with IFTTT – PE teacher Jarrod Robinson
- 5 IFTTT Recipes That Make My Life Easier – Huron City Schools
- IFTTT: NewMedia Center at the University of Mary Washington – Video (6 min)