Online technologies allow for asynchronous, delocalized collaboration. This not only means your students can avoid those awkward group meetings where one person never shows up, but it also means that you can have direct evidence of which students are contributing the group’s efforts.
Fellow teachers often find it “unusual” that I would recommend Facebook as a teaching tool. However, the factors which make Facebook such a popular (and powerful) tool for social media can also make it a highly effective means of fostering interaction among your students – so long as you mind your privacy settings. Or, for a step-by-step guide to setting up a group, go straight to the WikiHow.com guide: Creating Your Facebook Group.
by Ryan Edel
Writing is about communication. Regardless of technology – whether you’re speaking to the group or sending out an e-mail – you need to set an example for your students. E-mails, in particular, offer a good example of how to start.
A discussion board is a great way to maintain open lines of communication with your students. By providing a common space for students to ask questions, you’ll be able to give in-depth answers to each question rather than face the prospect of several e-mails all asking the same question. Additionally, most student’s aren’t quite sure what to ask – often, students receive important clarification from ongoing discussion which they would never seek out on their own.