For class collaboration to really take off within a paperless platform, digital tools need to do more than just share resources. Digital tools need to provide an engaging way for a class to discuss and absorb content. A link to a scholarly article that just sits in your discussion space isn’t living up to its full potential. We want to see content that gets shared, analyzed, debated, and studied among students; that’s what an online discussion space is really about.
I’ll steal a line from our CEO Justin Chando: if it could have been written on the blackboard and have had the same effect, something isn’t working.
Discussion participants and a moderator will drive how links or rich media are used across an lms. Pushing students to react to content or find media that supports/influences their position works well in an online discussion platform like Chalkup's, which allows for nested comments.
But engaging, relevant information is your conversation starter. Why not go fishing with dynamite?
Below are 10 places where you can find engaging content for students. These sites are ideal for discussion prompts, open questions, or real-world application of knowledge that you can come back to again and again in your thread.
Useful Science - real world science facts that are really cool. Makes for awesome conversation prompts.
Ed.Ted - Ted Talks are the best. Now there’s a whole section of educational content with customized lessons.
Crash Course - 10-15 minute episode lessons. They’re quick. They’re fun. Tons of topics. Good overview before diving deeper.
Greek Myth Comix - Great overviews of Greek mythology with a dash of humor. Robust discussions of characters and themes make these comics useful study tools.
Veritasium - Science is about curiosity. The makers of the videos on the Veritasium YouTube channel are endlessly curious, making these experiments great question prompts for a thread.
Visual.ly - Interested in infographics? Visual.ly includes lots on their blog.
Mental Floss - Tons of content devoted to curiosity and fact-finding. Articles are well suited for writing prompts.
Quotery - They call themselves “an encyclopedia of wit and wisdom.” Content is ideal for threads about historic figures.
The Physics Classroom - You want interactive content? Graphics? Test prep? Got it all here. Potentially good stuff to drop into a discussion thread before an exam.
Earthcam - Capturing live action all over the world. A good place for short story prompts, examples of natural habitats, or world culture lessons.