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If you build it, they will come

I recently received this message from a teacher in our school system, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board:


My students are using their Google Apps for Education accounts and sharing documents with me. I'd like to take it to the next step and create a class group where I can post documents for easy access... an online classroom space.

Please send me some ideas and/or suggestions.

As the e-Learning Contact, my role is to coordinate and lead the use of the Provincial Virtual Learning Environment, or vLE. This type of message is so refreshing to receive because it shows the need that teachers have for an "online classroom space". It is a natural progression as teachers and students use more cloud-based computing models. 

Now, this teacher has the ability to make class announcements, post course content, and receive & assess student work anytime, anywhere... in a safe, secure, and private environmentThe vLE allows teachers to use multimedia (video, images, audio) and display student work for the class to access from any device that has an internet connection.

The WECDSB, like many other Boards in the Province of Ontario, has performed many integrations that make the vLE the perfect place to serve as a learning hub for all. 
Some important integrations include:

  • Google Apps for Education - students can submit digital creations seamlessly
  • The Ontario Educational Resource Bank (OERB) - teachers can direct students to interactive learning objects without logging in
  • Trillium (Student Information System) - classlists are created automatically and updated every day
  • Turnitin - Teachers and students can check for originality on submitted files

If you have something to say, please leave a message in the comments :)