Tools for starting discussions

A great collection perfectly balances independent exploration with collaborative discussion. How can you bring your students back together to discuss the concepts that they’ve just explored? The tools that follow are designed to facilitate lively online discussions. Properly deployed, they can build critical thinking and collaboration skills.

Crocodoc
Crocodoc lets you transform a pdf document into a forum for discussion. Simply upload a pdf document - an article, online textbook, or other piece of text - and click “Share.” Embed the URL that Crocodoc provides you in your collection. Now your students can annotate this text, adding comments, highlighting important sections, and responding to classmates.


Padlet
Padlet let’s you build a discussion wall. Start by going to www.padlet.com and creating a new wall. Select “Modify Wall” to title your wall and start the discussion. Copy your wall’s URL and embed it in your collection. Now your students can post their own thoughts to your wall.


Best practices
Any tool that allows your students to submit feedback has the potential to be abused. Make sure that you monitor your collection for cyber bullying and other forms of abuse.

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