Jorunn Sørtveit has taught in secondary schools for six years and has been using itslearning since 2003. During this time she has developed her own way of using the learning platform to stimulate pupils. “Simplicity is often more,” is her slogan. Here are a few tips – from one teacher to another.
The noticeboard is crucial in getting pupils to log in more often. An active noticeboard shows that the teacher is present, and pictures make it lively. I never upload messages without adding a picture. Selected icons represent different types of content. This generates a sense of recognition and helps pupils with reading difficulties to find their way.
itslearning gives pupils a unique opportunity to monitor their own progress. Try going back to a task the pupils performed two–three years ago, and ask them to improve on it. A useful exercise! I’m certain that my pupils learn more English grammar now than they did before we started using itslearning because they are able to work systematically.
Listen and learn
Audio is a fantastic tool when trying to learn a foreign language. Listening to the correct pronunciation of words and expressions is useful. With itslearning pupils can also record and listen to themselves, get comments from the teacher and practice and improve. Added value: improved self-confidence and increased participation in class.
Discussions for all
Class discussions are usually dominated by the same pupils. I find that the discussion forum in itslearning coaxes comments out of even the shyest of pupils. I set discussion tasks such as “Is reading useful or just a waste of time?” and learn a lot about my pupils by reading their comments!
Include the parents
Teenagers can be very introverted and often don’t tell their parents about what they get up to at school. I use itslearning to give parents an insight into their children’s school life. In a separate “parents’ classroom” I upload practical information, examples of tasks, pictures from school trips etc. I have found that a mixture of useful information and “nice-to-know” material generates the highest number of log-ins.
Tue, June 22, 2010
by Yvonne Robberstad