Aches & Pains in Using the Friendliest EdTech – Quizlet


Smiley Crane (Naomi's Photos)
Smiley Crane
(Naomi’s Photos)

For me, the clever flash card app (and website) called Quizlet, is about as convenient as educational technology can get. Not only is creating study sets simple, the fact that there are auto-defintions to choose from (no need to switch languages!) and built-in picture options saves a lot of time. So easy to learn to use!

Add to that the fact that my deaf and hard of hearing high-school students are completely (and understandably ) addicted to their cell phones. Some of them don’t even have working computers at home anymore. Everything is done on the cell phone. Since my students also have a lot of trouble remembering vocabulary, I decided to add Quizlet to our program. It works on Android and Apple phones. I even treated myself to the paid version so I could easily track students’ progress.

Beware! Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

I’m ashamed to say that I thought there wouldn’t really be any woes worth mentioning when implementing THIS Edtech.

Ha ha.

First there were a lot of problems getting the students to join the classes I opened on Quizlet. Those who opened an account and joined the class on the class computer BEFORE downloading the app on their phone had no problem. However, those who downloaded the app before I sent them the invitation to join the class did not find the invitation when entering the app and did not join. I tried telling them to refresh the app to see the invitation but some had promptly forgotten their login information (despite my requests to write it down). By using the classroom computer we solved that problem, one student at a time. Good thing I only have 45 students in all three grades!

I have an Android phone. Students using Apple phones didn’t find the invitation link I sent via WhatsApp to be clickable. Luckily a student showed everyone that when they forward the message back to me, the link becomes clickable.

Fishing Net Naomi's photos
Fishing Net
Naomi’s photos

Some students registered using the Facebook account. Which is a huge advantage over losing your login information every lesson! But the user name students receive by registering this way is a number, not their name. I had to make a list in my diary of the students who registered through Facebook and their corresponding names (except for the ones with a very clear picture). A one time thing, to be sure.

Only two students immediately deleted the app after class, being annoyed that I’m taking up space in their phones. But many didn’t pay attention to the app (even though I told them that I’m using words and phrases from their exams!) until I began showing them Quizlet’s reports on student progress. The fact that they can’t just argue with me that they DID use the app when I said they didn’t is powerful. I get a report detailing students’ activity on the app. This fact has begun to sink in!

As of today I have a new “woe”.  After some time has passed, I remove old sets of words / phrases from classes when adding new ones. I get a progress report for each set. So I don’t look at sets that have been removed. However, it turns out that unless students refresh the app, the previous sets remain. Some students practiced the old sets and I thought they hadn’t used the app at all because I no longer checked those sets.


I still think that choosing Quizlet was the right decision. But implementing it is not the “piece of cake” I expected.

4 thoughts on “Aches & Pains in Using the Friendliest EdTech – Quizlet”

  1. Hi Naomi,
    Thanks for another interesting and useful! I’m delivering a couple of sessions on using ICT to teach language, so this info will really help.
    To be honest, I’ve used quizlet but never thought of using it the way you describe in your post. I found the site particularly helpful when I did my first Delta module. After that, I may have used it a few times to produce flashcards but the whole group/class thing sounds like it could be a great tool with students too.
    I love the fact that, when it comes to technology, our students are always ready to help out with glitches!
    Thanks again for sharing ))

    1. I’m so glad you found it useful, Hada! Today some students wanted to see how exactly I can tell if they use quizlet or not. When they saw, they decided they could use it, after all. Making progress here!

  2. Hi Naomi,

    I can relate to some of these problems, especially with the app. I also found joining a class using the app. difficult. Basically, when you send a link to the class to students, it doesn’t prompt them to open it in an app – like most other apps normally do (e.g. GoogleMaps). Once clicked, the link opens in a browser instead.

    To join a class through the app, you’d have to look for my username, which is luckily easy (leosel), but then trawl through 80-90 or so sets I have to find the relevant class and then join. Not very user-friendly at all.

    Now, I’ve been considering the paid version. Is it worth it? What else can you do apart from tracking the progress?


    P.S. I noticed the new look and feel of your blog…

    1. Leo,
      The app works best when the student has joined Quizlet and the class for the first time on a computer. Then there’s no problem and the features work smoothly. The students do have to be reminded to use the refresh function, otherwise they don’t always notice that I have added sets to their class.
      I find the paid version to be very helpful. The fact that I have shown my teenage students EXACTLY how I can see who used Quizlet and who hasn’t has been more influential than the fact that I add phrases they will encounter on their unseen reading comprehension tests. Sigh…

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