Eduardo Lina: Teacher, Trainer, Moodler

Eduardo Lina: Teacher, Trainer, Moodler

Mar 11, 2017

Moodle: It's more than just a "cool" digital tool

Pupils nowadays live in a technology rich environment. Accordingly, teachers must provide interactive opportunities which motivate and allow pupils to focus on learning.  Using different “cool” digital tools when teaching English is one way for us, teachers of English as Foreign Language in Israel, to provide such opportunities.

However, while looking at apps and finding ways they can be used in the classroom is very good, it seems to me that it is better to use a Virtual Learning Environment such as Moodle, to mention the one I like best. This Learning Platform provides much more than opportunities for interaction using digital tools.
You may want to check this link to find out “Why you should use a Virtual Learning Environment”.  Allow me to quote “some reasons why:
•    Communication – opens up an infinite number of channels in the format of forums, discussion threads, polls, surveys – instant feedback either as a group or individually
•    Producing work – students do not physically have to find their teacher to hand in work due to secure virtual ‘hand-in’ folders that have time windows
•    Resource hub – teachers have infinite online storage space for ppts, docs, worksheets etc. that can either be secure or shared with students
•    Dynamic home pages – teachers have the opportunity to create an exciting virtual space to represent their room/subject
•    Links to outside sources – pathways to all other online learning spaces are linked via the VLE
•    Embedded content – YouTube, BBC, newspapers can all be embedded as the dynamic feed of the homepage
•    Podcasts & videos – both teacher- and student-produced podcasts and videos have a shared platform; again, either secure or shared”.

I have been using Moodle for a few years now. I have found that using Moodle to support my Face to face lessons in the Classroom helps me engage pupils. I believe I make my pupils study more, which is what I want, and no less important, be exposed to "more" English.

While there are  pupils who complain that they have to work harder because I have them use Moodle, there are those who say that they profit from the experience. You can't please them all.

The Ministry of Education is “going Moodle”, as this platform is used in each and every teacher professional development workshop. Most academic institutions in Israel use Moodle, too. Using Moodle, we can help pupils get used to the Learning Environment they will be using at College or University.

If your school works with Mashov, then Moodle is available right away. Jump at the chance and give it a try! You will not have to do any sort of "administrative work", as you get a space on the Platform for every course you teach. Moodle even keeps your courses from year to year, which means that you can re-use and update contents whenever you want.

If, however, your school does not work with Mashov, you will have to check whether you have access to a Moodle Platform through your school. I once heard that this can be done through the Ministry of Education, but I do not know if that is so. Check it.

There are free Moodle workshops available online, but I guess the best venue is to join a workshop that caters to your needs as a teacher of English in Israel. I hope to facilitate another one soon if I am given the chance.

If you access this link, you will be able to get a  glimpse of both how I have been using Moodle at Kugel High School, and how I have been helping fellow teachers of English learn to use Moodle with their pupils. Who knows? You might eventually want to become a Moodler yourself.


Feb 23, 2017

A glimpse into what happened on the How to use Moodle Workshop

The "How to Use Moodle in the English Classroom 2016 - 2017 Workshop" is over! 44 teachers have fulfilled the requirements, and completed the tasks successfully.  They have attended Virtual Classroom meetings, accessed Pisga's Moodle Platform to view the course's contents, worked with their pupils on their Mashov Moodle Platforms at school, documented their work on Moodle creating at least two videos using Screencastomatic, shared learning material, insights, internet sites and the like to create a Sense of Community, learned from and help each other, and uploaded awesome Final Tasks.
Would you like to get a glimpse into what has happened on this workshop? The following video clip may help you do that. Thanks for your time!

זהו! סיימנו את ההשתלמות השנייה בנושא MOODLE. אני מודה לעמיתי מורים ומורות לאנגלית שהאמינו שלא אבזבז את הזמן, המאמץ, הסבלנות והכסף (16 וחצי ש"ח - עלות הרישום במרכז פסגה) שלהם. 44 משתלמים מכל הארץ סיימו בהצלחה לאחר שהשתתפו בשיעורים וירטואלים סינכרוניים, למדו בבשיעורים א-סינכרוניים בסביבת MOODLE של פסגה- משרד החינוך, לימדו תלמידים באמצעות סביבת למידה MOODLE של בית הספר, תיעדו את העשייה שלהם לפחות בשני סרטונים שיצרו באמצעות SCREENCASTOMATIC, שיתפו את הסרטונים, הסברים, רעיונות ועוד בפורומים ומטלות, כתבו בוחן מקוון בMOODLE , שיתפו תכנים, הגישו מטלה סופית ועוד. הייתה זו השתלמות מעשית.. באמצעות סביבת למידה MOODLE אפשר לשנות את הדרך בה מלמדים ולומדים אנגלית (לא רק) בבית הספר, אך בשביל זה צריך סביבה תומכת ומורים ומורות יצירתיים שלא מפחדים משינוי. פגשתי אותם בהשתלמות. בסרטון המצ"ב תוכלו להתרשם ממה שנעשה

Jan 16, 2017

Learn Moodle - Digital Unit

Hi! Ministry of Education people (and dedicated and incredibly talented teachers, such as Adele Raemer and others who take action in the framework of GEG ISRAEL, to mention but one example) are giving Digital Pedagogy a good push. I am taking one of the Online courses offered by LNET (Digital Pedagogy), and like it very much. Since the core of each course is similar, regardless of the subject, there is a useful attempt to create a "common language" in whatever has to do with the added value of teaching with Technology (it's not just using digital tools). I believe that using Learning Environments (Moodle is my favorite, but there are others, too), can help us teachers make the most of using Tchnology for its added value.
I decided to create a short video to show one example of a Digital Unit that I hope to be using soon with my pupils. We  live in a world where visualizing is quite important  and images and  video spread a message in a way that written text does not, so below there’s a video that can will do that.
 You see, one aspect of using Moodle in the classroom that I find very useful is that "you can bring into it" any stuff you think it serves the purpose of teaching English. Instead of sending pupils to see many different tools everywhere (You Tube videos, podcasts, Emaze presentations, Google Docs, Quizlet, Websites, and the like, and this is just to mention a few examples), you can "bring them into Moodle". You can add content created by other people, or create it yourself using different tools. You do so by placing a link (on a Moodle Page, a Moodle Book, a Moodle Forum, a Moodle URL, a file you upload on Moodle, etc - It's up to you. Moodle is great as a safe environment: you and your pupils are the ones who have access to your course if you do not allow guests in. No less important, pupils will always stay in the safe environment of your course if you make sure you set the link to open either as a pop up or on a new window - they will not get lost in the Web.
The Ministry of Education uses Moodle for all its professional Development Workshops. In Ministry of Education schools, we could have the option of using it, too (not as a must, but as an option, of course), couldn’t  ? Other Learning Environments might serve that purpose, too but I am crazy about Moodle (That's life)