The last few posts discussed how using Web 2.0 tools and learning objects can increase student engagement and help differentiate instruction. Although these tools are easy to find and use, they are only helpful if students can access them. (You can read my last post to learn more about my own problems trying to publish a Hot Potatoes program on WordPress.) A school’s learning management system (LMS) should support most of these tools, but if not, virtual teachers can use a number of websites to host this content.
Here’s a few options:
Blogging sites, such as WordPress, Blogger, or Edublogs, are a good starting point. I recommend creating a new post for each web tool or learning object rather than creating a separate page labeled “Assignments” or “Resources” in addition to the class blog. If a teacher requires students to practice an exercise throughout the course, web tools and learning objects should be a new page for easier access.
The next option for aggregating materials is a content management system such as Joomla. Joomla is free to use, and it is a good choice if your school does not have a LMS, since these have content management systems built-in. Also since Joomla is open source, teachers can customize it to meet their needs.
That last option is using an app that allows teachers to upload content. Socrative is an app available on iOS, Android, and Chrome, and it is free to download and to sign up. Teachers can register classes, and use it to assign quizzes, to ask questions during instruction (such as during a synchronous session), to offer games, or to ask questions after a lesson . Apps like this one are a great match for blended classes as well.