Tech Tool 1: Listify

Series Introduction

This is the start of a series of posts on technology tools. I leave technology as broad as possible so that I can include as many diverse and useful tools as possible. The only criteria here is that a piece of technology needs to be interesting and potentially of use to me in my work or play.

Each tool review will briefly cover:

  • basic background about how I found the tool;
  • links to the tool creator, promoter, and/or developer;
  • potential applications for the tool;
  • outcomes from using tool if I have actually worked with it.

I look at ten or twenty times more tools than I use. The tool reviews are as much documentation of this process as they are in sharing potentially great tools. Often I forget about great tools. These posts are meant to support my own continued professional development, technology skill growth, and time saving in tech tool research.

Tool Discovery

I discovered Listify via the Open Knowledge Foundation Labs site. As you can probably guess, OKFN Labs is part of a larger project, the Open Knowledge Foundation. They are doing some great work, and I am very excited about their School of Data.

Tool Use

As the site says: Turn a Google spreadsheet into a beautiful, searchable listing in seconds.

To appreciate this, check out their live example. It makes 

Potential Tool Applications

Several different options come up. First, this seems like a great way to take a student group or course project--building a data base--and converting that information into a visual graphic or interactive list. Rather than just compiling a series of things or items and having to sort through spreadsheets--something that few of us do with much excitement, Listify makes that information more interesting, more engaging.

For example, I am currently considering having students in one of my classes collect five different online resources for each book they read. Each book addresses a current technology-related issue. The resources can be images, videos, infographics, etc. that help provide context for that book and issue. While they can see the database as it is built, this would allow them to see, create, and post on their own sites or blogs the results of their collective research. And it requires nothing more than using this tool--there is no additional coding for anyone.

Another option that I see is for a class I teach: 624 Internet for Educators. One assignment is a resource collection assignment. Just like the prior description, Listify could help generate a deliverable usable by all of the teachers in one place instead of having to cobble together and sort out their different contributions.

Additional Loose Thoughts

I see a couple potential applications.

  1. By using Google Forms, you could easily build up a variety of different types of lists;
  2. Moodle could be used for either embedding the GForm or by exporting from the database assignment;
  3. This could be used among colleagues to build up a great collection of resources they use for any specific topic or theme, from coding to plagiarism, and include room for images, videos, books, etc.


If and when I test this out, what results I have. If others test out Listify and are willing to share, please let me know so that I can embed or link here!