Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teaming on Tuesdays: Next Steps with Schoology

By The CollabLab Team
Today during our Teaming on Tuesdays series, we had the opportunity to see multiple teachers using Schoology in a variety of ways. If you missed this Teaming on Tuesday, read on to see what we learned, and check out this previous post, Schoology Resource Bonanza, for helpful resources.

Our Teaming on Tuesday format once again gave teachers the opportunity to visit a classroom for ten minutes to see strategies in action, and then follow up in the Collab Lab to continue to share ideas and examples to apply to our own classes. However, today for the first time, we invited students to join us for our class-visits and follow-up Learning Labs.  Each period,1-2 student tutors from the Mastery Lab joined us. We learned so much from the perspective of the students!

During periods 1 and 5, we watched French students in Kirsten Fletcher's classes upload pictures to a Schoology Media album, then engage in impromptu discussions based on those pictures. This activity allowed for some student choice and creativity while at the same time curating resources for later use.

Sandra Lee and Katie Winstead were gracious enough to pause their independent reading and have students engage in a Schoology discussion about what they like and dislike about Schoology. It was interesting to hear their perspective on how some of their teachers use the technology.  It was a good reminder that technology alone does not foster learning. It depends on how it is used.

In Quinn Loch's AP Environmental Science class, students began with a Schoology agenda, clicked on a link to a video, and completed a formative Schoology quiz. Students also gave us feedback on how their teachers use Schoology.

Carmen Ruiz-Bergman's classes showed us the benefits of a clear course set-up, as well as using the event feature to share the day's agenda.  Students like seeing what is expected of them that day, when upcoming assignments will be due, and being able to go back to look at things they missed if they were absent.

Just a few of the many takeaways from the day:
  • Students report that they like having an agenda (calendar event) posted so they can follow along in class, make up work when absent, or check to see what homework is due.  Some students also liked how teachers post the handout for the day on the agenda as well.
  • Students like the organization of Schoology. They like being able to find documents easily and not having to carry papers to class.  They suggest teachers take a look at how they name documents to help make things easier to find!
  • Students do like when teachers post reminders via Updates.
  • Students only really look at comments and feedback if they have notifications turned on. More would look at them if teachers gave a few minutes in class to do this. Also, comments show up in different places in Schoology depending on whether an assignment is graded or not.
  •  Students really appreciate getting immediate feedback via Schoology and having the opportunity to do practice quizzes before summative tests. They like when teachers give feedback on free response quizzes and discussions.

  • Students would like Schoology to add a private message feature so they could message their teachers directly from the app.
Look for more blogs about these topics again in the future! 

Thanks to the following staff members who took time out of their busy day to join us: Effie Kalkounos, Matt Smolka (intern), Cassie Yoon, Jon Wong, Sue Montemayor, Sharon Horwath, Matt Bohnenkamp, Katie Kalmes, Sandra Lee, Elyse Hoffman (Wheeling High School), Cliff Darnall, Dean Burrier-Sanchis, and Kristina Lopez (student teacher).

Thanks also to our incredible Mastery Lab tutors who gave us the student perspective on Schoology: Irene Tijerin, Katelyn Eul, Sam Ivers, Gabby Vazquez, Hana Crnovrsania, Emily Gable, Justin Ethithira, Tiffany Waldrom, Niki Tingas, Breanna Keenly, Sejal Vora, and Ray Salarzano.

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