Sunday, May 4, 2008

Increase Student Engagement With Widgets

Like many tech oriented teachers, I maintain a blog for my students with my students. Blogs are great tools for keeping students and parents informed of important information for your class. Blogs are also great for continuing classroom discussions beyond the classroom. As good as your class blog is, there are always going to be students or parents who don't read it for one reason or another. The challenge as a teacher is to increase student and parent engagement with your classroom blog.

This is where widgets come in. Almost every major, mainstream, sports and news website has free widgets that you can embed into a blog. Putting one of these widgets into your class blog, might give the disinterested student a reason beyond academics to check your class blog more often. If the experience of checking a class blog is fun, perhaps those disinterested students will to check it more often. Anything that increases student engagement in academics is a good thing. Adding a widget is a quick and easy process so it's worth trying.

Here's a widget from ESPN that serves the latest top sports stories.