Friday, February 16, 2018

And the LMS Winner Is....

Our district's Learning Management System Committee recently chose Schoology as CHPS's LMS, and we'd love to tell you more.

Your colleagues chose Schoology (pronounced skoo-luh-gee) for a variety of reasons, but here are some of the highlights:
  • Schoology allows educators to organize a class in any manner they choose.
  • Grading assignments in Schoology can automatically post to the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook.
  • Educators can create assessments that mimic SOL test questions (i.e. drag and drop).
  • Classes are already loaded into Schoology via PowerSchool.
  • With a code, parents can view what their child(ren) is/are doing in Schoology.
  • Educators can embed audio into tests and quizzes.
  • Schoology integrates with widely used web applications such as Khan Academy, Quizlet, and Discovery School.
  • Educators can create "Groups" to help organize clubs and activities.
  • Course materials can be saved so that they can be used year to year or semester to semester.
Currently, LMS committee members are undergoing training in Schoology so that they can be resources for educators who want to start using elements of an LMS in their classroom.

Screenshot of a Schoology Class

If you have been using Google Classroom and are just starting to get the hang of it, you should find that the same concepts apply to Schoology; however, Schoology offers more options. More options can be overwhelming, but the important thing to remember is that you don't have to know everything about how it works. There are several ways that you can start slowly with Schoology. 

Ways to use Schoology without uploading everything you have created can include the following: 
  • organizing review material
  • creating announcements for upcoming events
  • creating a discussion board
  • creating an assessment
Please don't feel that you have to have 180 days of coursework for students to work on for a full 90 minutes each day. The intent of using Schoology is simply to give educators a tool for organizing their class.

If you are comfortable with Google Classroom but want to explore Schoology, you will probably find that it is just as simple to use. If you have never dabbled in having students access schoolwork online, it is not a difficult process, and EdTech Coaches are here to help! If you are afraid that you will never be able to use paper in your classroom again, don't worry! Students may learn a particular topic better if they are able to cut, or color, or glue, or write. Multiple modes delivery help students learn more deeply -- if they need to color the golgi apparatus to recognize it, then by all means, pull out the colored pencils. 

After the LMS committee finishes their Schoology training, we are going to start offer informal training sessions in the Spring for those who are interested. Also, we will be posting "how-to's" within Schoology so that you can experience using the LMS as a student would. 

Next year will be full of new, exciting changes, and the Office of Technology and Learning is ready to help!

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