Did You Know... Three Update Posting Tips from Bradley Kemp
I start each Schoology professional development session by asking "What is your goal today? What do you want to master by the end of this session?" If it's an introductory class, the most common answer is, "I want to communicate with students, parents, and faculty effectively."
All of you out there who are in the same boat, read on because this post is all about effective communication.
First of All, What Are Updates Really?
Imagine needing to send out a permission slip for a field trip, but the copy machine needs toner, ink, or ... paper? Where did all the paper go? Or how about if you stumble on a news article that's the perfect tie-in to current events, but you're not sure how to effectively share it with your students? And what is with that monstrous email chain that still can't get the whole department on the same page?
If any of this sounds familiar, then you need to try using updates. They are a fast and effective way to get information to the people who need it.
Updates can be sent to all the members of a class or group instantly. Administrators can even send them to the entire school using Schoology Enterprise.
Key Concept: Only people in the Course, Group, or School Building where you post the update will see it. The Recent Activity feed (on your Home Page) is a conglomerate of updates and activity tailored to you. Everyone's Recent Activity feed is unique and personalized.
Update Tip #1: Post from Home
I never click into a course or group to send updates. I instead send updates directly from my home page by choosing the course or group in the "Post To" box. You can post to multiple courses and groups, attach polls, and upload files, links, and resources (like Google Docs!) from here.
In the Enterprise version you can even record messages using your webcam!
Update Tip #2: Flag Announcements
A challenge with updates is that important information can get buried in the feed. What if you wanted to make sure students remember your office hours? Simply flag the update as an Announcement to pin it to the top of the course. This announcement will display at the top of your course updates and materials.
Announcements are only available in courses at this time. Also notice that you can post an update to your Twitter or Facebook account if you use these networks to communicate with students.
Update Tip #3: Change Your Landing Page Pro
Here's a pro tip to WOW the chalk off your colleagues' blackboards! If updates are one of your primary tools, what if you wanted to give them more focus?
You can easily make course updates the first thing students see when they open your course, so they never miss an important post. Simply select Edit Privacy/Course Settings in your Course Options menu and scroll to the bottom of the screen to change the landing page.
I hope this helps you get the most out of using Schoology as a communication tool. Again, this is a feature that requires little "know-how" to get started and is a time saver for every teacher I've met. And don't forget that you can always learn more about Schoology Updates and other features in the Schoology Support Center.
Until next time!
Professional Development Specialist
Bradley is a 3rd generation teacher and proud to introduce Schoology to master educators across the world on a daily basis. He works with instructional directors to develop methodical strategies for integrating technology and instruction in meaningful ways. After all, Bradley lives by his mantra, Change is not an event. It is a process.
Follow Bradley on Twitter @brdkmp and stay tuned for more Did You Know... Tips from Bradley Kemp!