e school, retiring in 2005. I integrated technology into my everyday practice because I had an interest in it and it improved the performance of my sixth graders. My student demographic was African American and Latino. Whenever I learned something new I passed it on to my students. They inspired me to want to learn more about technology, so much so that I put up a website, to display their work.
As the years progressed and I learned more, I introduced my kids to PowerPoint, Publisher, PageMaker, etc. In 2003 I learned about the K-12 Linux Terminal Server Project.
K12LTSP is based on RedHat Fedora Linux and the LTSP terminal server packages. It's easy to install and configure. It's distributed under the GNU General Public License . That means it's free and it's based on Open Source software.
Once installed K12LTSP lets you boot diskless workstations from an applications server. You can use old PC's as diskless clients or buy new ones for under $200 each.
I installed nine computers in my classroom all on one server. I retrieved the computers from the dumpster of the school district where I lived and used them in the district where I worked. .They worked wonderfully. I used Open Office,(free), that has all the capabilities of Microsoft. We used Mozilla Firefox,( free) we worked on projects all year using these free tools and creating great work.
In 2004 I discovered Moodle. Moodle is a collaborative, open source LMS, and it changed my life in the classroom. Using Moodle I was able to extend the learning of my face to face classroom on a 24 hour basis. Whatever we were working on in our classroom throughout the year I put up in our online classroom where it was available on an asynchronous basis. Research Projects, homework, worksheets,, assignments,quizzes, glossary,forum discussions, websites, audio files, music, and journal activities were ALL available in our online Moodle classroom.
I learned about my students in a way I had not before. Through our forum discussions on our curriculum I learned whether my students grasped the information on Ancient Egypt or any other part of our curriculum.
Through the discussions I saw how their writing skills improved over the course of the school year. Through the one to one journal assignments we completed, I learned how their reflective abilities on a subject or concern progressed.
My students became comfortable expressing themselves to me and to each other through our frequent online discussions. They became accustomed to collaborating together and creating new learning from that collaboration.
Moodle is a Web 2.0 tool. Twenty seven million users of the software can't be wrong. Did I mention that Moodle comes in 75 languages? Moodle is an open source tool that enables teachers or ANYONE who wants to instruct others to have an online classroom.
Part of the No Child Left Behind legislation focuses on online access for teachers and students. This access is explained in the National Educational Technology Plan. At some point soon, teachers in the US will be required to offer their students this additional component to their education before they exit K-12.
When I retired in 2005, I joined with three others and founded the company, Moodlerooms. Moodlerooms makes online learning easier.
Moodle, coupled with the K-12 Linux Terminal Project are affordable solutions for cash strapped school districts. Moodlerooms also is an affordable solution and I train others , in my retirement, how to use Moodle.
m/2009/01/some-things-ive-learned-about-building.html) and attempts to steer them too much from the top can backfire. So the best thing to do is to jump in and talk about the things you want to talk about here!…
t your reflection caused you change in how you teach, or how you view your job?
For me, I learned by reflecting that a teacher's approach to discipline can have a great impact, positive or negative, on actual learning and long-term retention. Also I realized that we all have learning curves, and certain topics taught have greater learning curves than others, so that as teachers, we need to consider the process and the estimated size of the curve, and adjust our expectations accordingly. These understandings have impacted my students' experiences in my classroom.
Would you be willing to share some important lessons you learned in the process of becoming Nat.Bd. certified? I am curious!
By the way, I love your hat.