Three Great Ways to Discover New Connections and Resources on Schoology: The Back-to-School Essentials
Our last installment of the Back-to-School Essentials is one focused on discovery. In this digital age of ours, millions of instructional resources, tools, and methodologies are within arm's reach. The only challenge is that there are MILLIONS of instructional resources, tools, and methodologies! How can anyone filter out all that noise to find what they're looking for?
Well, Schoology Community, you are in luck because you are part of a global community that, unlike the larger body of the Internet, consists almost entirely of education professionals. And considering that collaboration is our forte, you can be sure that we have gone to great lengths to simplify the often daunting ordeal of discovering new people and resources.
Having said that, let's take a look at some great ways to find what you're looking for:
The global Schoology Community is arguably the most powerful resource available to you. Using Groups, you have access to all the inspiring knowledge, resources, and best practices of thousands of professionals. With the click of a button, you can join Schoology Groups or even create your own and start sharing your thoughts and content immediately. The best part is that people are constantly innovative and relevant, making collaboration with them the most dynamic way to hone your instructional skills.
Plus once you join, group activity will show up in your Recent Activity feed and can be relayed via notifications so you're never out of the loop.
The following are our top five most popular groups:
- Schoology Educators—5,500+ members
- Flipped Classrooms—5,000+ members
- Blended Learning—3,000+ members
- Common Core—almost 3,000 members
- Differentiated Instruction—2,500+ members
Click on the groups links to check them out and even join in the conversation.
The App Center
Looking for a new instruction or classroom management tool? A great place to start is our App Center. Just rummaging through this app marketplace is a great way to not only see what's available, but to also gather ideas for new lessons and teaching approaches.
Here are five excellent apps to get you started:
- Remind101—Keep an open and secure line of communication between you, your students, and their parents. This free text-based app enables quick and easy mass messaging without revealing phone numbers or other information.
- BrainNook—Harness the power of game-based learning in this creative, Common-Core-aligned application focused on mathematics and language arts. This free app can help keep your students engaged in fundamental subjects important for success in any field of study.
- Turnitin—The world's leading solution for plagiarism prevention, this subscription-based app enables educators to quickly run plagiarism reports on their students' papers with minimal effort and without ever leaving Schoology.
- Backchannel Chat—Want to incorporate real-time discussion tools in your classroom? This free app (premium features available for a fee) enables multimedia discussions and collaboration in a secure and moderated environment.
- Gamestar Mechanic—Encourage creativity and critical thinking with this easy-to-use game-building application. Learn valuable skills from a community of game designers, gamify your lessons, and help your students collaborate on and share their own custom games for free.
Our last mode of discovery, but definitely not our least, is a massive Public Resource Library of instructional resources (files, links, etc.) all created, shared, and rated by our very own Schoology Community. You can view and download resources ad nauseam and even connect with the educators who published them.
Currently containing over a hundred pages of videos, documents, Power Point presentations, badges, and more, our Public Resource Library allows you to quickly locate what you want using filters including subject and grade level. You'll also notice each one shows its rating, comments, and the number of downloads to increase the quality of your search.
I've gone ahead and compiled the top rated resources across different subjects, in case you're interested:
- Grammar Lessons (English and Language Arts)—a folder containing 20 five-minute grammar lessons for grades 9-12
- Web 2.0 (Media, Technology, and Engineering)—a series of folders each with useful links to instructional tools, documents, and more.
- LinguaFolio Self-assessment grid (Foreign Language)—a link to a helpful self-assessment rubric.
- Mathematics (Mathematics)—a series of links to web-based math tutorials for 4 grade to Higher Ed.
- Chemical Reactions Chapter (Science)—numerous Power Point presentations, PDFs, and Word DOCs on high school chemistry.
- Our Buddies in History (Social Studies)—a series of documents focused on the minds and actions of influential historical figures.
I want to thank Erin Laabs, Sharanda Payseur, Julie Frye, Sophia, Mrs. Thomas, and Mrs. Flora for providing these great resources for the community.
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So there you have them: the three main ways to discover new connections, tools, and resources on Schoology. This blog has barely scratched the surface of how this platform can place a whole academic world at your fingertips, so don't hesitate to immerse yourself in it. You really never know what you'll find.