Online Discussions in Schoology

Student Historians took part in an online discussion yesterday on Schoology. Students were asked to take a stand and defend whether they would've been a Federalist or a Democratic-Republican if they had lived in America in the late 1700s.

I really like online discussions and will utilize them more often. We started the discussion in class but students could complete their participation on their own time. Our students are usually busy but the week before the end of the semester and a modified exam week is especially time-crunched for them. (One of my girls put her head down on her desk before class began today! It was a good reminder to me to be especially empathetic in the next few days!) I believe this assignment flexibility was appreciated and student participation was high. 

Online discussions give students practice in Digital Citizenship. I monitored the discussions and they did a wonderful job of staying on-task and were very professional and respectful. Knowing how to write and speak to different audiences is essential and practicing academic writing will be a skill that they'll continue to hone as they get older. 

Online discussions are a great opportunity for my shyer students to find their voice, as well. This format enables them to speak up and participate without having the class' eyes on them. Many of my reticent students are often the ones with the most insightful and observant thoughts, they just need a platform that works best for them. Online discussions help to let them shine.


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