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Teacher interview: Koos Van ‘t Hul

This blog post is the latest in our series on how teachers use itslearning. In the series, we hear from teachers who use itslearning actively in their teaching. We pose the same six questions to all teachers, and we are always surprised (and pleased) by the variation in their replies. It shows that itslearning has something to help every teacher, and supports the learning process a variety of different ways.

Van ‘t Hul: ‘A learning platform moves learning beyond the walls of classroom’

In this teacher interview, we hear from Koos Van ‘t Hul, an ESL teacher at Griftland College in The Netherlands. The school has only recently started using itslearning, but Koos is already using the learning platform actively in his teaching.

Koos talks about his favourite itslearning features and how learning platforms are changing the role of the modern teacher. He lists improved communication between teacher and student and learning materials available anywhere and any time as major benefits to using itslearning.

“I am quite hooked to our current learning platform and use it in all of my classes. Probably 60% of my time in school I use the learning platform,” he says.

How long have you used itslearning?

In our school we have only started using Itslearning since April 2013, so we are now in the process of getting to know the interface and functionalities the learning platform has in store for us.

I have lots of experience with another learning platform (Teletop). That learning platform has been in use with us for over 6 years now and it clearly had some flaws. I am stunned by the tools itslearning now offers us and I like the fact that the interface is so user friendly.

What is your favourite itslearning feature?

Of course I have not used Itslearning Platform for a very long time, but one of the features I really like is the itslearning app library. At the time we selected itslearning as our future learning platform, this app store was one of the decisive aspects. One of the other important features was the integration with Office 365.

How does itslearning help you in your teaching?

A learning platform in general provides a completely new dimension to teaching, especially in secondary education. It makes communication with pupils much easier and allows for a dynamic learning environment. What I like is the fact that I can make information ‘live’ available to students. This enhances the dynamics of teaching but also the speed by which students receive and use feedback.

How does itslearning help your students?

A survey in our school learned that 80% of our student-users valued the mail functionality, then about 70% used the planner and liked the digital submission of tasks. Also highly valued is the fact that lots of teaching materials are at the students’ disposal at home and can be easily found.

How would you compare teaching with a learning platform to teaching without a learning platform?

Teaching without learning platform is a form of teaching limited to the classroom environment. The use of a learning platform takes learning beyond that and also allows for more effective use of the Internet as a source for learning. For the future, I expect the use of the Internet and digital sources is going to play a major role in contemporary teaching.

What percentage of your job involves itslearning?

I am quite hooked to our current learning platform and use that in all of my classes. Probably 60% of my time in school I use the learning platform. I expect the amount of time I spend on itslearning will rise as we are going to use itslearning not only as a learning environment for students but also as a starting point for our intranet.

How do you use itslearning in your teaching? Let us know in the comments below.

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