4 Next-Level Ways to Use Schoology You'll Want to Try
Classroom teachers face unique situations and students on a day to day basis. It’s in these unique situations where Plato’s idea that “necessity is the mother of invention” truly comes to fruition. From hanging shoe racks used as cell phone holders, to egg crates separating broken crayons, teachers use every item under the sun to meet the needs of their classroom.
Join us for the best PD event of the year. There are only a few spots left! Click here to see why you should register for Schoology NEXT 2018 today.
But just as the needs of a classroom teacher are infinite, so are the ways in which digital products are being used. Schoology offers numerous tools that are designed to meet the needs of many aspects of a digital classroom, and it does it very well.
4 Next-Level Ways to Use Schoology's LMS
As teachers become more and more familiar with all Schoology has to offer, the tools that have been created are being used in ways that meet the needs of a classroom, even if that was not the use in which it was intended. For example, the discussion feature allows students to engage in dialogue with the teacher and each other in an asynchronous fashion, allowing all students to engage in the discussion when they are ready.
Discussions for Recording Daily Goals
Discussions are typically used to collect responses to questions pertaining to classroom content. But I have seen teachers use it as a tool to record student daily goals. The discussion question is simply, “What is your goal for today?” Students then respond to the teacher’s post with what they plan on accomplishing that day as an extension of the unit plan for student driven learning. At the end of the class period, those students respond to their original post listing what they accomplished during that instructional time, and what, if anything, do they need from the teacher to continue their learning.
Not only does this allow for a teacher to have a record of what all was accomplished by all of the students in any given day, it allows for students to be a part of their own learning design team. Articulating what short term goals are planned, and comparing that with what was accomplished allows for students to learn how to gauge their time, and plan for completion of larger, multi-step projects. All this is done in a space where the teacher, other students, and even parents, can see what all is being accomplished on a day to day basis.
Digital Submissions to Find More Time for Targeted Feedback
I’ve worked with art teachers who complain of being spread thin during instructional time, trying to meet with each student to give real time feedback on artwork that is being created, hoping they can help students with adjustments before moving on to the next piece of the project, while other students wait patiently to hear if they are ready for the next phase. Schoology has allowed these teachers to look at daily submissions of digital images of artwork in progress where they have been able to provide formative feedback by writing and annotating directly on an image of the artwork to help the student accomplish what they are trying to achieve.
Student Completion Rules for In-Class Scavenger Hunts
Teachers who have been bitten by the breakout bug no longer have to wait for the one box of locks stored in the media center for the entire building to become available so students can complete a fun scavenger hunt in their classrooms. Using the folder structure in Schoology with the student completion rules in place, students can test their knowledge of classroom content in a fun competition with other students, only unlocking clues after the previous set of instructions has been accomplished. Instead of getting a padlock combination, a simple 100% score on a quiz unlocks the next round of excitement!
Online Courses for Managing Staff Workflow
Principals have created courses for their own staff members to manage the workflow between classroom teachers and building administrators. Instead of a simple web page for posting links, these courses allow for building wide staff announcements to be made, committee agendas and minutes to be submitted, staff meeting attendance to be recorded, teacher evaluations to be scheduled, district required forms to be downloaded, links to surveys to be posted, building policy discussions to be had, and much more! (Shameless plug, this concept will be the topic for my Schoology NEXT session on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018, at 3:00 PM. Come see this in action!)
While teachers and principals using tools to fill the individual need they face on a daily basis is no new concept, these innovative ideas are transcending into the digital world as well. The sharing of these ideas via social media, conference sessions, and parking lot discussions are changing the way students are learning, teachers are leading, and administrators are organizing the educational experience as we know it!
Learn More From Lane at his Schoology NEXT 2018 Session
Join Lane in his Schoology NEXT session to see how principals and other building administrators can start using Schoology to manage staff workflow, including managing meeting agendas, committee minutes, building announcements, observation logistics, PD, and more.