5 online discussion tools to fuel student engagement
Creating a classroom community where meaningful conversations can happen isn’t easy it’s an ongoing process that takes time. But using online discussion tools can be one great way to help your students build these skills. Plus, the ability to engage in online discussions responsibly is a great 21st-century skill in and of itself.
Online discussions often lead to better in-class discussions afterward you know, the kind where students raise their hands and speak out loud. With online discussions, students have a chance to engage with each other virtually, often having their thoughts and opinions validated. Afterward, they’re typically much more willing to share out loud in class and often share in thoughtful ways.
Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to consider using online discussions:
- Because comments are more permanent, students tend to think a bit more critically about what they say.
- Especially for more introverted students, online discussions can be less intimidating than speaking in front of the class.
- It’s easier for students to share dissenting opinions or “outside-the-box” ideas.
- As students type responses, they often recognize and share more nuanced and compelling points and arguments.
- Anonymous posting (though still teacher-moderated), a key feature with some discussion tools, can help erase the fear of public judgment or ridicule.
- Everyone has ample opportunities to be heard and connect with other classmates, ensuring equity among all voices in your classroom.