Tag Archives: brainstorming

5 ways you can use…A Wiki!

Wikis are a prime tool for educators wanting to promote collaboration in their classroom. It is a central space that can be accessed by the entire web or only authorized users. The wiki can be edited by all users, which promotes a sense of openness and encourages sharing and learning. Wikis are a great way to achieve great discussions even with students who may be shy in the classroom. Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

  1. Create a wiki to use as a study guide throughout the semester. Assign each student a different topic to cover, then everyone will be able to benefit from the wiki when studying for exams or reviewing.
  2. Have students post the highlights of their weekly notes from class to the wiki to encourage sharing and discussion with their peers.
  3. Create wikis for each group during a group project. It’s an easy way to track groups on the tasks they have completed and those that still need to be finished. Try tracking participation of each member by assigning each member a specific task. It makes them more accountable for their work within the group setting!
  4. Instead of PowerPoint, have students create a wiki to present to the class for a project and have them navigate through the different areas they’ve created.
  5. Use a wiki as a brainstorming “space” for students outside the classroom. They can share their thoughts or suggestions, and discuss different topics or ideas for projects.

Wikis are a simple, fun and effective tool to supplement your class. They are a great way to keep class material on the minds of students even when they are not physically in class. Try Wikispaces to start your wiki today!

Get on-board the Twitter train

When Twitter first came out, some people loved it and some loved to not like it. Is it necessary to be so infatuated with a person that you want to know their every thought? Well, Twitter has evolved to something beyond reading about how celebrities feel about last night’s episode of The Bachelor. Twitter is being used by professors at universities all over the world, and is really proving itself to be an effective communication tool.

With its free cost and growing popularity, Twitter can be used by professors to communicate with students and promote more involvement and interaction with class material. Make announcements, brainstorm topics, share websites and information, or follow current events and leaders across the world.

In addition, apps can be used in conjunction with Twitter to facilitate communication between group projects, poll others for feedback, keep notes and tweets together, and much more. Twitter boasts a variety of tools, apps, and opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Check out the links below for more tips on how to integrate Twitter into your classes.





Spice up your next lecture

What I’m blogging about today isn’t a new tool that is going to revolutionize the way you present your lectures. It is, however, a tool that can be used to spark the interest of students, promote brainstorming and discussion, and spread ideas.

For an engaging way to present material in your class and gain the attention of students without having to ask for it, visit http://www.ted.com, a website full of motivational, educational, and interesting videos of speeches from all over the world. TED’s mission is to spread ideas to change attitudes, lives, and successively, the world. What better place to begin spreading these ideas than in your classroom?

From topics focusing on poverty to collaborating in business to “what makes us happy”, you will be guaranteed to find a speech that can somehow be integrated with your class material. You can even search by speaker if you already have a particular person in mind. Think of TED as a “YouTube” containing only motivational and unique speeches about topics worth listening to. So spread some new ideas, get your students thinking, and then maybe they will change the world.

Communication is the key to success!

We have all heard this at some point in almost any situation, but in college, good communication between educators and students really is essential. Not meeting face to face on a daily basis can be a disadvantage when it comes to students keeping up with assignments and current issues related to the class, and utilizing resources.

Students are always online. Most of them actually have the web at their fingertips at any given point of the day. For this reason, it is clear that the internet is one of the best forms of communication with college students. There are many ways to utilize the technology that is everywhere to easily communicate with your students and enrich their educational experience in your course. Here are a few examples of ways to keep your students updated on announcements, assignments, and current issues that you find relevant to class.

Blogging is something we have all heard about, but most of us remain wary about it. I, myself, was one of those people until I started doing it, and realized it’s fun!

Blogging is a great way to establish consistent communication with your students. Post updates about current issues that are relevant to what is being discussed in class, and use incentives for your students to post back. It’s a great way for them to be involved in the class without actually being in class. Try Google’s free Blogger, or a blog meant to be used for educational purposes, like Edublog.


Wikis are another great way to promote student involvement outside of the classroom. A wiki is basically a website where visitors can actually participate in creating and editing information. There are a variety of ways you, as educators, can incorporate this into your class; post and brainstorm different topics, give students a place to collaborate and share assignments and materials, assign each student a small part of a large, ongoing project, or create a student-published online resource center. Try the wiki feature in eDocs, Wikispaces or Wetpaint.


Twitter may seem as though it has no purpose in a college classroom, but professors utilizing Twitter often have a good following by their students. Educators are able to share events as soon as they occur. Again, this is a great way to establish and maintain a connection outside of the classroom and keep students updated on issues relevant to class!

You will be surprised how much feedback and participation you receive from students when you prove yourself technically savvy and incorporate these tools into your class. I know I appreciate when a teacher of mine actively posts updates on their website or via other easily accessible forms of communication. If you have any questions or need any assistance incorporating these tools into your course, we would be happy to help!