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Overview of LeMill

by Tarmo Toikkanen, Hans Põldoja, Teemu Leinonen — last modified 2011-01-08 05:50
group: LeMill development

This document describes the main features of LeMill and can be used as introductory material for anyone thinking about whether or not to use LeMill. A more detailed user manual will be done later.

LeMill in One Minute


LeMill is a web community for finding, authoring and sharing open and free learning resources. Its main target group are teachers and learning content authors, but anyone is free to join.

All the resources are freely usable by anyone in any context. All the content in LeMill is released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5

LeMill has four sections: Content, Methods, Tools, and Community.

LeMill content section

General layout of the user interface

As seen above, the four main sections are shown as tabs at the top of the page. Each section has a theme color, so it is easily seen which section is currently open. In the above screenshot the green Content section is open.

At the top right corner is the search box, which can be used to quickly search for resources from all four sections.

On the left side is the actions box, which always shows all the actions that you can do in that view. You can freely try them out - nothing dangerous is going to happen if you click them.

LeMill actions portlet

The center of the page is the main content area. In this area you see the resource you've located or results of a browse or  search view. The screen shot is showing the front page of the Content section that is also the "home page" of the whole LeMill site. As you can see, there's links to featured content and links to browse content in different ways.

Content section

The content section contains learning resources and media pieces that are added to LeMill.

Learning resources are the main unit of the LeMill's Content section. Learning Resources are something you may use in your teaching and learning in many different ways. For creating learning resources there are several different templates. For instance this page that you're reading right now was created using the Web page template.

Learning resource templates

Media pieces are images, audio clips, video clips or animations. They are not learning resources as such, but are used as parts of learning resources. When you build s learning resource you can upload additional media pieces from your own computer or search and use those that already are in LeMill.

Methods section

The methods section contains descriptions of different pedagogical methods, practices and techniques. The section is a valuable, dynamically growing source of new ideas for teachers to implement teaching and learning.

The methods tagcloud gives you an overview of what is available.

All methods are editable by all logged in users. Think of them as wiki pages, that are fast and easy to edit. So if you think you can improve some method description, feel free to click on the Edit link in the action box. Or create a new method if something you know isn't there.

The methods section is also another way to approch the content in LeMill. The methods can be linked to learning resources and learning resources can be linked to methods. This way you may find what methods has been used with what content and vice versa.

Tools section

The tools section contains descriptions of tools that can be used in teaching and learning. The tools can be both physical (such as a class room, or a blackboard) or virtual (a software for drawing mindmaps).

The tools tagcloud gives you an overview what is available.

The tools are edited in exactly the same way as methods - wiki style. Feel free improve the descriptions or add your own favorite tool.

As with the methods you can also approach the content in LeMill from the Tools section. The tools can be linked to learning resources and vice versa.

Community section

The community section allows you to browse the other members and work with them in groups.

In this section members can provide information about themselves, allowing you to find interesting people that you could possibly collaborate with.

The community section also contains groups created by the members. Anyone can create a new group, and anyone can join any existing group. Groups are usually formed around some theme or topic to work on learning resources. For example there can be a group for history teachers in Estonia.

Groups can be linked with learning resources in the Content section. When you edit a learning resource you may assign it to some group or join the group that is already assigned to work on the resource. Joining the group doesn't obligate you to do anything, and you can leave the group at any time.

In the Community section each group has a forum that the members of the group can use to communicate with each other, coordinate their collaborative efforts, and report on their progress.


All members can create their personal collections, where they can collect any resources found from LeMill. You may think or them as your "learning resource bookmarks".

When you find an interesting resource, you can add it to one of your collections just by clicking the "Add to collection" link in the action box. The benefits of the collections are:

Teaching and learning stories

Teaching and learning stories allow teachers to share their experiences on using the various resources found from LeMill. Tips are an easy way to provice valuable insight to other teachers. You may conside teaching and learning stories as cases of using resources found from LeMill.

If you have a collection (see above) that has content, methods, and tools in it, you can create a tip for use. The story will have links to those resources in your collection and also a description that you'll write. In the description you can describe how you're planning to use those resources in a learning situation, or how you've actually used them.

Some things that you may mention in a teaching and learning story are:

Teaching and learning stories are also always shown after each resource that they link to. Some highly popular resources can have many stories attached to them. Remember to scroll to the bottom of the page when looking at a resource to see if there are any stories about its use.