Engaging students online involves tools and ways to get students to participate. The tools are a small part, but the larger issue is how do you encourage participation. The answer can be boiled down to one concept, relevance. Relevance however is a bit abstract. It is timely. It has a purpose. It is compelling. It is meaningful. In other words, it is everything that people have been saying that school should be. We are going to look at some tools and some examples today in an effort to examine how to engage our students online.

A recommendation from people I spoke with. Place some "Easter eggs" (or hidden links to information) in every post that give the answer to a bonus question on a test. Only students that really read the page or post will know the answer.

Tools
A. blogs
B. wikis
C. microblogging sites
D. Social network sites
E. photos and multimedia
D. Live chat
F. Learning management systems

Examples of participation
A. blog discussions
http://magnoliaisdcommunities.org/communities/mystery/default.aspx
http://magnoliaisdcommunities.org/communities/jgustin/archive/category/4646.aspx
http://jgustin.edublogs.org/
B. wiki discussions
http://teaching21.wikispaces.com/
http://openpd.wikispaces.com/
C. Using photos and multimedia



There was a Request for the directions to embed a You tube video on a page. Click here to go to the Internet Video Sharing page which has directions for embedding video.

Talk about what makes a discussion compelling
http://www.speedofcreativity.org/
http://weblogg-ed.com/
http://drapestakes.blogspot.com/
http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/
http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/
http://www.mguhlin.org/
http://www.stevehargadon.com/
http://aquaculturepda.edublogs.org/
http://theedublogger.edublogs.org/
http://connectedtalk.wordpress.com/
http://practicaltheory.org/serendipity/

Live chat for discussion