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!