How do I Introduce Students to Educational Websites?

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Educational websites can be used to add to or complement the teaching in the classroom.Educational websites can include websites that have games, videos or topic related resources that act as tools to enhance learning and supplement classroom teaching. These websites help make the process of learning entertaining and attractive to the student, especially in today’s age.

While there are many advantages of such websites, we also need to be aware of the negatives. Students need to be guided properly. Without proper guidance, students may find resources and content that are not reliable or do not align with the direction of the teaching in class. Some websites are huge and offer a massive variety of games and resources. Students may be easily distracted on such websites and end up spending time on activities that are either below their level or do not complement or add to the classroom teaching. Unrestricted access and freedom on the internet can be dangerous, especially for younger students.

Choosing websites

It is important that we carefully consider what websites to introduce to the students. We need to keep a number of elements in mind while choosing educational websites: The activities on the website should align to what is being taught in the classroom and the academic level of the students. The website should be appropriate to the age of the students. Sites that cater to a range of interests or learning styles are preferable. In addition,  it is essential that the websites that are safe (that have no adult ads or links), and have reliable content. Finally, it is helpful to use websites that are designed for classroom learning, i.e. allow the teacher to monitor game scores, view progress, etc.

How to introduce websites in the classroom

As you plan activities, consider the technology that is required. Will the students be using the classroom or school computers, or their own devices?  Devices like iPads, smartphones or tablets can be used to to access some types of websites and activities.

Next, think of creative ways in which you can incorporate these websites into the learning process and supplement what you have already been teaching. Use screenshots, an instruction booklet or a document with screenshots to guide the students. Jing, Screenr, Awesome Screenshot and Bounce are some popular softwares that help you take screenshots with ease..

One of the ways to make this process effective is to create goals for students as they use the websites. You may check their scores or ask them to make a presentation or maybe even create their own comic strip. Ensure that you take steps to monitor their progress. If the students are working at home, you may want to teach students to take screenshots to show you the progress they are making.

Let the process be enjoyable and educational. It will work out best if you have the support of parents as well as the school.  A lot of parents monitor their children’s internet usage, so, you may also want to provide an introductory document to help them understand your goals.

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