I have introduced Dig into Digital: Israel Ministry of Education Moodle Templates and Dig into Digital: Moodle in K-12 in Israel again in my two latest articles. While the courses are aimed at pupils, there is a need to engage teachers of English as a Foreign Language. These teachers (my colleagues) teach their pupils. They are the ones who will introduce their pupils to the courses.
How can the path of thousands of teachers in Israel’s K-12 system towards an enjoyable use of Moodle be smoothed? How can they be given confidence in their Moodle abilities? How can their appetite for Moodle be whetted? How can colleagues be helped to help their pupils use Moodle? These are some of the challenges faced when introducing thousands of teachers to using Moodle effectively as part and parcel of their teaching strategies.
To meet these challenges, The English Inspectorate and The Ministry of Education Technology Division joined forces and worked together to suggest and create Moodle Templates, decide which Moodle Resources and Moodle Activities could be used to deliver content, and ease the way for teachers to get Moodle Courses to work with their pupils.
Developing and facilitating Professional Development Workshops has been one way to meet the challenges. Members of the English Department, who are teachers themselves, have taken it upon themselves to create a special Professional Development Workshop Template, which has got the name “Dig into Digital master“. The course takes the same format as the ones that teachers will eventually use with their pupils. I have been given the honor, and responsibility, of developing the “Introduction to Moodle” unit in the master workshop.
You have heard of the Moodle philosophy and practice of Open Source. In the spirit of the Moodle community worldwide, a spirit of helping colleagues achieve their professional goals, I have tried to give back by bringing into the unit part of what I have learned from fellow Moodlers (The Moodle Academy and Dr. Nelly Deutch, to mention but two).
Dig into Digital’s “Introduction to Moodle” mirrors any of the units in any of the Moodle Templates in that it takes the same pattern. It is divided into sections (“Let’s Explore”, “Let’s Connect”, etc.) Teachers can make progress independently, but also be guided by facilitators, just as their pupils will when they themselves use the courses as teachers. Progressing through the course, teachers become familiar with the use of Moodle and, hopefully, gain confidence in their Moodle abilities. They are empowered.
The unit focuses on the what, how, and why use Moodle to help pupils improve their English.
Most of us teach so-called mixed-ability classes. Our classes are made up of students who are mixed in more than just ability. Moreover, our pupils come from different cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and much more. Showing how Moodle can cater to the needs of different pupils is part of the unit. In addition, there is also an attempt to show that Moodle caters to our needs as teachers who also come from different cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Indeed, the school system reflects the multicultural nature of Israeli society.
Time will tell whether using Moodle for English teaching and learning makes an impact in K-12 in Israel.