A. Efficiency - 9.3
B. Functionality - 8.3
C. Design - 10
Participate: An Online Community for Educators
Summary : Learn, Share, & Discuss!
Participate is a website full of resources for users who are teaching a variety of subjects, and it provides avenues for teachers who wish to interact together and engage professional development learning opportunities. To begin, users must register with Participate for free. Next, they will be taken to their home page, where they can click the Communities, Collections, Learning Products, and Chat options.
In the “Communities” section, users can browse a range of topics, and each topic includes a headline and brief description. When users identify a topic of interest, they can click it to read more about it. If they wish to enroll in a class about the topic, they can click the “Learn” option and follow the steps. In addition, the “Resources” option allows users to download materials related to the topic. They can also use the “Discussion” option to exchange their ideas about the topic with other users, who are listed under the “Connect” tab.
The “Collections” section functions as a depository of materials users have collected from the “Resources” option in the “Communities” section. Users can also click the “New Collections” button on the right of the screen; choose if they want their resources to be private, public, or hidden; and then manually add materials by clicking the red “+” button and choosing the upload or link option. Once added, users can view their resources by clicking the collections name and navigating to it.
When users complete courses, artifacts from those courses will be stored in the “Learning Products” session. Please note, users must complete courses for content to be added to this section.
The “Chats” option offers additional opportunities for users to interact with one another around different themes. To plan for a discussion, users must click the “Explore Participate Chats” button in this section. A menu that list times when chats will be taking place along with hashtags for those chats will load. Users can click on a chat to join it or learn more about it. They can also scroll down the screen to view more chats by topic.
There is also a search box at the top of the page. Users can enter a search term into the box and view the results. They can also click on the different results to view their content.
Lastly, at all times, users can click the blue “Dialogue” icon on the bottom right of the screen to ask Participate questions.
Instructional Ideas for Participate
- For their own professional development, teachers can select the “Communities” option and choose a class. They can then enroll in the class. As they complete the class, teachers can save resources from it to their “Collections” and “Learning Products” sections on the website, so they can revisit them after the course and use them for student learning. After completing a course, teachers could share their review of it with their colleagues during a faculty meeting to encourage additional professional growth.
- As teachers are planning and teaching an instructional unit, they can save all their lesson plans, resources, and exemplary student work to a “Collection” in this website. That way, as they return to the unit to teach it again, all their materials will be saved in a single, digital space. In addition, teachers can add resources to their collections and refine their materials when they reteach it.
- If teachers wish to engage their colleagues in a discussion about a specific topic, they can use the “Chats” option to identify a discussion and join it!
- When teachers are brainstorming a topic for their class, they can enter keywords related to the topic in the search box at the top of the screen and view the results.
|B2. Collaboration & Communication|
|B3. Ability to Save Progress|
|B5. Platform Integration|
|C2. Ease of Use|
|C5. Screen Design|
|C6. Information Presentation|
|C7. Media Integration|
|C8. Free of Distractors|
Screenshots of Participate