Estonian Teachers' Portal


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Estonian Teachers' Portal

  1. 1. Building the Next-Generation Educational Portal for Estonian Schools Mart Laanpere Tallinn University, Estonia
  2. 2. Educational portals in Estonia <ul><li>Since 1997, e-worksheets, online competitions, quizzes </li></ul><ul><li>Subject-specific Websites: handicraft, literature </li></ul><ul><li>Project-specific: Hello, Spring! </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional: science didactics in Tartu University </li></ul><ul><li>The first Teachers’ Netgate 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Koolielu portal 2001: based on commercial CMS </li></ul>
  3. 3. The new version: Koolielu 2.0 <ul><li>Centre for Educational Technology in Tallinn University was contracted by the Tiger Leap Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Software: based on Elgg, LAMP platform </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 principles: users as content creators, tags, RSS, dashboard, widgets, embedding, remixing, metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated with LO Repository (Waramu) and EU Schoolnet’s FIRE federation </li></ul><ul><li>OpenID Single Sign-On, hosted by </li></ul>
  4. 4. Structure of Koolielu 2.0 <ul><li>News – aggregated from various online sources, </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisements – course offerings and job search, </li></ul><ul><li>Tools – links to the online or downloadable educational applications, </li></ul><ul><li>Resources – repository of learning objects, </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions – traditional online forum, </li></ul><ul><li>Communities – every user can initiate an ad-hoc community which will get automatically a dedicated collaboration space, forum and other collaboration tools. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dashboard and Profile page <ul><li>Elgg widgets, similar to iGoogle or PageFlakes </li></ul><ul><li>Dashboard is a default front page for logged-in users, Profile is a kind of public e-portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Both are populated with Open Social widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Default set of our own widgets: My Learning Resources, My News, etc </li></ul><ul><li>User-defined extras, layout and access rights </li></ul>
  6. 6. Content management <ul><li>Different workflows: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News and advertisements: submitted by any authenticated user, reviewed/published by editors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning resources: submitted by anyone (as a file or URL with LOM), reviewed/published by subject moderators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forum discussions: anonymous participants allowed (CAPTCHA for humanity check) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Automatic archiving </li></ul>
  7. 7. Learning Object Repository: Waramu <ul><li>Waramu was developed also in CET </li></ul><ul><li>Java application, MySQL database </li></ul><ul><li>No user interface, is used not by humans but by other applications via SOAP Web services </li></ul><ul><li>LRE metadata application profile (EUN) </li></ul><ul><li>Connected with FIRE federation, LRE can harvest metadata from Waramu: </li></ul>
  8. 8. Mapping LO’s to curriculum <ul><li>Every Learning Object in Koolielu/Waramu is mapped to relevant curriculum topics (annotated as category in the metadata) </li></ul><ul><li>EUN’s Multilingual Thesaurus was too broad, we developed a new taxonomy based on Estonian national curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Is used for browsing and searching Learning Objects, also for analysing curriculum coverage with LOs </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sharing <ul><li>Tags, tag clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Categories: subjects, curriculum topics </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarks: Elgg’s standard feature </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations of Learning Objects by subject moderators </li></ul><ul><li>Recommending LO’s, communities and articles according to subject area </li></ul>
  10. 10. Community building <ul><li>Friends: like in FaceBook, only asymmetrical </li></ul><ul><li>Friend collections: a set of friends </li></ul><ul><li>Communities: traditional Elgg communities and adapted course communities </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone could initiate a new community </li></ul><ul><li>Koolielu communities as Virtual Learning Environment </li></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusions <ul><li>Agile software development, weekly consultations with the client (Tiger Leap Foundation) and participatory design sessions with teachers have changed the initial concept and schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Is developed as open source software, can be re-used in other countries (if TLF agrees) </li></ul><ul><li>Future developments: teacher’s e-portfolio, competency management etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Current instance:, </li></ul><ul><li>Development: </li></ul><ul><li>Repository Waramu: </li></ul>