Sunday, 4 December 2011

Discussion? Don't Worry, Here's the Solution

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

In this entry, I am going to share TWO simple yet very useful websites that are used for group discussions. The first one is called Todays’ Meet. This website allows users to discuss about any topic by creating a particular page which is accessible to the people who wish to join the group. Person who wishes to start a discussion will have to create a specific room which will then be joined by other participants. The name of the room will be appeared in the URL of the website and the participants can join by typing in the URL. You can also choose how long the room will be available; which means that the room will be deleted automatically after the period of time. This website is very useful for classroom teaching as it allows students and teachers to have a live online discussion after a particular lesson without having to do a lot of speaking.
Have a look at these steps:

Step 1: Name the room. You can select how long
you want it to exist.

Step 2: Write your name and click Join. Then you can post
your text.

The second website, which is called the Wallwisher is similar to the first one (This is the main reason why I put them in the same entry) as it also allows an online discussion. However, discussion in this tool is done using a principle of sticky notes and it has other supplementary factors that makes it rather interesting. Users can choose from various different background for the board which is available before the wall is created. Apart from that, the person who creates the wall can choose a picture for the wall as well as edit titles and subtitles, which are not available in Today's Meet. This tool can also be used in the classroom for online discussion. However, this website requires you (if you create the wall) to submit your email and the wall will be directed from your email. During the discussion, you will be able to upload pictures, audio or video link if necessary onto the wall which makes the discussion more interesting.

You can choose different background, edit title and subtitle
as well as customise your preferences.

Example of my embedded wall.

Some of the advantages of this website:

1. It saves a lot of time and money as the discussion can just be done online. The users do not have to travel to discuss rather they just meet on the website.
2.  It is quick and easy. There is no registration needed and the steps are very simple; it can be done within a few clicks! 
3. Helps students to engage with the discussion. They can voice out their opinions without having to speak. This will help students who have lower level of proficiency to give ideas.

Some of disadvantages of this website:

1. It may be not suitable for a long discussion or explanation as it may distract the space.
2. May not be practical to be carried out in some classroom due to facilities. Students need a computer in doing this activity; which may be difficult if there are no or less computers.
3. It does not involve communicating as the discussion is done online. This may result in meaning distortion as the students are not able to elaborate their opinion.
4. It may not be suitable for young learners as this tool is designed for discussion rather than other educational website that promotes language learning.

Here are the links to the websites:
1. Today's Meet
2. Wallwisher

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