With the large variety of Distributed Learning environments available for school boards (i.e. Desire 2 Learn, Moodle, Vista, Webct etc.), unfortunately I won't be able to provide tips for them all. However, I am going to provide a general list of ideas that you can use in your online learning environment:

1) Put links to a variety of kid-friendly search engines. Click on the link below for some suggested options:

Kid-Friendly Search Engines

2) Provide your students with a variety of discussion forum topics. I often posted pictures of curriculum-based topics (i.e. pictures of me in a Wetland (Grade 5 Science topic) or pictures of real life math patterns). I would ask students to post their questions or comments about the topic. It usually generated great online discussion and kids were quite engaged (i.e. replying to each others' posts, posting their own pictures etc.).

3) Create a D2L Virtual Word Wall! In the past I found this worked well with my ELL students. In for example D2L, you can create this easily by using the tools already available. The best part about a D2L Virtual Word Wall is that students can access this tool at home. Another option is to post your SMART Virtual Word Wall in D2L. Students can access the class SMART Virtual Word Wall from home. Please note that your students will need to have SMART notebook loaded on their home computers. Some school boards provide this download code to their students. Check with your schools techs. For more information on the SMART Virtual Word Wall click on the link.

SMART Virtual Word Wall

4) Posting a variety of ELL literacy websites. Please click on the link below for some websites you can post:

ELL Literacy Websites

5) Use Voki's in your shells! Voki's are speaking avators! You can create your own avator and have it say whatever you like. It is a great way to engage your students. See below for an example of one! To create a Voki, visit the following website: http://www.voki.com/

6) It is important to promote Digital Citizenship with your ELL students. If you are not already aware of the Media Awareness Network Website. I strongly recommend this website. There are games and teaching ideas. I also recommend that you check out the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) Digital Citizenship Resources. Click on the links below to check it out:

Media Awareness Network

Calgary Board of Education Digital Citizenship Resources