Elin Måge is a Norwegian language teacher at Risenga Secondary School in Asker, Norway, and she's known as an itslearning addict. She updates itslearning on a daily basis, and also makes sure that her colleagues can benefit from what she produces.
"I'm addicted to itslearning," Elin confesses.
Trial and error
For her efforts, Elin was honoured with an award in the Creative use of itslearning category at the Del & bruk (Share & Use) conference in Norway in 2010.
Because of her interest in using ICT in teaching, Elin is seen as an invaluable resource by fellow teachers – and she's not afraid to experiment with the numerous tools and opportunities that itslearning gives teachers.
"There is a lot of trial and error. Sometimes things work as I had expected, sometimes not," she admits. "I once asked my students to write a poem, and they started to write love poems to each other through itslearning, which created some awkward situations in the classroom."
But many of her efforts have resulted in great successes – raising both student engagement and improving teaching outcomes. Elin has recently begun using discussions in language lessons. For example, she recently set up an assignment in which she asked her students to write a story about a car crash and submit their stories in a discussion thread. As a result, all the students can see what the others had written and could assess each other's contributions.
Discovering new possibilities
Elin has her own methods for creating interest and motivating students to log into the learning platform. Adding videos, music, games and pictures, for example, increase the students' motivation to use itslearning – and students visit her folders because they know they will find relevant and entertaining resources there.
"I like to try out new things with my students, and I like to explore the possibilities I have in itslearning as a teacher. But you don't have to create everything on your own. You can also use content others have produced, and add it as links in itslearning. I'm constantly on the hunt for useful links to other websites," says Elin.
The pictures she publishes from daily classroom situations or trips are especially popular. These photos help create a good class environment, and at the same time inspire students to log on to see themselves and their friends. Compared to open websites, pictures that are published in itslearning are safer because people have to log on to view them – and the teachers can decide who gets access.
Sharing resources with other teachers
Elin updates itslearning daily, and shares what she has. "I really like to share my files with others. In the participant list in my courses, I can see that great many teachers visit my pages, which I think is really fun!" So do we.
Posted on Wed, April 27, 2011
by Øyvind Flatnes