For people of a certain age who considered the whiteboard replacing the blackboard and chalk as a bit of a revolution in the classroom, look away now! Collaborize Classroom has taken student participation and homework to another level, and what’s more it’s free.
With a simple 5 minute set-up teachers can create a website that is fully interactive and allows students to discuss, comment and vote on subjects in an extension of traditional classroom procedures. With a report generator showing site activity, user activity and student participation included as well, teachers can quickly see which students are or aren’t engaging in a particular topic.
It’s easy to see the benefits of Collaborize Classroom, not only from a student/teacher angle, but also from that of the college too. The shy student, full of ideas but too nervous to ever raise a hand, could be liberated from the fear of classroom discussions. The realisation that their on-line comments and suggestions are considered valid could also boost their classroom confidence.
For the college there are time savings to be had in addition to those of cost. The ability to embed Microsoft Office documents, videos, pictures and PDF’s on the site not only makes for more interesting study but cuts down the costs and time element of copying and printing. The student participation reports generated also makes grading work easier and less time consuming.
For anyone nervous about setting up such a platform for on-line study the site does come with a whole host of helpful instructions and suggestions. All downloadable PFD’s, they include guidelines on the do’s and don’ts of online communication, a selection of possible debate topics and free lesson plans to help kick-start the move into 21st century education.
The blackboard rubber will never be thrown in anger again!
For teachers, a great free way of getting 100% student participation. For students, an exciting way to learn plus no more dragging a heavy bag of books to school and back!