Presentation on educational uses of Phpbb

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callumacrae
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Re: Presentation on educational uses of Phpbb

Post by callumacrae » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:19 pm

Students could benefit from working in an environment such as the phpBB environment as it, if used correctly, would encourage them to work together. It could also be used to see other peoples views on certain topics ("what do you think of character x in this?"), and for feedback on stuff like projects. They could also ask each other questions etc.

The obvious way to get students to work with phpBB is to set a board on, say, the school website or something, and to have them a lesson each where they are encouraged to sign up and take a look about. It would also help (probably) if you had a few older students (or maybe teachers?) who were prepared to spend quite a bit of time on the board to begin with, to make students feel as if they could ask questions and could be reasonably certain of getting an answer. Over time, the need for these students would decrease. Students should not be forced to use the website - this would just drive them away.


You would have to consider any advantages compared to what they use currently - Facebook and Wikipedia. As someone doing A-levels at the moment, I'm reasonably confident that if I ask a question on Facebook, it will be answered in a minute or so - that is something that you would never be able to achieve with a bulletin board. With Wikipedia, I can find answers to my questions in great detail very quickly. The advantages I can think of over Facebook is that answers would probably be better quality (I get some very vague answers sometimes), and questions that people have asked before would be visible and searchable - and chances are, if someone has had a question one year, someone else will have it the next. I can't think of many advantages over Wikipedia, short of that Wikipedia often goes into too much detail and can be confusing, while a student having something explained to them by their peers will usually have it explained to them at their level.


Just my 2¢ (probably just late night ramblings and not very useful, though)


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imkingdavid
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Re: Presentation on educational uses of Phpbb

Post by imkingdavid » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:14 pm

Personally, I think that phpBB and similar software can be a great aid for education. However, like callumacrae said, it should not be a requirement. Students (at least in primary/secondary school) already spend 7+ hours at school, not counting time spent at home on homework. If you add to that time they have to spend learning to use the forum, that would just make them mad.

Besides, I wouldn't recommend using it in school for discussions. That's like talking on a cell phone to someone sitting next to you. Pointless. But it can be used to refer to and log previous discussions, and can allow students to collaborate on different topics.

Personally, I am much better at communicating with written word. Of course, I can talk, but I generally can get more of my ideas across by writing it out. I'm a very visual learner. As such, having assignment instructions and such written out in a central, easy-to-access location would be a good idea.

The permissions system (i.e. grouping users based on teacher or class, depending on who is running the board) would make it easy to separate different classes' discussion areas while also allowing for a place for the students to chat collectively.

Anyway, I'm not sure how well I answered your questions, but I was just trying to get some thoughts down about how phpBB could be used in a school environment.
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callumacrae
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Re: Presentation on educational uses of Phpbb

Post by callumacrae » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:29 pm

imkingdavid wrote:Personally, I am much better at communicating with written word.
+1 (but it takes me multiple attempts to write something that makes sense :-( )
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Re: Presentation on educational uses of Phpbb

Post by /a3 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:19 am

My old school never used phpBB, but it did have a few forums on Moodle which were rather interesting. It was great for a few years, until some teachers went moderator-rogue and ended up disabling the forums altogether.

A lot of the discussions were on political issues like internet censorship, and unanswerable questions like the meaning of life, etc. If you can manage it properly, sounds like a good idea. :)
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