Using Moodle to Enhance Your PLC
Over the past two years, I have been facilitating the PLC and common assessment work with the Bismarck Public Schools in western North Dakota. They are a cutting-edge district with strong leadership at the top and committed principals at the 25 individual campuses, accompanied by a world-class Career and Tech Academy.
The focus of this blog is to share the use of a free district web program, Moodle, used to house the work being done by pre-K-12 departments and grade levels and create a common vision and common language across the district. It’s not only a place to store standards, curriculum maps, district calendars, communication forums etc., but it’s morphing into a place where PLC teams can chronicle their most recent work, and share documents with “job alike” colleagues.
Most importantly, it’s becoming a centralized and dynamic platform for instructional resources, active board flip charts, websites to enhance lessons, and a consistent tool for PLC and assessment communications. A gentle and gradual shift from textbook-heavy classrooms to a “laser focus” on the essential learning targets is evolving through the use of this 21st century tool.
To allow all teachers to maneuver comfortably on the site, ongoing “Moo Latte” sessions are being offered in real time and virtually to build capacity. Meta courses, a hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous instructional modules, are being designed for students who can do their assigned work from any location and in any time frame. The list of course options are plentiful and diverse to meet the ever-changing needs of the 21st century student and educator.
As teachers work in content PLCs, they use Google docs to share the construction, editing, and analysis of common assessment and student work. The video contains a step-by-step demonstration of this program with tutorials.
In addition, the “Moodle Mentors” have accessed the zooming presentation editor tool, Prezi, to illustrate the shift from “text-heavy” to “tech-friendly” ways to deliver instruction through the video entitled, A Tale of Two Communities.
Productive conversations are being held regularly as the educator learning/doing gap decreases. Consequently, the goal is to take “pockets of excellence” and create “systems of excellence” using best practices. This is not only good work, it is the right work. And it’s work that sparks deep PLC conversations built around honesty, vulnerability, and the willingness to engage in action-research collaboratively, no matter what tools are used. Happy journeying!