Saturday, May 12, 2012

Let's get Virtual!

Virtual or online classrooms are excellent tools that many educators are using now. For those still in the 'dark' about these environments, they offer many online tools that allow teachers to connect digitally with their students. They provide excellent extensions to the classroom that students appreciate as you are able to connect to 'their' world. Many schools offer online class websites such as 'MyClass' which provide a lot of useful features but often times are  limited in a number of important features; most noticeably that they only allow ‘one-way’ communication.  This type of communication only allows for teachers to distribute resources, links, and dates, and therefore limits student involvement. Other online class websites, such as ‘Angel’, allow students to communicate with each other, and most importantly, you the teacher; asking questions and finding answers to many issues that they might have forgotten about until after they left the classroom. This type of online classroom allows for teachers to post important dates, announcements, resources, and links, but also allows for assignment inboxes, blogs, wikis, surveys, discussion forums, quizzes, email, live chat, and marking and returning assignments all online. Over the next couple of weeks I will profile many of these online features that digital classrooms like 'Angel' provide, and explain the uses of these tools and how you can 'connect' more with your students!

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