Top Tips for Sharing Resources in Schoology
Schoology, from its very inception, was centered around the idea of communication, collaboration, and sharing. That focus is evident throughout the platform—private groups, public groups, shared collections, Public Resources, etc.
With many people starting to use an online environment for distance learning (some for the first time), it’s more important than ever to share and find resources that can be used immediately. Schoology is the perfect place for that type of sharing to happen.
Because our platform is inherently designed for users to share with each other, here are some guidelines to keep in mind when sharing with peers, locally and globally.
Private vs. Public Sharing
Private Sharing Options in Schoology: Collections
If you are sharing with a specific group of people and don’t necessarily want to share with a wider audience, you can use a collection in Personal Resources.
To share a collection, navigate to your Personal Resources area and either create a new collection or choose one of the existing collections in your list. (It’s a good practice to create a new collection that you want to share with others, that way you can define who can view it and what they can do with the items in it.) Once you have a collection chosen, use the “Sharing” tab at the top to both define permissions (View only or Edit) and add people to the collection.
You can add people from your own organization by searching for them or you can add one of your “connections” in Schoology.
Private Sharing Options in Schoology: Groups
One of the most common sharing spots in Schoology is the Groups area. Groups can be a great option for collaborating and creating resources together. Unlike a Collection, which is for sharing items only, a Group allows for communication (through updates and messages), discussion boards, and resources. You can even add Schoology Conferences to a group for live communication.
When in a Group, you can decide what other members are allowed to do, if you’re the Group Admin. If you’re working with colleagues, like in a PLC, it might make sense to make everyone an admin. If you want to have some control over who can do what in the group, you can decide what members can contribute to. That is controlled in the Group settings.
Public Sharing Options in Schoology: Public Groups
If you want to share something for anyone to access, choose one of the many Public Groups that are already created for Schoology users. Like the private Groups mentioned above, a Public Group is a good option, as it has updates and discussion boards as well as a place to share resources.
To access the Public Groups area, click on “Groups” area in the top navigation and then choose “My Groups.” You’ll then see a list of public groups from which to choose. Once you join a public group, you can contribute updates, discussion boards, and resources to share. (Hint: you may want to adjust your notification settings so that you aren’t overwhelmed with updates.)
Public Sharing Options in Schoology: Public Resources
Like Collections, you may want to just make materials available for someone else to take and use. This is where the Public Resources area comes in super handy. You can find the Public Resources area by navigating to Resources in the top navigation and selecting Public Resources from the options on the left. From here, you can search or use filters to find content.
What if you want to add something into the Public Resources area? From either a Group where you “own” an item or from your Personal Resources area, you can add those items directly by using the “Share in Public Resources” icon.
Tips for Sharing Publicly in Schoology
When sharing something for someone else to use (either a peer or someone you haven’t yet met), here are some things to keep in mind.
- Naming Conventions - When sharing a resource, make sure the name makes it clear what it is. A generic name like “Test” doesn’t give quick info to another person about either topic or target audience.
- Sharing Settings - With the prevalence of collaborative productivity tools like Google and Microsoft, most files have default permissions that are restricted to a domain or user. Be sure that the settings allow for others to view or copy if you’re sharing it publicly.
- Copyright - Speaking of sharing, be sure that the resource you’re sharing actually can be shared legally. Publisher content, images protected by copyright, and other proprietary content shared here is likely a violation of copyright as it’s not covered under the “Fair Use Guidelines,” especially for content that requires purchase.
- Folder Descriptions - When adding a folder into a Resource area, be sure to add a description so that others know what’s inside without having to open it. Because we’re sharing with users from all over the world, it is also helpful to provide information about grade level, subject area, and district, state, and/or region. You can also add images to folders and color-code them.
- Tags and Other Info - When sharing individual items, it’s really important to give as much information as you can by using the information icon at the bottom of the window. This isn’t something you’ll see when building in courses, just in Groups and Resources. Clicking on the “i” will bring up a set of other information that not only gives others an idea about subject area and grade level(s), but this information is critical to help others search for items in the Resources area (see below).
Be sure to add text into the Resource Notes area as this helps with keyword searches. Giving information about grade level(s), resource type, and subject also provides more areas for others to use when searching.
- Updates - If you share resources and then update them, provide an indication about when it
was updated (either in the title or in the Resource notes). If you have shared something into Public Resources, be sure to also update that item as well. After you update a shared item, you’ll see an option to “update Public Version.”
One of the most amazing things about Schoology is its user community. It’s a community made up of people who are generous of their time, their resources, and their ideas. As we increasingly rely upon each other to work smarter, not harder, be sure to leverage Schoology’s many options for collaboration, communication, and sharing.
Staying connected is increasingly important as we navigate distance learning. For more distance learning resources check out our Digital Learning Readiness Kit at schoology.com/prepare.