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> 3 Ways to Create a Digital Classroom Space - Instructional Tech Talk



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Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Jeff Herb

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3 Ways to Create a Digital Classroom Space

There are tons of possibilities when creating a digital space for your classroom. A lot is dependent on what your ultimate goal is for your new space and what purpose it will serve alongside your face-to-face meetings. Whether it will serve as a blueprint for your classroom or if it will simply supplement your material with relevant links and reminders, choosing a platform can be stressful and a time consuming decision.

To take some of the guesswork out of this process, I have outlined three possibilities below – each tackling a different ‘school of thought’ when implementing a digital classroom space.

 

1. Twitter (pros: highly social, perfect for supplemental info/links, great question/answer tool, great communication tool)

Many  of us already use Twitter for our own professional development (and if you don’t, you should). Why not translate your natural twitter abilities to the classroom? A large portion of your students already use Twitter on a daily basis – approach them on a level that they understand and enjoy.

What you will need:

  • A Twitter account – sign up help here.
  • The ability to be brief – Twitter only allows for 160 character messages.
  • A commitment to updating your feed regularly.

Uses as a digital classroom space:

  • Sharing supplemental links
  • Reminding students of due dates and materials to bring to class
  • Q/A sessions for students
  • Posting updates and info for parents

 

2. Weebly (pros: highly informational, static content, multiple design options, classroom resource)

Weebly is a free website creation tool that allows you to develop your own space on the web. If you have the desire to create a class website, weebly is going to be your tool of choice. With drag and drop simplicity, you can easily create a website with several pages, a calendar, pictures, the ability to have file uploads, and just about anything else you could want to embed on a website.

What you will need:

  • A free Weebly account
  • An extremely basic understanding of web site development (none is OK too)
  • About an hour of time for setup (to initially setup your page and do some basic design)
  • Some content that you’re ready to put online (otherwise your site will be blank!)

Uses as a digital classroom space:

  • Digital syllabus for each class
  • Place for students to find links to assignments and supplemental material
  • Place for students to submit digital homework assignments
  • Post contact information for students and parents
  • Create spaces (pages) for each unit of instruction (and keep it for next semester!)
  • many more!

3. Edmodo (pros: full featured learning management system, grade book, submit digital assignments, safe/secure)

Edmodo is an online learning management system that is completely free and completely easy to use. Great for computer based classes, Edmodo creates a full featured digital learning environment for your students. By joining your class on the site, students are connected in a educational ‘facebook’ style environment (one that they will fully understand). You can promote discussion, post announcements, share documents, administer quizzes, collect assignments, keep grades/attendance, and maintain a course calendar all within the site.

What you will need:

  • A free Edmodo account.
  • A clear plan of action on how your class will use a full LMS system.
  • A day in your class to devote to getting students into the group and troubleshoot any unexpected problems.

Uses as a digital classroom space:

  • Reminders, information distribution
  • Supplemental classroom discussions
  • Q/A
  • Assignment submission
  • File storage (allow students to access files you’ve uploaded to Edmodo)
  • Collaboration space for group projects
  • Grade monitoring
  • Assignment monitoring/feedback tool
  • much more!

 

Keep in mind, these are just three of the many digital classroom tools available – and many exist in each of these different categories. Knowing what you want to accomplish within your digital space is paramount and will guide your decision making process.

Have a great tool that you use to create your digital space – or have a question? Talk with us in the comments!

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About the Author

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Jeff Herb is an Educator, Blogger, and Podcaster focusing on Instructional Technology and finding ways to innovate the classroom using technology. Follow Jeff on Twitter to keep up with the latest in Educational Technology.



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