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Teacher goes online, improves learning experience for students

Teacher Maria Blom says she could not imagine teaching without itslearning.

“I would not know how to go back to teaching without it,” said Maria, who teaches English and Swedish to Grades 10 -12 at Växjö Fria gymnasium (VFG) in Sweden.

Maria has not always been such a big fan of online learning. When VFG implemented itslearning in 2003, some time passed before she and her colleagues started using it in their teaching.

“It was a process,” Maria explains. “At first, I didn’t use it as much. I used the notice board feature and used it to email my students. As we got into it we started to use it more.

“I was not much of a computer person before I started using it. But itslearning is very user friendly. I learned quite easily how to use it to improve my teaching.”

itslearning optimal tool for language courses

Today, itslearning is used by all 30 VFG teachers. Maria says itslearning optimizes the learning experience for her students. The learning platform gives her students easy access to spelling and grammar tools and online dictionaries. Maria even got rid of textbooks, opting instead for online resources that allowed her to tailor in-class discussions around current events.

“It’s much better,” says Maria, who has been teaching since 1998. “Teaching with itslearning is more convenient. Plus, everyone gets the same information.”

Maria uses itslearning to email students, post PowerPoint presentations, arrange online discussions and set assignments. She also scans texts and provides links to articles on itslearning.

“I put the articles and texts in the course, and I make different files for different courses. My students hand in all their work on itslearning at the moment,” Maria says.

itslearning also takes over small organizational tasks, making Maria’s day easier. If she needs to change a classroom, she can notify students by posting on the notice board or emailing.

Always logged on

With itslearning, she often does not need a substitute teacher when she is sick. She posts assignments and instructions for students on itslearning, and asks a colleague to check on her students periodically to make sure they are studying.

“I’m using it in my everyday teaching all the time. It’s the first webpage I open on my computer in the morning. And when I’m sitting at my desk, I’m always logged onto itslearning. I find itslearning very useful.”

Maria’s typical day with itslearning:

  • First thing in the morning, she opens itslearning to read news from the principal or to find out if colleagues are ill
  • She then checks email from students and parents
  • Before class, she uploads presentations on itslearning. This allows students to prepare for class beforehand
  • During class time, she shows students on a projector how to find resources on itslearning (for example links to articles)
  • After class, she opens the itslearning attendance keeping system and registers students who missed class
  • She creates assignments (usually essays and other writing assignments) and uploads them onto a course two weeks before the due date
  • All Maria’s assessment and marking is completed on itslearning.

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