LeMill is the learning toolbox for teachers at lemill.net. It contains open and free learning resources that anyone can freely use, adapt, modify, improve, translate, and redistribute. The community is growing steadily and now over 700 teachers and content creators collaboratively improve learning material and discuss in various national and thematic groups.
Article by Tarmo Toikkanen
Estonians are by far the most enthusiastic users of LeMill, with Hungary and Austria being the two runners-up. In addition to many European countries, LeMill also has members from Columbia, Canada, China, Georgia, Russia and many other nations. It is truly an international community and is becoming a great place where teachers can find and adapt resources that have been made by other teachers or create their own resources.
LeMill contains over 3,000 learning resources and assets, much of it in English, but some content is in other languages as well. We would like to remind everyone that it is very easy (and legal) to translate any resources from English to your national language. So, if you can understand English, why not go to LeMill and translate some of the valuable pedagogical method descriptions to your native language so that your fellow teachers can also benefit from them?
Version 2 of the LeMill learning toolbox was released at the end of September 2007. One of the more interesting new features is the Exercise template, which allows teachers to easily create questionnaires, quizzes, polls, exercises and exams.
Here's a hot tip for you: Did you know that you can build your lesson plans, course plans and other supportive material in LeMill? It's all done with Collections that you can create. Just locate the material, methods and tools that you need for a lesson or a course, and add them to a collection, which you can name as you wish. In this collection you can reorder the material and write a short or longer description of how the lesson or course is planned to happen. If your collection has a description, and some resources from all of the three sections (content, methods, tools), it will become a "Teaching and Learning Story" and will be featured on the front page of LeMill. This is an excellent way of sharing your plans or your experiences on using different methods, tools and content in your own teaching. And, reading other teachers' teaching and learning stories, is a great way to get new ideas that you can use in your own classroom.
Alice Biro is a teacher of Modern Languages in Hungary.
[I can gain] “A lot of experience! I think methodologically it is also a kind of developmental course for teaching and I think for working with materials generally it is useful. You can use other people's ideas and I think common knowledge can be more useful than relying on your own ideas.”
Kylli Kaasik is an elementary class teacher from Estonia.
“It is good because all your materials are all together in one place. Before that I had a lot of different folders - for different subjects like Estonian, English, Art and it is good that they are web-based. I can use them everywhere. And I can choose materials and it is good that I can see what the other teachers are using. It may not be easy for all teachers but if you really want to use LeMill then you can do it. It is easy to learn.”
Judita Prialgauskaite teaches English in Lithuania.
“I like using LeMill because I can create my own lessons, resources and collections - it is very good because it is very simple. A teacher can open the portal and at once she can see her favourites.”