Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tech Tuesday: Updates to Schoology

Busy day down here in the Collab Lab!  We had a representative from Schoology come to observe teachers and discuss our uses of Schoology here at EG.  Thank you to Carmen Ruiz, Kristen Guth, Sandra Lee, and Steve Lesniak for hosting our guest! 

Here are some new features that will be coming with Schoology:

1. Course Section Management: This will be launched in one month or less Common preps can be merged so that updates/assignments/calendar can be pushed out to multiple sections.  All materials will be in one section and pushed out from there.

2. Portfolios: Students will have a "location" on Schoology to house multiple portfolios of work (essays, career information, etc.) Teachers/Counselors can also assign portfolios to students.

3. Shared Rubrics: As of Friday, teachers are now able to share rubrics within the grading feature.

4. Broadcasting (Big Blue Button): Host a live video seminar! This is currently only for the browser version.

5. Embed Resources Apps (YouTube, Khan Academy, GoogleDrive): In Assignments, you are now able to add direct resources from external apps. This would help alleviate students seeing inappropriate videos on the way to the designated YouTube video, for example, or direct students to a Khan Academy quiz, etc.

Here are some responses to some questions staff posed to the representative:

1.  Can you delete a submission if a student submits to the incorrect assignment? Currently there is not a way to do this.  The teacher will have to reference the student's most current revision.

2.  Students cannot view colored folders on the app.  Is this going to be an option?  The representative is bringing this back to Schoology.

3.  The speaking feature, rich-text, and inserting images do not work on the mobile version.  Is there a way to change this?  It appears that this is a mobile development issue and Chris is going to share this feedback with Schoology.  A work around is to use the browser version of Schoology on the iPad or on a desktop computer. This should be coming by the end of March. Stop in to the CollabLab if you'd like more information.

4. Can we archive updates for us to reference next year? Currently there is not a way to push updates to resources sections, but you can return to the archived version of the course. Another workaround is to create an update as attachment that could be saved as a resource.

5. It would be great to be able to comment on posts in a Media Album. Is this an option? This functionality is available on the browser version but not currently on the mobile app. They are bringing this feedback back as well.

Schoology is so responsive to teacher feedback--especially those using it "on the front line." Please contact the CollabLab if you have any questions, have examples to share, or would like to know more!

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