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Using Schoology for Instruction

Using Schoology for Instruction

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This lesson explains LMS Schoology, including its features, major strengths, and major challenges.

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Classroom Instruction using an LMS

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Source: Badge, Clker, http://bit.ly/1AtJbMt; Box, Clker, http://bit.ly/1E84zy7; Minus, Clker, http://bit.ly/1G98Ulh; Plus, Clker, http://bit.ly/1Bvsg1k; Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Stick Figure, Clker, http://bit.ly/1JoIB83

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Hi everyone, and welcome. Today we'll be looking at a system called Schoology and some features that teachers could use to develop instruction, as well some advantages and disadvantages of this source. Let's begin. Schoology is a cloud-based learning management system that can be used in both K through 12 settings and at the higher education level.

They offer a free basic package that allows teachers to take advantage of many features and tools. Let's go through them. Schoology offers a personalized home page that students can use to access all their academic information, and teachers can use to create assignments and events. Users can create course profiles with many different types of learning tools including text documents, videos, quizzes, and much more.

Schoology offers flexible instructional tools, like message boards and discussion groups, that make collaboration possible, and also individual workload planning guides to help manage their own learning. And Schoology's calendar tool gives users the option to color code those events and assignments the way they want to that will suit their own needs.

Like many other learning management systems, Schoology's users can earn badges for completing assignments and quizzes. There's also a specific area for students to submit their homework online. We know the importance of aligning standards, content, and outcomes to the assessments. Schoology can help teachers do that.

From an instructors point of view, it's helpful to track student usage. The course analytics feature on Schoology makes that possible. Schoology also has an app center that gives educators access to additional instructional and management tools. Some are free and some are not.

Learning and teaching in the 21st century must include collaboration, and Schoology allows for that by offering teachers the ability to share resources with other professionals, as well as messaging and sharing resources for students to use with their peers including email and text notification capabilities. There are also group workspaces to assist collaboration on learning activities.

Another feature that aligns to the 21st century skill of collaboration, as well as communication, are the threaded discussions that can also accommodate a wide range of files as attachments. When deciding whether to use any program, it's important to look at the strengths and challenges, and here they are for Schoology.

Some of the positives include that it's a great interface with embedded apps, such as Remind, which was formerly known as Remind 101. Schoology offers a robust assessment system. As many of us now use phones and portable tablets for just about everything, an advantage is that Schoology is mobile device friendly including such things as iOS, Kindle Fire, and Android.

On the other side, the biggest challenges are that customization options are very limited with Schoology, and the fact that it is based in the cloud means that at some point it could simply be removed. So in this video, we went through the features of Schoology as well as briefly looking at the strengths and weaknesses.

So here's today's food for thought. You'll want to try before you buy it, so go to the Schoology website and check it out. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted towards helping you discover more ways to apply this course material. As always, thanks for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Using Schoology for Instruction"

(00:00-00:13) Intro

(00:14-00:28) Schoology

(00:29-02:22) Features of Schoology

(02:23-3:08) Strengths and Weaknesses

(03:09-3:39) Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

A Beginner's Guide to Using Schoology: The Back-to-School Essentials

This is a great resource for any teacher beginning to use Schoology as their classroom LMS. The blog post includes easy to follow how-tos with screen shots to guide the process. The comment section provides access to direct help and suggestions from Schoology experts.
https://www.schoology.com/group/25228991/blog/post/50085133


Using Schoology with GoogleDrive

This post by Cherry Creek School Districts illustrates how to connect your Schoology LMS with your Google Drive account if you have Google Apps for schools. As more districts move to Chromebooks, the tech tips offered on this page are relevant and practical.
http://techtips-ccsd.blogspot.com/2013/11/tuesday-tech-tip-using-schoology-with.html