Monday, January 12, 2015

Tip #3 for a Successful 1:1 Implementation: Use Schoology as the Classroom Hub

Image created by Ben Stanerson
One of the strengths of our 1:1 iPad program has been our decision four years ago to use Schoology as the central hub that allows teachers and students access to digital content. Our choice to use the Schoology learning management system (LMS) has helped enhance the integration of iPads into classrooms by providing teachers with an easy tool to post and collect digital content. Students also have easy access to that content through the Schoology app and Safari. This one common tool allows for communication and collaboration between teacher and student.  Students use Schoology daily to get materials like class notes, worksheets, web links, videos, take online quizzes, and post content to discussion boards. Schoology has become an extension of our physical classrooms.  

Image created by Ben Stanerson
It is super easy to manage a digital paperless iPad classroom through Schoology along with Google Docs, Notability, and other apps like iMovie, etc.  There is no need for a teacher to set up specific Google Folders, deal with sharing permissions, track missing or late work manually, or require students to name files in specific ways.  Schoology tracks and takes care of all of this for teachers, creating more time for them to spend on more important things.  The Schoology app even allows teachers to annotate in digital ink on students' assignments when grading, making a paperless classroom even easier!

There are many more benefits to using Schoology in a 1:1 program, including the automatic posting of assignments and tests into students' calendars--they don't even have to open Schoology to see what is due.  Alerts and notifications can be set up through email and also text messaging.


The community collaboration and support that students have for one another in the program is also huge--students also serve as a great resource in assisting others with questions through an online course in our eLearning environment. All students and teachers in the iPad program are enrolled in this course which serves as a central online knowledge base for users. Questions are often asked and answered by students, with little need for staff technical assistance. The online course provides 24/7 support. 

Parents also have access to all of this through one account for all their children. There is no need to learn a separate system and remember passwords for each teacher their child has, etc.

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