This upcoming year our school announced that we had the option of switching to Schoology. The main advantage of this was the idea that “now everything would be in one place: grades, home communication, and students’ work.” However, as I sit down to look at what I do in a class throughout a week, I’m worried it will become “just one more site to visit”. Here’s my quick list of what tasks students do in my class where they need to access the internet.
|Online Class Activity (Desmos, for example)||Can use link|
|Quizizz||Can use link|
|PlayPosit link & video||Can use link|
|Guided Notes||Handout in person, Weebly|
|Page Numbers (Precalculus)||On Guided Notes, Weebly|
|Khan Academy, other Practice||Weebly|
|Class discussions (typed)||Schoology|
|Individual Comments for Ss||Schoology (?) or Remind (?)|
|Photos of Whiteboard activity||Freshgrade or Schoology (how?)|
|Google Form (Surveys)||Can use link|
I like Schoology because it combines grades and an LMS, which I’ve never had synced before.
However, it’s not optimal for my warm-ups which I have students type into a Google Doc. The quickest way to distribute that is to use Google Classroom and use the “create a copy for each student” feature. So Google Classroom is the best for this daily access. Google Classroom also wins when it comes to projects in Google Slides where I want students to work from a template so they’re not spending excess time trying to figure out which pages they need to include in their project. I could include the Google classroom assignment link in Schoology, but that would be time consuming for me and is it necessary?
But I’ve spent quite some time putting resources on my personal Weebly website: http://mrnewmanswebsite.weebly.com/. Here Precalculus students can access every video for the year, the specific page numbers from the textbook, every Khan Academy exercise link that I think appropriate, and even some “going beyond” resources. It’s also very well organized (I think) and cleaner than Schoology could be, at least when it comes to presenting resources.
Lastly, I got excited when I discovered Freshgrade near the end of the year last year. I didn’t use it, but because students use the whiteboards on the walls of my room so frequently, I want to capture the work they have and save it somewhere, even if I don’t always “count it” for a grade. I think Schoology might be able to do this, but if not, it adds to the number of places students are going to “look for things from my classroom”.
Then there’s the list of 3rd party websites that I want to use, include Desmos activites, Quizizz problem sets, Google Forms, and then individual questions for students where I want class discussion to happen. All of these I can link in Google Classroom or Schoology, but I need to choose one at the start of the year and decide what to use.
My hope is that if I can narrow it down to 2 or 3 locations students are going for work, it can be manageable. I don’t want students to be overwhelmed and I don’t want the technology to be a barrier. I’m trying to use technology only when it makes a class activity faster or helps the class go more in depth than I otherwise could. Having said that, I think my classroom is nearly to the point where everything except for some assessments are on whiteboards or on the computer.
How many different places do students go to access things in your class?