Discussion Boards – Saco

November 13th, 2011

A discussion board (or forum, bulletin board, message board) is an online tool that lets folks make posts and/or comments on other folks posts. Sometimes you need to be a member to make posts or comments.

Often there is a central unifying theme or topic that provides an environment for discussion, with many posts and responses. A post and the responses are a thread.A discussion board can have many threads, sometimes separated into discrete topics.

One of the advantages of a discussion board is its asynchronous nature, allowing people to post or respond without any time frame restriction. This is obviously different from IMs or live chat.


  1. Michael Kennedy
    November 14th, 2011 at 11:37 | #1

    Our Tech Team uses Discussion Boards through Google Groups to share ideas, trouble shoot and assist each other. This also allows us to see with the weaknesses and strengths reside.

    • Erin Davies
      November 14th, 2011 at 11:41 | #2

      Do you do this during a certain time frame (ie; staff meeting) or is open for discussion any time? What is the participation like? Are people sharing ideas and teaching each other or using it mostly for posting questions

      • Michael Kennedy
        November 14th, 2011 at 11:50 | #3

        The topic will be openned and continued beyond the school day. Preparation is relatively simple, once they are setup.

  2. Erin Davies
    November 14th, 2011 at 11:39 | #4

    I am curious what people are using discussion boards for in their school? Also, what format (Google Groups, Moodle etc)? Any feedback and/or suggestions would be very helpful – thanks!

    • Michael Kennedy
      November 14th, 2011 at 11:42 | #5

      Google Groups is a great way to password protect and utilize the Google Apps that your school may already have. Moodle is another version of this. There are many open source variations that can give you control and access. Keep in mind, keeping things open allow for discussion beyond the school day.

  3. Seth Cole
    November 14th, 2011 at 11:57 | #6

    Engaging discussion regarding video sharing – why are schools blocking Youtube? Vimeo an increasingly popular choice. Also frustrating that iMovie doesn’t have a more collaborative component to it…

    • SMWest1
      November 14th, 2011 at 12:24 | #7

      TeacherTube…pretty cool resource!!

  4. SMWest1
    November 14th, 2011 at 12:14 | #8

    http://www.mevl.netnnThe state-hosted Moodle site lets you have a class page. David Patterosn is great and will help you through the set-up: david.patterson@maine.gov

  5. SMWest1
    November 14th, 2011 at 12:18 | #9

    Facebook groups…can create private groups that are centers for discussion. All comments are real time and posted as your real name.

  6. Seth Cole
    November 14th, 2011 at 12:30 | #10

    Social Network Comments – “Friending” students – while I wouldn’t friend current students, I’m okay with other educators choosing to do so. However, those that do choose to friend current students have a moral obligation to respond to inappropriate comments, bullying, etc.

  7. Marilyn and Seth
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:32 | #11

    We donu2019t believe that teachers should friend their students on Facebook. There are other avenues available for conversations to take place between teachers and students, such as educational blogs and discussion boards. We support collaborative use of technology tools, but there are many more appropriate forums for an educational conversation than Facebook. Such social networking sites as edmodo and dweeber, or blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger, are more suitable sites for teachers to interact and communicate with students digitally. These sites provide a more managed space that can be specific to topics within an educational realm.

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