With serving as a Tech Trainer for our LMS this year, I have stepped up my efforts to model effective use for our teachers. There are high hopes that teachers will begin to consider and/or adopt a more blended learning approach to instruction, if not all together go “Flipped.” I’m not so optimistic that many of my roughly 150 teachers will go totally flipped (though I see glimmers of hope here and there,) I am encouraged in what I’m seeing with the blended learning approach. I do believe high school teachers are a hard sell.
Model with Use; Share Tips and Tricks
One way I’ve tried to help them make the transition to using our LMS (ItsLearning) is by providing tips and or tricks along the way and modeling in my own practice. I try to send tips through the LMS, but I pair sending it with a regular email blast too. I’ve shared things like how to use the microphone/webcam in project based learning, how to embed a PowerPoint or Word document in a viewer friendly manner, how to contact an entire class or individual through the LMS, and even how to conduct an online discussion or chat.
Teachers’ biggest complaint
A complaint I hear from teachers is that they want a more attractive way to deliver their content in the LMS. The most dominantly used element is rich text content. This is where they stumble, as when they think of rich text content, they think strictly text.
Let’s make it pretty
I have shared this tool with them, but every time I use it I realize just how much I like it. The “Page” feature in our LMS essentially allows teachers to add blocks of information. This is where I push them to try an online html editor like Quackit to make those text blocks visually appealing and not just text. This is my favorite tool to help teachers build something visually attractive. Why do I like it?
- Users don’t have to know anything about html or any other kind of code.
- Using this free online html editor, you still get to develop content in a wysiwyg manner (what you see is what you get), which means you don’t have to be an expert in code.
- You build it in a friendly editor that has a familiar look and feel like the rich text editor in ItsLearning or any other standard text editor–like Word, with which they are all very familiar.
- Users build, click source and copy that html code, then paste the code in their content block.
- No login required; it’s just there to use as needed. This is my favorite reason to love it!!
- Users are offered plenty of other more robust editors for a variety of other content (music, players, videos, etc.) from this site as well.
Quackit HTML Editor is just a part of a much bigger site, but this has become my go to site for grabbing some code. I’m sure there are other sites that do the same. Now readers, share your favorite with me.