Instructional Technology and Digital Resources

Teacher using white boardWashtenaw ISD is providing leadership in several areas related to instructional technology and online learning. This is a joint effort by the Instructional Services and Technology Departments at Washtenaw ISD.



Teacher Built Educational Web Sites With Moodle

Moodle is a free, open source, online 'learning management system'. This tool lets teachers build class sites and interact with students. Using Moodle to put your curriculum online or have online discussions with students qualifies as an 'online learning experience' to meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirement. Effective with the graduation class of 2011, students are required to have an online experience of 20 hours before they graduate.

The word Moodle was originally an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler.

Why Should Educators Use Moodle?

With this technology, learning can be customized to meet the needs of each student allowing learning to occur "Any Time, Any Place, Any Pace." Using Moodle to begin to deliver some of their instruction online, teachers can provide a range of learning opportunities that meet the needs of students who are gifted, homebound, home-schooled, disabled, detained, at risk of dropping out or have already dropped out. This can promote the personalization of learning for middle and high school students by creating student-centered learning experiences focused on promoting success and achievement for everyone.

The WISD MOODLE server can be found here.

Using the WISD as its central access location, we are providing a Moodle server system for districts in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties. Each district can configure their portion of the Moodle server independent of other districts, utilizing their own administrators, users, themes and course offerings.


21 Things

21 Things for the 21st Century Educator

This is an online Moodle course periodically offered by the Washtenaw ISD that meets National Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). During this course, educators that want to develop and expand their technology skills will learn how to use a variety of free Web 2.0programs for teaching and learning while creating projects to improve their own efficiency and impact their classroom delivery.

Instructional areas include Digital Storytelling, Blogging, Research, Assessment, Video Resources, Collaboration Tools and much more!

SBCEUs and Graduate Credits are available upon completion of the 66 course hours.

Access the Companion Teaching Site.

21 things for the 21st Century Student

The 21 things for the 21st Century Student site was created by a grant from the REMC Association of Michigan for the creation of an educational resource for educational technology for students. Members of the REMC Instructional Technology Specialists in Michigan along with pilot teachers from the state, have created this site to provide project-based activities which are aligned to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S), and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards for students (METS) as well as the Framework for 21st Century Learning identified by the Partnership For 21st Century Skills.

The 21 Things 4 Students website was designed as a virtual classroom for students in grades 6‐12. In this classroom students will learn and demonstrate basic technology skills using a variety of web tools while meeting the online course requirements for graduation.

Students utilize web tools, instructional videos, and online activities to create a digital portfolio of project based learning activities. Students who satisfactorily complete the 21things4students course are deemed proficient for state reporting in 8th grade technology.

Flyer with 3 sample implementation models

21 Things for the 21st Century Administrator

21 Things for Administrators (Principals/School Administrators) - Cohort 1 is a unique self-paced professional development opportunity for administrators desiring to update their educational technology skills to meet the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A). Cohort 1 begins February 1, 2011 and all work is to be completed by May 15, 2011. This totally online, web-based resource can be found at 21 Things for the 21st Century Administrator


Michigan Virtual High School

Beginning in September 2008, a volume purchase agreement was made with the Michigan Virtual High School for the delivery of online courses. The purpose of this agreement was to establish a mutually beneficial relationship for the sale, delivery, receipt and use of Michigan Virtual School online courses and services between Washtenaw ISD Consortium and its constituent districts. This strategic partnership was established to provide:

  • A cost effective volume pricing opportunity to Washtenaw ISD schools.
  • Enhanced communication and potential partnerships between MVS and Washtenaw ISD and its constituent local school districts.
  • A mechanism for MVS to assist Washtenaw ISD in the identification of emerging e-learning needs.


This agreement covered MVS Flex, semester paced and foreign language; student direct pricing, advanced placement and Mandarin Chinese.

For more information on the Michigan Virtual High School.


Online Learning

Online Teaching and Learning Training


Developed in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan LearnPort provides online professional development for members of the K-12 community with hundreds of relevant courses, many available for SB-CEUs. Nine courses target the challenging concepts of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The courses and the SB-CEUs are free.

Some courses in Michigan LearnPort are fee-based. More than 100 six-week long, instructor facilitated courses cover a wide range of classroom topics as well as soft skills and personal enrichment topics. New courses are added on a regular basis.

The LearnPort course, Integrating Blended Instruction into your Classroom, is free and taken fully online. It contains three modules, forum participation and one final lesson plan. The course runs for four weeks and upon completion and approval of the instructor, teachers are eligible for a $150 stipend (only if funds are available).

  • Go to LearnPort
  • You need to create an account to login if you don't already have one
  • Click on 'courses' from left hand menu
  • Click on 'catalog'
  • Search on 'blended' to see courses on the list


Online Learning Requirement

The Michigan Department of Education defines online learning as "a structured learning activity that utilizes technology with intranet/internet-based tools and resources as the delivery method for instruction, research, assessment, and communication."

  • Michigan is the first state to have an online learning requirement effective with the graduation class of 2011.
  • Required to have an online experience of 20 hours sometime between 6 - 12th grade
  • Using and incorporating the METS (Michigan Educational Technology Standards) into each of the student's required credits will ensure that this requirement is met.


In order to fulfill the Online Experience requirement by incorporating the 20 hours of online learning experiences, it should be noted that quality online learning experiences have common characteristics and meet Michigan Educational Technology standards. While each experience may not address every characteristic, it is assumed that upon completion of the minimum collective 20 hours of experiences, each of the following characteristics will have been represented: Collaborative experience between students, Life-long Learning Skills, Integrated, Sustainability, Online Ethics and Safety and Teacher Involvement.

Credit may be earned in:

  • courses (MVU, REMC GenNet, cFWD, Moodle)
  • Online learning experiences
  • Blended Instruction (combining face to face teaching with online content using Moodle)




21 Things for Students

REMC recommends using the 21 Things for Students website to determine student technology proficiency. Designed as a virtual classroom for students in grades 6-12, students will learn and demonstrate basic technology skills using a variety of web tools while meeting the online course requirements for graduation. They will utilize web tools, instructional videos, and online activities to create a digital portfolio of project based learning activities. Students satisfactorily completing the 21things4students course are deemed proficient for state reporting in 8th grade technology.

21Things 4 Students Website

Flyer with 3 sample implementation models

Educational Technology Planning

Here, find the METS-- Michigan Educational Technology Standards for Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 with checklists for each grade level. The 8th Grade Technology Literacy requirement should be embedded within the district or public school academy school improvement and technology plans. For assistance with technology planning, visit the METS website.


Digital Resources

Washtenaw ISD and Livingston ESA have worked closely with the school districts in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties to collaboratively purchase digital online resources. The REMC $AVE Bid Project added video streaming to the bid and set the pricing statewide.

  • Discovery Education Streaming
  • Learn 360


Michigan eLibrary

In addition, your teachers and students can access all Michigan e-Library (MeL) resources both at school and at home. MeL is the Michigan eLibrary, an anywhere, anytime library for Michigan residents. MeL contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, books, and evaluated Web sites. MeL can be used by any citizen of the state at no charge 24 hours/day.  MeL includes specialized resources such as those in genealogy, health, business, test preparation, careers and education. MeL also contains many general resources that cover all subject areas and has resources specifically for children and older students. MeL also provides eBooks and online courses.



Through REMC 16, Washtenaw County has access to use the online content offered by GenNET, managed by Genesee ISD. GenNET purchases from a number of vendors with the goal of selecting the best content. The decision was made to focus on Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS) with the intention to review the GenNET content during the course of the year. A reduction in price is available for this online contenct when managed through REMC 16.


MI Streamnet

MI Streamnet is a portal to both live and on-demand professional development and legislative videos for Michigan educators. MI Streamnet uses the internet and Apple's Quicktime technology to deliver these video events to the user's computer, free of charge.

MI Streamnet is a collaborative effort with the Michigan REMC Association, Apple, Inc. and MERIT which is designed to provide leadership in the integration of technologies into instruction and service directly to schools so that all Michigan educators and students have access to enriched and enhanced educational experiences. It directly supports the REMC Association in providing constituents with increased anywhere access to live video events and on-demand archived instructional video resources and professional development opportunities.

MI Streamnet



REMC 16 includes Washtenaw ISD, located in Ann Arbor, and Livingston ESA (LESA), located in Howell.

REMC 16 provides a venue for both counties to stay current on the latest statewide initiatives in instructional technology and online learning. Participation in statewide opportunities is matched to the countywide instructional goals and the usage of statewide bids via the REMC $AVE Project is encouraged.

Washtenaw ISD and Livingston ESA both operate cooperative programs and deliver services that focus on teaching and learning for students. We secure educational resources and share them equitably. We work with schools, parents, agencies and the community to improve achievement for all students, providing services to assure that all children learn.

Services include an online catalog of instructional curriculum materials containing the assistive technology, test and speech collections; professional development resources and training such as the 21 Things for the 21st Century Educator; teacher workroom; and cooperative purchasing of digital video streaming services.


REMC Association of Michigan

The Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan (REMCAM) is an organization committed to providing media and technology resources to Michigan's students and teachers. The website provides information on current initiatives and statewide projects.

These include: 


Main website: REMC 16