Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Nancy Bonnifield
Curriculum Director &
On a recent Friday night at 10:35 p.m., a Kimball High School student was looking up Algebra information on Mr. Liedman's D.E.N. page. By 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, another student was responding to a forum topic in Mr. Sundin's Environmental Science class. Because of The D.E.N., students are no longer limited to in-class learning.
In Marie Bauerly's Computer Applications class, students are working on an "About Me" PowerPoint when they have extra time. They are able to publish their PowerPoint and ask others in the class for feedback. Math teacher Melissa Carriveau finds that The D.E.N. helps students stay organized. She posts her weekly math assignments, and if a student is absent, they can look up the assignment on their home computer.
The D.E.N., Digital Education Network for Kimball Schools, is a Learning Management System used by most teachers at both the high school and elementary. Students enroll in courses and are able to access class information, get assignment information, hand-in assignments online, chat with others in the class, discuss topics in a forum, take quizzes, journal, and more. Moodle was the original name of the system, but Kimball Schools personalized the name to tie into their school mascot, the Cubs.
At the elementary school, The D.E.N. is mostly used as a communication tool from teacher to parent, but is gaining popularity as a tool for helping students with math, writing, and spelling. Teachers are able to link to websites which will enhance what he/she is teaching in the classroom.
Even the principals have a D.E.N. page which is used by their staff. The principals post common forms which a teacher can print when they need to, links to policy manuals, and links to educational resources.
The combination of face-to-face and online learning is called Blended Learning. Teachers at Kimball Schools are provided training on how to use The D.E.N., but they are not required to have a page. Students without internet access at home are able to use the Media Center computers and encouraged to use the public library for additional internet access.
If you would like to try out The D.E.N., go to the Kimball Schools website at www.kimball.k12.mn.us. Click on The D.E.N. logo in the lower-right corner. Navigate to either the High School or Elementary and enter a class of your choice. Many courses are open to guests, but others require a username and password and are designed for student use only.