Teachers' program offered



NORTH ADAMS - As a service for area educators, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced that the college will offer MCLA Education Community Online, a free portal for teachers who want to use technology in their teaching and a communication hub for all graduate education courses and special projects.


Supported by a $40,000 grant from the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative, the project includes the development of online courses and the portal, as well as free Blackboard Vista online tutorials. Blackboard Vista, a leading provider of online course management systems, is MCLA's online learning management system.


The set of free tutorials includes "Finding Digital Images," "Using Wikipedia in the Classroom," "Creating WebQuests," "Copyright Basics" and more.


The portal also showcases special projects, such as the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative and the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Pipeline Network. Private discussion areas are available for posting questions, answers and teaching ideas.


The MCLA Education Community Online is offered as a public service to all teachers. However, those who wish to take advantage of the free tutorials must sign up by clicking on "sign up now" at edcom to access the courses and the discussion boards.


In addition, the online community is a gateway to a set of courses in Blackboard Vista that lead to a Certificate in Instructional Technology for teachers who want to take steps to become classroom technology leaders in their districts.


Fall courses include ITEC 603: "Teaching and Learning with Technology" and ITEC 717: "Information and Media Literacy." Both courses will be offered in a hybrid format, with some classes meeting online and others meetings from 9 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays at the Intermodal Education Center in Pittsfield on Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.


To register for fall courses, contact the Registrar's Office at (413) 662-5216. For more information and a brochure describing the Instructional Technology Certificate Program, contact Dawn Rodrigues at


To access the MCLA Education Community Online site, visit edcomm. Click on "sign up now" to request a login and password to access a sample Blackboard Vista course with a set of free tutorials on topics of interest to teachers.