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Ten Resources to Easily Engage Students

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Jane Challinor

on 22 May 2014

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Transcript of Ten Resources to Easily Engage Students

Ten Resources to Easily Engage Students (TREES)
In Class
Google Drive
Create collaborative documents - stories, lists, spreadsheets, presentations - in real time. Students can
work together
adding to a shared document. Or the facilitator can use an online document as a
virtual flip chart
which can then be shared to the whole class. In the example below, students were searching for, and pasting into a spreadsheet, urls of web sites they had found for a research topic.
Blogs can be used for individual reflection, as e-portfolios, or to present group work. The example below is a group project on leadership using characters from the film A Bug's Life

Diigo is a social bookmarking site. It is used primarily to save links to web pages, adding tags so they can be easily sorted and searched. Members can follow others and share their links publicly. Diigo also has other functions - such as the ability to highlight and annotate web pages and a group function where members can share links they have found with people who have similar research interests. Set students on an internet quest, get them to highlight and comment on their findings, share them with the whole class and use the tool habitually to keep a record of their research.
Slideshare is a social networking site where people share presentations and documents, follow other contributors and "favourite" their work. It is a great alternative to simply emailing large PowerPoint files - staff and students can use it as a platform for sharing their work - for project based assignments or conference presentations.
Facebook Group
Facebook can provide a useful platform to involve and engage students. I have used these successfully to welcome new students prior to induction - giving them an opportunity to get to know one another and also as an adjunct to personal tutorials where we share resources and deal with common queries.
Storify is a platform which allows users to curate or collect together a variety of web based material and link them together to present a story or narrative. I have used this to collect Tweets from students and put them into a framework. The resulting "story" can then also be read by other students who don't use Twitter, ensuring everyone is included. Here's an example which brings together social media's coverage of the "Bat Kid" story:
Similar to Storify, Paper.li is a site which aggregates Tweets on selected topics that are relevant to your class and their research interests - but does so automatically. You choose which accounts to follow, determine the topics you are interested in and set the intervals at which you want your customised "newspaper" to be published. Students can subscribe or I have added a widget on NOW which provides a link. Here's the daily Health and Social Care Times:

Jing (http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html) is probably the tool I use most - after Twitter. I use it most weeks to create 5 minute screencasts (recordings with voice over of what I am doing on my PC screen) to demonstrate how to do things, explain an assignment, run through the main topics of the week or even give feedback on assignments. Other screencasting tools are available - Screenr for example, which is free, internet based and requires no program download (but will need Java).
Lots of students now have Twitter accounts. Use Twitter as a back channel for questions, responses & comments. Display Tweets live on screen using http://www.twitterfall.com/ and a search term or #hashtag. In the example below students were answering the question "what motivates us?"
What Motivates Us? - Class response on Twitterfall
Here are three tools you can use in class, in real time, with students
creating content
. Group activities are key to engagement. They provide a space for students to learn from one another & share ideas. Giving students a task to complete which can range from answering a question to creating a short presentation makes class time meaningful and
Is an editable "wall" - creating a virtual "Post It note" display - but with links, videos, images ..... this can be used as a virtual flipchart by the facilitator, recording students' ideas, but even better if students can edit and add to the "wall" themselves using their own devices. The example below is from a warm up activity on Leadership.
Three tools for the asynchronous transmission of information, for giving feedback and for the curation of social media. I use these tools to keep in touch with students outside of class, model the use of social media for research and provide multi-media feedback to maintain engagement
Here are four tools that can be used for group projects: to aid discussion, sharing and asynchronous collaboration (outside of class time) as well as platforms for publication of work.The use of
tools - as opposed to the VLE - develops students'
digital competencies
and provides opportunities to discuss issues of digital citizenship. (see: http://www.edudemic.com/build-digital-citizenship/) The use of online tools for collaborative projects reduces the amount of conflict over diaries and timetables that often arises with group assessment.
explore our class Diigo group here:
Explore further: http://a-team8.blogspot.co.uk/
Jane Challinor
School of Social Sciences,
Nottingham Trent University
November 2013
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