How I Use It
We have had one online discussion. I posted a question and hoped that students would respond immediately, but instead they read each other's posts first (teachers can see who is viewing posts) - then wrote. I was glad to see that they were responding to information and relating what they read to other texts vs. reacting from emotion. They gave thoughtful, insightful responses. The time of each post is logged. I also receive an email each time a student posts a comment to the site. You can set the email delivery to send once a day, once an hour, every six hours, or no email at all. Today was our first day using this platform. So far, so good.
My students are able to post to small groups, whole-class, and privately. I love how they are able to support each other. I plan to use this forum instead of email, so when students have questions, they can help each other find answers. I will also continue to use it to post questions for discussions. I haven't tried posting videos yet but will try soon. I also like the fact that students can respond directly inside each other's post in lieu of sifting through many threads in order to respond. Another good feature is that all discussions can be categorized into folders and archived. The site is also completely private. I can also invite other teachers to join us. The site advertises that teachers can get it up and running in two minutes. It took me about 15 minutes, and I'm still figuring out all the features. It's worth the effort, though.