Saturday, 18 February 2017

How to Use WhatsApp as an Educational Tool


WhatsApp can be an invaluable teaching tool in the teaching learning process.  You can create WhatsApp groups for each of the classes that you teach. By doing so, students can have a reservoir of additional content in a variety of ways that appeal to them (audio, video, pictures and mimes).Monitoring of a WhatsApp group is far easier than you think,. You can ask a member of the class to create the group and add you as one of the admins. Informed students that any posting of inappropriate content in the group will result in immediate removal from the group. Just by setting a few group rules, you will realize that students will follow the guidelines.  Here are a few tips on how to use WhatsApp as an educational tool.







Sharing Additional Information


WhatsApp is perfect for sharing videos, url links, pictures, messages  and other information. In your class groups you can use the app to share the class content in the same way. You can take pictures of class notes, video class presentations, share blog links (CSEC English Made Easy), audio versions of the books and poems, movies based on books and online novels with your students.

Students can also be encouraged to share information that they have found on various lesson topics. This will also help to develop student's research skills. Remember you do not have to be the only person who is constantly in charge of disseminating the information. Based on your school's policy, you can appoint a member of the class or a group of students to be the tech consultants in the class. They can be the ones to take the pictures and videos as well as posting them to the class group.

Assisting Students Who are Absent


Often teachers have the policy that once a student is absent they must get the notes and complete the assigned tasks. Nine out of ten times this is not done. Plus, students often have a number of reasons and excuses why the work is not done.

Now, students who are absent can be aware of what happened in class through the information that is posted in the WhatsApp group. You can remind these students that after class the notes and class work will be posted and therefore assignment must be turned in at the next class.


Posting Reminders 

Whatsapp is also great for posting reminders to the class about tests, quizzes, workshops, change of class locations, etc. Additionally, it is great for reminding students what they need to take to class or the deadline for a piece of assignment. I find that posting reminders in the WhatsApp is more efficient than having to go to the class to remind them in person.

Hosting Study Sessions

You can also host study sessions once a month on an agreed date and time. Students can submit their questions and the teacher can assist them by answering frequently asked questions. This can be recorded and sent via voice notes. 

You can also post questions based on the various lesson topics that students can post their answers to. The student who gets the the answer correct can get his/her answer replied to with stars and any other preferred emoji.

The idea is that Whatsapp facilitates out of class discussion and instant communication between you and your students. Therefore, the sky is the limit in how you choose to use this app.

Please comment below and let me know if you use this app as an educational tool in your class or offer any other ways in which this app can be used as an educational tool.


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