Using Forums and Discussion Boards to Create Virtual Learning Experiences
The reason that many teachers strive for a more virtual experience instead of the traditional talking points is that the interaction makes the lesson more memorable to the students. Concepts and ideas that seem too complicated under time-honored instruction methods are easier to grasp when the students can experience the lessons. This does not mean that you need a VR machine to create a virtual experience either. There are a number of tools that can help you establish a virtual environment that makes lessons more entertaining while making the concepts easier to understand.
One of the biggest problems with edtech is the price tag – it can be incredibly cost prohibitive. However, that does not mean that you and your students have to be relegated to using only the old learning methods. Regardless of your budget, you can use forums and discussion boards to create a virtual learning experience that will make lessons feel more relevant.
One of the best ways to start getting your students to talk and interact in a controlled environment is through discussion boards and forums. You can start by posting news, stories, and other assignments, then letting your students discuss the themes, ideas, and solutions in the chat area. These areas can facilitate a lot more discussion and ideas than talking in a classroom as there are students who are not comfortable speaking up in class. It can also help you work digital citizenship into the lesson because you monitor the discussion and help students learn how to keep the talks civilized and productive.
You can establish a regular weekly assignment in these rooms. The room can be open for any of the lessons, from history to English to math and science. By focusing on podcasts, videos, and other online tools, you can supplement in class and book learning with the latest information.
Creating an environment that is more obviously tied to the world makes many of the points you want to make much more obvious to your students. When they cannot understand what is meant by a hypotenuse, a simulation can help them get a vivid idea of the hypotenuse and why it is important. Mobile devices make it considerably easier to bring a virtual approach to any classroom, as long as you are willing to do the necessary research and testing before you present it to your students.