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Creating and Managing a Virtual Classroom

Creating and Managing a Virtual Classroom

Author: Paula Dillon

This tutorial will demonstrate how to navigate online platforms for instruction and assessment. Included are directions on how to build groups, add content, and merge multiple web-based tools into a singular location.

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In this session you will learn how to

  1. Navigate Sophia
  2. Use Groups to Build a Classroom
  3. Use Playlists
  4. Use Pathways
  5. Select and Embed Tech Tools
  6. Strategically integrate technology into a lesson

Video Tour of Sophia

Tour the features and resources available in Sophia

Source: Paula Dillon 2013 via SOPHIA

Creating a Group and Adding Content in Sophia

Source: Paula Dillon 2013 via SOPHIA

Step by Step Instructions: Creating a Group and Adding Content


Source: Paula Dillon 2014

Why Use Groups


Why are Groups advantageous for collaboration?

  • When you create a group as part of an education team, you can change settings to allow group members to add content, tutorials and playlists.
  • Groups allowing for collaborative planning and lesson building.
  • Do I Need to Create a Group for Others to See My Content?
  • No, you can choose to publish your content or build your playlists for the world to see.

Then Why Build A Group?

  • Building a Group also gives you more information from the analytics tool connected to the group, as you are able to see the progress of each group member
  • Building a Group allows you to post announcements for your members
  • Building a Group allows you to create a Group forum, where members can communicate and post information for the other members of the group

If I Build A Group for My Classroom, Can Students Change or Add Content?

Refer to the video or step by step instructions above.  In settings, you can determine whether you want group members to be able to add content, or simply view and access the content you have added/built.  It is important to note that a group can be owned by several "owners" or teachers who can add content without giving students access to add content.

Creating a Lesson In Sophia

Source: Paula Dillon 2013

Step by Step Instructions: Building a Lesson in Sophia


Source: Paula Dillon 2014

Step by Step Directions to Build a Playlist in Sophia


Source: Paula Dillon 2014

Using Pathways in Sophia

Source: Paula Dillon 2014

Differentiation Gone Digital


Source: Paula Dillon 2014

PowToon Choose a Course to Integrate

Brief Cartoon outlining the steps to select a lesson to integrate with technology

Source: Paula Dillon via PowToon

EdTech that Can be Integrated in Sophia

In this section, we will review different types of edtech that a teacher can use in Sophia.  Sophia is tool agnostic and you can use the Sophia platform to both embed tools directly within Sophia or link out to tools. The lists below are not all encompassing, and only serves as a brief example of tools you can embed in and link to from Sophia.

Tools that embed directly in Sophia

Almost any edtech that can be embedded with an HTML code can be used in a Sophia Tutorial.  You can consider some of  the following tools:

1.  Google Presentation

2.  Google Forms

3.  PowToon

​4.  Quizlet

​5.  LiveBinders

​6.  Animoto

​7.  FlipSnack

8.  Storybird

9.  Instagrok

10.  Thinglink

​11.  Linot

You can also embed Slideshare and AuthorShare.  Also note that using the text box with specific directions and hyperlinks, you can incorporate virtually almost any edtech that you use on a daily basis into a tutorial.  Some of my favorites are


So what about tools that I don't have an embed code for, can I still use them with Sophia?  Yes, you simply include their hyperlink in any of your tutorials.

Tools that you can Link to from Sophia










Tween Tribune

and Linoit


In addition to embedding with Sophia, you can also embed Sophia tutorials into any site that allows you to embed HTML.  Therefore, Sophia works well with almost any learning management system and most websites as well. Currently, I have Sophia Tutorials embedded in my Weebly, my SharePoint site, and Aspen X2.  You can also use with Schoology and Edmodo.


I have built a playlist below to offer step by step use of some of the above sites.

Source: Compiled by Paula Dillon

Recommended Playlists to Dive Deeper

Tech Tools for Integration


​Learnzillon and TenMarks

​Collaborative Writing Tools: Storybird, Google, FlipSnack





Source: Paula Dillon

Sites to Help Choose Tech Tools

Do you know your learning outcomes, but you are not certain what technology tools can enhance your lesson or instruction? Check out these 3 sites to help guide you: Graphite, Curriculum 21 and EdTechTeacher.

Source: Paula Dillon 2014

Before You Go On...

Select a course or a subject area that you want to begin to integrate technology

  • Think about a current lesson or unit that you currently teach that you could redefine and reach higher levels of critical thinking skills with the integration of technology

Define the following:

  • What is the objective of this lesson?
  • What technology tools could I integrate to the activities and assessments that would support student learning, engage, empower, and elevate the learning?

Create a Lesson in Sophia


Resources and References from Above Presentations

Graphite - Tool from Common Sense Media to assist teachers in selecting technology tools

EdTech Teacher - Great resource to select iPad and Web tools starting with the objective first

Alan November Who Owns the Learning, Solution Tree, 2013

Michael Fullan Stratosphere

Heidi Hayes Jacobs Curriculum 21, ASCD

Curriculum 21 Website - great technology tools to integrate and professional development

Tony Wagner Creating Innovators, Scribner/Simon & Schuster

Source: Compiled by Paula Dillon