Dearborn Public Schools offers teachers powerful, cutting edge online learning tools. Utilizing open source technology such as Wordpress and Moodle the district has built an “eLearning Platform” that includes public teacher websites as well as private online interactive classrooms and much more.
iBlog, iLearn, and ePortfolio are the three main websites that makeup our district eLearning Platform. iBlog powers teacher websites that are primarily used for making homework announcements for parents and students. iLearn is designed for online learning such as blended and hybrid classrooms. ePortfolio allows students to create webpages and display projects, writings, and other learning objectives. Together, these technologies help build our eLearning Platform.
Communicate - Wordpress
Teacher websites are built using Wordpress. This is the technology behind what is commonly know as “iBlog” in Dearborn schools. We have a specialized installation of Wordpress which allows our district to create unlimited websites, so every teacher can create a classroom website!
Learn - Moodle
Online learning happens in Moodle. We call our Moodle software “iLearn”. Very similar to online classes taken at a college or university, iLearn provides all the necessary tools for a teacher to be very successful in operating in a hybrid or blended learning environment at the K-12 level.
Collect - Mahara
The Mahara ePortfolio system is fully integrated with Moodle and allows students and staff to create and display collections of work. Upon graduation the student can download all of their work and pages built using ePortfolio and take it with them.
Wordpress is quickly becoming the number one web authoring tool on the web and every staff member at Dearborn Public Schools has access to this great publishing tool which we call “iBlog”. Creation of a new iBlog website is a simple three step process and within minutes you can join the hundreds of other teachers using iBlog to keep parents and students informed of classroom activities.
There are a variety of uses for iBlog such as: classroom news, club news, sport teams, and other extra curricular activities. Some teachers like to work in teams and iBlog allows for multiple teachers to use the same website. So, for instance, all the first grade teachers at a school can use the same website to keep students and parents informed.
iBlog makes it easy for teachers to share documents, papers, assignments, and more! A teacher can even use the classroom scanner to make a copy of worksheets for students to complete at home. Using iBlog can also cut down on the amount of paper that goes home and can help the school save money. Every time you make a new post on your website your parents get an email letting them know all about it.
When it comes to creating a public website that is easy to use, iBlog is the solution for you.
The State of Michigan requires all students to meet online learning requirements and Dearborn Public School’s iLearn website is up to the task. iLearn is built on Moodle software and provides teachers with the ability to completely teach online or create hybrid learning opportunities for students.
The 21st century learner needs a robust and interactive learning environment and iLearn delivers. Graphics, photos, videos, and even web conferencing is possible using some of the advanced and highly engaging features of iLearn.
Quizzes and assessments are quick and easy with iLearn. Teacher can even import quiz questions in a variety of formats including Examview Test Generator which is included with most curriculum used in the district.
Files and other resources can be dragged from your desktop and dropped into your iLearn classroom. This makes adding resources very easy!
Communication tools are built in and allow for detailed discussion forums, quick chat rooms, and live video and audio conferencing.
iLearn Moodle Courseware is the spot for teachers who want to deliver engaging and interactive learning opportunities for our 21st century learners.
Mahara ePortfolio is designed to allow students to collect and share their learning materials. Student journaling and reflection is a major component of ePortfolio and every student can take advantage of the easy to use writing tools.
The purpose of the ePortfolio system is to allow the student a place to create and share their learned knowledge. This can be in the form of papers, essays, images, audio, and video. The student can gather their resources and then put them into a page to be used as a presentation tool in class or to submit to the teacher for review and commenting. The ePortfolio is very student centered and as such, they maintain controls over privacy and sharing.
The ePortfolio system also allows students to export all of their work, documents, pages, and journal entries upon completion of a class or graduation. This is ideal for a student who might have to submit past work to apply for college or a job.
Dearborn Public Schools offers a complete web conferencing solution built using the open source BigBlueButton project. The conference rooms are created as needed by teachers using iBlog or iLearn.
The conference rooms have audio, video, chat, and a whiteboard. You can even share your desktop if desired.
Web conferencing as a means for communication will become increasingly important as more students expect hybrid learning opportunities. They will also want a means to communicate with each other on projects and special assignments that may occur outside of the classroom. BigBlueButton web conferencing fills that void for the district.
Web conferences can also be recorded and automatically archived in an iLearn course. The audio, whiteboard, and chat can all be played back by the class.
Conference rooms created in iLearn only allow students and teachers from that particular classroom to join online.