Teachers’ increasing use of class websites leaves some vexed

As the world becomes more involved with technology, students have become accustomed to using the web for almost all their needs. However, the relatively new practice of using websites like Moodle to post assignments is a change that has brought  mixed reactions.

Teachers started using websites, such as Moodle, UA blogspot, and wikis, as a way to create a virtual classroom for students. Moodle, along with other class websites, allows teachers to assign homework, post weekly schedules and other activites without wasting paper.

According to Spanish teacher Richard Duarte, the move to the Internet is not only environmentally friendly, but also helps students lighten their textbook load.

Duarte said he began using Moodle to post students’ assignments, weekly plans and links to listening practices at the start of the school year.

“[Moodle] is more accessible and it allows absent students to keep up with homework assignments,” Duarte said.

Duarte expects students to check the blog daily, but he said he only posts assignments one-to-three times a week.

The only problem Duarte said he had with Moodle occurred when he was first introduced to the confusing set up.

“There is a learning curve,” Duarte said. “The website tends to be difficult to maneuver and hard to explain to students.”

Though Moodle may be time consuming, Duarte said the continued use of Moodle by students will enable them to become better acquainted with this aspect of technology and save them time on their homework in the future.

Freshman Megan Koeneman has used Moodle in multiple classes and said she believes it is a nuisance.

“[Moodle is] extremely time consuming,” she said.

Koeneman said she thinks it would be easier to do homework the old-fashioned way rather than on a communal blog.

Many teachers also use Moodle to provide links to YouTube and other video aids that are blocked by the school’s Internet filter.

“Because most of teacher planning is done at school, not being able to access learning aids makes watching videos less convenient,” Duarte said.

Duarte said it is important for students to experience language in other ways than just from a textbook.

Even though extra video aids can help, junior Leah Moody still has a hard time navigating  Moodle because of the number of links and confusing design.

“It takes me longer to navigate the website than it would for me to just fill out a worksheet,” Moody said.

Though Moodle  and other classroom websites may present some students with extra work and a hassle at home, their increasing use in classrooms is a trend that does not appear to be flagging anytime soon.