Surprisingly, but books hardly reflect students’ interests. It may sound like students just want to find excuses and Facebook all the time.
But what if we look at the matter from a different angle and try to bring the Internet to our classrooms and start a Wiki, Blog and Forum for Project-Based Learning. We can feverishly confront this idea and say it’s major concession which will lead to massive degradation of students. It’s euristical. But let’s admit that school should meet nowadays needs.
Internet isn’t optional anymore, it’s essential
A friend of mine, a history teacher with 30 years of experience at school, said:
From conversations with my students I found that though class books are good, they don’t give flexibility, motivation, connection, collaboration and don’t implement constructivism.
If you’re still unsure, watch this informative TEDx video. Speaker Ashkan Fardost talks about internet of things, what we can expect in the future and how far the development has come.
As you can see, Internet is everywhere. So it’s time to bring internet to your Learning Process and allow your students use what they already love.
5 Facts That Internet Educational Technology Is Essential
What American teachers think about using Internet tools at class according to The Common Sense Media Survey of Educators*
96% say that edtech increases student engagement in learning;
86% of teachers think it’s ‘important’ or ‘essential’ to use edtech in the classroom;
95% say it enables personalized learning;
89% say it improves student outcomes;
87% say it helps students collaborate.
So why should we spend time to persuade? Let’s talk about what Wiki, Blog and Forum for Project-Based Learning can give to you.
Start Forum for students
Discussion Forum can become worthy learning aid. It stimulates critical thinking, improves communication skills, fosters a sense of community among students, and encourage collaborative problem solving. Forums let students work on projects and create course content together. Also, forums allow for different learning styles. Those students more focused and effective after school hours can engage at times more suitable to their learning aptitudes.
Forum will let you:
- have unlimited forum discussions to support course or project efforts;
- easily update/modify project goals;
- track participation levels of students as well as review their individual contributions.
It’s easy to start your own forum. You can install Forum platform on your web hosting just in one click. You don’t need to have advanced technical skills.
What students say about Discussion Forums:
I really enjoyed reading my fellow students’ postings each week. I think that the weekly postings by my fellow students were a great a learning tool as well. I think that this interaction is a great way to further understanding of the topics in the class.
Build Your Own Wiki for Education
You surely heard of Wikipedia. It’s built on WikiMedia software. It’s a free open source wiki package. And you can start your MediaWiki website for Education. Get your students excited about learning in a modern, easy-to-use environment with the web tools they know and love.
MediaWiki allows you to do:
- Course management;
- Track student progress;
- Monitor course and student contributions ;
- Collaborative Writing;
- Read more
Watch this YouTube video on Using Wiki in the classroom:
What students say about Wikis:
I know I found myself noticing things in other student’s submissions that brought some things to my attention that I had overlooked.
I definitely learned from the discussions. I think they forced you to think critically.
Build an A+ classroom site on WordPress
Thanks to free open source WordPress platform, you can start your blog to connect, engage, and educate your students. Plus, there are some more features that will allow you to:
- Connect with parents. Publish class news to your blog, or embed a Google Calendar with upcoming events to keep parents in the loop.
- Share with colleagues. Upload documents to the Media Library to send to colleagues and administrators, or post them directly to your site for students and parents to download.
- Protect your privacy. Need to limit access to your site? No problem. Add a password to any page, or make the entire site private and invite only the people you choose to view it.
- Socialize. Announce class projects and news on social networks with our easy-to-use sharing tools.
- Create multiple sites. Have more than one class? Create as many separate sites as you’d like on subdomains or another domain.
Check this The Paper-Free Class Experiment website to feel what your own website can be like.
What students say about Blogging:
It opened up my eyes on topics I was having a hard time understanding.
It made me feel more confident that I was on the right track.
Why build your own website on web hosting instead of using free services?
The main problem with using free services like wikispaces, pbworks, wikidot, google sites, wordpress.com, etc. is they are not free, but freemium. They provide some basic features for free, but if you want to change something, and you will, you have to pay.
Remember, you don’t need to be a programmer to build a website for your Wiki, Blog and Forum for Project-Based Learning. These platforms can be installed and set up in just one click.
You can contact Unihost support team or hit on chat at unihost.com. We are ready to answer your questions. Ready to start your Education project? Take this coupon code: TECHED to have 10% OFF your purchase.
What if you need free Wiki, Blog and Forum for Project-Based Learning
Check this post of ELearningIndustry with tremendous list of Free Tools for Teachers. However, you should know that free services don’t take responsibility to sustain you project alive forever. They can shut down and you will get your data lost. E.g. there’s 41 discontinued Google services, and it’s only Google.
Once acclimated, students can combine and coordinate lessons from the classroom and the website (Wiki, Blog and Forum). A deeper, broader understanding of the subject matter will be the result. Further, once students are comfortable in the new learning environment, they take greater interest and assume more responsibility for the discourse.
With proper management, Classroom blog, forum or wiki can dramatically enhance the student learning experience.
An [online] discussion board as a learning object is a prime candidate for adopting the constructivism learning theory. Constructivism learning theory includes elements including collaboration, cooperation, exploration, higher-order thinking skills, knowledge construction, learner driven goals and objectives, multiple perspectives, multiple representations of content/idea/concept, negotiation among learners, learners previous experience, real-world situations/problems, social disclosure, social negotiation, and use of primary sources of data.
Don’t wait more! Enhance Student Learning & Engagement with Blog, Forum and Wiki.
Internet at Classroom Isn’t Optional, It’s Essential
* The Common Sense Media Survey of Educators was conducted online in the US by Harris Interactive in May 2013, among 764 public school preK-12 teachers, including 659 teachers who use edtech, 235 teachers who are high volume edtech users and 88 teachers implementing 1-to1/BYOD programs, and 205 public school administrators.
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