How to Use Wikis, Blogs and Forums for Educational Purposes

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The new world is technologically evolved and it continues to advance. This new technology has brought a lot of opportunities with it and has introduced us to a new level of convenience. The changes in new technology have affected the old ways of learning. The conventional classrooms are gradually turning into online Skype sessions and the live laboratory experiments are being replaced by YouTube videos. This change is neither all good, nor all bad and it has its own share of both, pros and cons.

Yet, in order to succeed in this new educational environment, both teachers and students need to adapt to change. Most of the students belong to the young generation and they do not find it much difficult to develop suitable learning habits that will go with this new environment. However, the teachers who belong to older generations and have been educated in the pre-technology times, find it hard to understand how they can incorporate new technology in their teaching methods to match the learning habits of the new age.

This article is going to focus on how you can use different online writing platforms to boost your teaching method and provide your students with more sources for learning. We are going to discuss how you can benefit from these writing platforms for substituting class discussions on online teaching platforms. The most popular online writing formats are Wikis, Forums, and Blogs. We will be discussing all three of them one by one.

Blogs

Let’s us start with the definition of blogs, which is basically a short form of weblogs. A blog is a platform that contains textual entries that may contain images, videos, or audios as well. This platform is available online and can be accessed by the general public.

A blog usually is a representative of its author who keeps it updated by posting new entries. The entries on a blog mostly present an idea, opinion, or a piece of information which may or may not include references. Having a blog of your own can make it easier for you to provide the necessary information to your students at one platform that is easily accessible at every place. They can be a great help for the online students.

Wikis

A wiki is an online writing platform that can be used as a collaborative tool for online classrooms. On a wiki page, students can access the web pages that contain articles and add more information to them. They can also modify the existing information on a wiki page. This platform encourages collaboration and develops an open and discursive environment, which allows students to think and research on their own and learn from each other’s findings. Other than this, the users can add links to other websites to provide more information on a subject.

The famous informative website, Wikipedia is a good example of how wiki pages function. Just like Wikipedia, wiki pages are also open to editing and this enhances their reliability. However, the instructor has the authority to control all the changes made by the students.

One of the unique features of the wiki is that it motivates the participants to come up with authentic reference supports for their viewpoints because they know that their information can be challenged by other students. Also, it compiles each students’ efforts and provides everyone an opportunity to benefit from the collective information that is present in one place. This platform is also good for online students as it is also accessible worldwide.

Forums

Forums are also discursive writing platforms that are accessible for everyone. Forums are unique in the way that they can be managed by multiple instructors. The entries available on the platform can be discussed by the visitors and the instructors. Moreover, all the users of the platform are allowed to post on the platform. It is a good platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions as it allows discussions. This platform is also supportive of additional links from the internet but this feature is not as usable on forums as it is on other two platforms.

This is all the information that you need to start the process of adapting yourself to the new technology.

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