In an earlier post here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, I argued that setting up a class virtual space in the cloud is an indispensable task for today's teachers. This space can preferably be a website, a blog, or a wiki or, if possible, all of them. The educational benefits of having such a space for students include:
- Improve students writing skills through posting and commenting
- Helps students have a voice
- Promote the notion of independent and personalized learning
- Promote a spirit of collaboration among students
- Engage parents in the learning taking place in the classroom
- Connect with students from other schools and exchange with them learning experiences.
As for teachers, they can use these class virtual spaces to :
- Post assignments and homework to students
- Upload documents and other learning materials to students
- Post classroom announcements, important dates, event calendars...etc
- Create portfolios to document students learning
Now that we have an idea about the educational benefits of these spaces let me share with you some of the platforms you can use to host your class website, wiki, and/or blog. As for setting up a classroom website, here is a list of some great educational platforms for this purpose. There is also another detailed guide for teachers to create wikis for your class , check it out here.
As for the blogging platforms, below are some of the best places you can use to host your class blog:
This is my favourite and one of the most popular blogging platform. I have been using it for some time now and I highly recommend it for teachers. Blogger is a free Google service which provides users with a simple and easy to use blogging interface. Users can choose from a wide variety of templates and with just drag and drop functionality, one can set up and run the blog in few clicks.
This is my second preferred platform for setting up a class blog. Similar to blogger, Wordpress is also easy to use and is free for basic versions. There are several guides and video tutorials on its help page that will help you through the process of setting up your blog.
Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions
The World's most popular education blogging service... Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts - it's safe, easy and secure so try out an Edublog today!
Glogster EDU is the leading global education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills in the classroom and beyond. It empowers educators and students with the technology to create GLOGS - online multimedia posters - with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more.