Thursday, July 28, 2011

Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

Many of the tools that we use now within our technological world can be brought into the educational environment.  For example, social networking is now more visible than ever.  Instead of using these medias for personal use, they can instead be used within learning environments.

Blogs, wikis, LinkedIn and ConceptShare are all useful for collaboration because they allow the learners to work on an individual basis and also provide the opportunity for others to collaborate.  Communication is vital, particularly in online learning environments.  Skype, Twitter, discussion boards, conference calls and email each provide a gateway for communicating with a range of individuals.  Medias such as Moodle, Blackboard, Captivate, WebCT and the Internet provide ample opportunities to get the necessary content that is needed within a learning environment.

Each of these tools are important, student friendly, and many of them are being used regularly within our everday lives.  Having these qualities provides a smoother course for implementing them into the educational process.


  1. Ashley,
    I love the fact that you mentioned social networking. I have begun to use Facebook for my class. At the beginning of the year I have the parents which have access become my friend on Facebook. Then I use it to post different announcements, updates, spellings words, and test dates. I still send out a weekly newsletter. However, I had trouble with parents not reading them. They would call to ask me something that was on the newsletter. So I thought seen we are so in to technology why not incorporate it with my class. -Belinda V

  2. Ashley,

    I was also glad you mentioned social networking sites. These are tools that need to be debated. I have been weary to include Facebook in my classroom environment because of the whole new arena of issues "friending" students could entail. I also have no desire to mix my personal life with my career. I like the way Belinda says she connects with the parents of her students, not the students themselves. Great idea. Would either of you recommend creating a separate Facebook for the "professional you"? I know many teachers who have a Twitter account just for their students to check assignments and such, and another they use for social purposes. The whole thing is still a little scary to me I guess. What are the pros and cons of incorporating social networking technology?

  3. Hi Ashley,

    Facebook is awesome; however, some teachers are weary about using facebook. Some parents had rather look at facebook to keep up with their child's assignments than read a newsletter. Parents seem to be drawn to facebook rather than our official school website. I have found facebook (social networking) to have a positive impact in my classroom. I just like facebook! Great post!