First year teacher Ahmad Charara was assigned to teach Computer Applications at Lowrey Middle School this year. Fortunately, over the past several years, the Computer Applications course has been built on iLearn, Dearborn’s Moodle courseware–largely due to the work of former Lowrey teacher Denise Elliott.
The course Ms. Elliott built is now being used across the district by students in nearly every middle school building. It serves as the starting point for teachers, and essentially presents students with an orderly, organized curriculum in order to achieve stated standards.
This course has been to the advantage of Mr. Charara and teachers like him, who are able to enact a curriculum that is consistent across the district as a result of Moodle’s strengths. In courses that are created with iLearn (Moodle) teachers have the ability to share and collect activities, organize their materials, and even personalize their courses to suit the more immediate needs of their students.
One of the many activities in which I have been involved over the past few months as Tech Coach has been to come alongside teachers like Mr. Charara to help them learn how to use iLearn and how to share and adjust activities to accommodate an increasingly tech-savvy generation of students. Even more importantly, I’ve had the pleasure to begin connecting teachers across the district who are using iLearn to teach courses in any discipline. At this point, math teachers across the district at the 6th grade level are using activities contributed by Ms. Tina Cosenza from Bryant and Ms. Kimberlee Crispin of Woodworth. Science teachers within middle and high school buildings have begun to collaborate on common courses. Language arts teachers are beginning to use Moodle as a starting point for units. And teachers in courses like Forensic Science are sharing and collaborating even though there is only one such teacher in each high school.
The collaboration enabled by iLearn (Moodle) and the hard work of wonderful, resourceful educators in the district are helping both new and veteran teachers to hit the ground running and work together to reach new heights in their instruction–all the while preserving the integrity of enacted curricula to ensure equitable access to great instruction for students in every building in the district.