School-o-gy.. School-OL-ogy. Whatever you call it, our Learning Management System (LMS) is here to transform learning for ourselves as learning facilitators and our students as learners. If used effectively, Schoology has the possibility to truly help us prepare our students for the world of digital work and ongoing learning.
What is an LMS?
An LMS is a web-based system for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) courses or curriculum.
There are DOZENS of LMSs out there in the educational tech world. Schoology is one of the few that really connects all the people, content, and systems that fuel education. Schoology allows us to curate, create, and collaborate. It allows us to personalize learning for our students in a safe learning space. It's easy-to-use for many different purposes and allows us the opportunity to create a variety of digital learning environments.
So what? Now what?
Technology integration isn't always easy. The only way I've really learned how to integrate technology meaningfully into my life and work is to spend time playing with the tool. I've had to stay curious. Always curious. The passion comes from the deep knowledge that we need to embody the skills our students will need. Our job is to prepare them for their future. So let's get busy working smarter.
I'm going to be writing the next few weeks about my top 5 skills that will help you out with getting a handle on Schoology. First up? Watch these quick intro videos from Schoology if you're just starting out, or, skip down to learn how to create and customize your profile! Feel free to add questions/comments below!
How do you want to represent yourself to your learning community? You can access and update your profile by clicking on your name on the top menu. Any SDOL Schoology user can click on your name in Schoology to be taken to this profile page, so make it awesome!
Post Updates on Your Profile
The updates posted on your profile page are available to those who have access to your profile page (within our SDOL network), and can also appear in the Recent Activity feed for your Connections. You can control who can view your updates by adjusting your Account Privacy Settings. Updates are a great way to share your ideas, reach out for answers/resources, celebrate success, or just connect with your learning networks.
Customize your update in the purple bar.
In addition to texts, files, and links, you can also add images, resources, audio recordings, and polls. Click on the gear icon if you want to delete a post.
The info tab allows you to customize what others see about you. Here you can add some "about you" info, activities/interests, and contact information. This is a good activity to do with students when introducing Schoology. Everyone likes to share about themselves and you can model your own!
The blog on Schoology is a personal blog. Other users can subscribe to your blog posts by navigating to your profile page. Subscriptions are available as a tab on the left menu of your homepage once you have subscribed to a blog. You can control who can view your blogs by adjusting your Account Privacy Settings. Honestly, this is not my favorite blog venue, although it is convenient that it is housed within Schoology. I would recommend other sites such as Edublogs, Google Sites, or Weebly if you're really serious about writing a blog or having students write blogs. But, if you want to write up something quick for students to see or want them to do some brief writing, the Schoology blog would work.
If you are awarded a digital badge for doing something awesome, you will find your badges listed in your profile! If you are a course admin, you can award badges. Users can always view their badges from all courses in their profile so others can view them.
At times it's difficult to find others for collaboration on Schoology, especially in such a large district. I form "connections" with others I am most frequently sharing stuff or reaching out to. Your connections are listed on your profile. When you're on another user's profile, you can add them as a connection here. It's like "friending" others on Facebook. Easy!
Try it out! Take 5 minutes to customize your profile. Add a cool selfie, edit your personal info, and send out an update! Tell us about how you could use the profile features to help teach students about being digital citizens or introducing Schoology!