Picture of Fonda Lewis
Young Learners Online
by Fonda Lewis - Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 12:04 PM

We are learning that building communities is important with online learning.  How might you foster community building and/or what Web 2.0 Tools might you use with elementary aged (K-6) learners who are learning, discussing or responding in an on-line environment?

Picture of Kerri Freda
Re: Young Learners Online
by Kerri Freda - Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 2:46 PM

Hi Fonda:

Here a site that has a treasure of Web 2.0 Tools


I think the way to foster online learning and building a community in an elementary class woudl be first introduce elementary students the proper ways to interact in an online community. Perhaps allow them to use some blogging in a site like Edublogs so they can get used to communicating with one another and what the proper way to communicate would be.  I do not feel it would be productive to just throw them out there. I think when you are dealing with younger students you need to get them used to "speaking" with eachother online and then introduce them to the tools that lead tot all out collaboration and sharing. Obviously the teacher would be a very a facilitator with presence and someone who sets the groundrules and directions from the beginning.

I found some great articles that address fostering and building the onlne community and it appears that fostering engaging  discussion forums of meaning help to motivate studnets and the sense of community. Also the system has to be effective and promote online learning, discussions and collaboration.





Picture of Fonda Lewis
Re: Young Learners Online
by Fonda Lewis - Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 4:18 PM

The first resource pulls together tools that would really fit into Bloom's elements.  I noticed that many of the tools would be beneficial for creating.  I appreciated the second resource as it has it addresses student assessment when responding online.  Many young learners are still working on their oral language skills, so "speaking" online as you say seems to be of importance.  What expectations would be appropriate for speaking online for students?  How would we assess if students are learning andd responding to our standards?

Picture of Jeremiah Stanley
Re: Young Learners Online
by Jeremiah Stanley - Thursday, July 17, 2014, 9:40 AM

Before I would have students interact with each other in an online setting I would make sure they have a strung understanding of what is expected of them and how to interact respectfully with one another. I would give students good and bad example when it come to interacting with one another.

Some of the tools I would use to reach my students are:

  • Jing by TeckSmith is a screen or web cam capture tool that allows you to create videos. You could use this tool in your classroom to explain discussion board concepts to your students.

Link: http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

  • Classjump is a set of free tool to jelp you reach your student if your school douse not prove the needed services

Link: http://classjump.com/

Picture of Kristen McGowan
Re: Young Learners Online
by Kristen McGowan - Friday, July 18, 2014, 10:43 PM


While I teach at the secondary level, I do think that there are many Web 2.0 tools that can be utilized among all grade levels.  I have become particularly interested in the possibility of integrating blogging with my own students. Blogging can allow for an increase in writing opportunities for students and it provides an environment where students are writing for a purpose with the intent to share with an audience. Students will learn how to be safe and respectful digital citizens provided that the teacher uses a blogging service that helps to promote and teach proper netiquette.  While I was searching for blogging services, I came across a program called Blogmeister.  What was unique about this program is that the teacher creates the blog, student accounts, and then students can create their own entries but nothing will be published until the teacher reviews and approves the student posts.  I think that this type of program would be incredibly helpful and suitable for an elementary class that is utilizing a discussion type forum for the first time.  The teacher maintains full control of the environment and can privately and discreetly assist students in developing appropriate and quality posts.  


Re: Young Learners Online
by David Cook - Saturday, July 19, 2014, 6:23 PM

I wanted to opt out of the question because I teach high school, but I'll still take a shot at it!  I'll answer more in a vague sense than a specific tool. 

As a parent of a 6 year old, I'd want to know the following about any online community that my daughter was a part.

  • That it's moderated & supervised
  • That there is accountability for those who post on the community
  • That the students have received some training in expectations, just as they are in a traditional classroom. 
  • That it's concise and doesn't require them to be able to dissect line after line of text as simply as we (as adults) can.  

Interestingly, I think the online learning is a way to better involve families.  I don't know what math class looks like while I'm at work.  But if I could peek into the online community at night by looking over my daughter's shoulder on her tablet/computer, I might be a better help in the learning process!

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