With the ever greater use of computers, phones, and other technologies, students are paying less and less attention to textbooks, paper charts, and extended presentation based materials. As such, it should come as no surprise that educators and instructors have got the message that they should incorporate technology into their materials to captivate students, to keep their attention, and to allow them to discover their talents and skills.
So here’s a widely acclaimed solution to increase engagement in history.
Create a Classroom Website
Perhaps you have often admired other teachers who use a website to impart knowledge and teach history – making things interesting and learning effective. The good news is that websites are now accessible and ever easier to create.
As well as uploading presentations, you can also use websites for other purposes, such as general announcements, to show materials for upcoming classes, to upload images and notes of class progress, and to connect to important resources on the Internet through hyperlinks. The uses can be as many as you want.
Some teachers say that it has become quite hard to make modern day students interested in history. But, with a website at your disposal, you will be able to communicate the significance of all aspects of the past using computer technology and website design software.
Here are some other tips:
- You can use websites to add links to the primary and secondary sources of historical analysis you have discussed in class
- You can add pictures of relevant historians and history related events to awaken more interest
- For a more fun filled history experience and to increase the engagement of your students, incorporate interactive media such as videos, music, maps, texts, and non-textual description such as charts and photographs
- Provide appropriate access to your website and the Internet in the classroom
How to create a classroom website
You can easily find a number of websites that offer you website building options, but few specifically tailored to offer a complete classroom website builder option. Some of the most popular for instructors and educators are Weebly, WordPress, Ning, and Blackboard. Some of them offer users step-by-step instructions for building a website, so it makes it easier for you to go through the process and your website can be ready and running in less than 30 minutes!
But even if you have already found a platform for your future classroom website, what else is there you should think about?
Well, you need to choose your site and domain name. Then you need to choose a template for your website – all of the platforms have a great number of templates so you can choose the one that suits you the most. The best part about the template and design of your website is that you can always choose to change it if you feel like it.
Domain and title
The domain name has to be bought if you do not want the platform name as part of the URL of your site, so it is recommended that you buy one to give your site a more personalized touch.
Elements are what help you drag your information into the site. Some website building platforms also offer a huge, free database of pictures for you to use if you have little time to look for images on the Internet.
Your header comes next, the font and color of which you can always change according to your taste and the selected design and template of the website.
After you have done the above steps, your site is ready to be published.
After publishing, you can keep adding more and more pages, new layouts and blogs to your site. A website is a whole new world in itself and should consist of all the information you can possibly give to your audience.
Unlike a blog that can become rather claustrophobic when you have too much information to share, a website offers you unlimited capacity and options to drag and drop as much and as many types of information as you want. You just have to broaden your horizons of technology use and your website will be more than complete.
One final tip…
A lot of sites also allow you to make your website interactive by adding fun quizzes, forms and documents so that students do not feel like the communication is only one sided. Therefore, always remember that the more interactive and fun your site is, the more engaged your students will be.
What tips do you have about increasing engagement in history in the classroom? Let us know below.