A modern teacher needs to keep up with the times and use innovative technologies in the classroom. Websites and applications for learning have made both teachers’ and students’ lives easier. Not only does ICT raise learners’ motivation but gives more opportunities to those with special needs too. Personally I love discovering new tech tools which help me with my teaching a lot. One of the last discoveries is WikiSpaces – a free online platform where teachers and students can share files, ask and answer questions, upload videos and pictures, assess and plan together.
I find WikiSpaces quite helpful for my subject especially. I teach Global Perspectives and Project Work and part of the course is writing a paper on some global issue. As the class time is never enough to give feedback to everybody we prefer to work in WikiSpaces which makes it easier to track every student’s progress and support them with written comments.
What I really love about WikiSpaces is that it makes students collaborate and give advice to each other. I noticed that if one student addresses the peers with some difficulties (for example, finding resources or asking to complete a survey) they are eager to assist. Learners like to contribute to the pages by uploading videos and pictures.
However it takes time to get used to using WikiSpaces as a teacher and then making students use it too. It goes without saying that one of the drawbacks of such platforms is being bound to equipment and Internet access. Teachers should also think about the proportion of the feedback given personally and online as it is important to actually talk to teenagers and not making the learning process too digitalized.
Overall, I think we need more workshops in schools about using technology in the classroom as it saves time and makes project work much more effective.
Jeff Dunn (2013). How to easily use Wikispaces for education. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJjT–hbbhc