Monday, July 31, 2017

7 Years & 7 Lessons for Success with Schoology

Last week at the Schoology NEXT Conference in Chicago, I co-presented with Steve Urbanski, our Director of Curriculum. Our presentation was on 7 Years & 7 Lessons for Success with Schoology. In Minnetonka, we use Schoology as our learning management system. Schoology supports and extends learning both in and outside of our classrooms for over 10,400 students in K-12 plus hundreds more online. You can view the full presentation farther below or directly with links in the speaker notes here. Our seven lessons for success with Schoology, and for that matter, any learning management system, are:
  1. Minnetonka has set clear expectations for all K-12 teachers to use Schoology. These expectations outline clearly defined guidelines for using Schoology as a hub of learning. They guide deep implementation and ongoing professional development to ensure success.
  2. As with any technology, continual professional development beyond the initial implementation is critical. After teachers become comfortable with the basics of a LMS, they are ready to learn and begin using more advanced tools within the platform. Ongoing support for teachers with Schoology has resulted in deeper, more meaningful use of its features.
  3. Schoology's role is critical in important initiatives such as a 1:1 program. Having a central hub for learning that makes management and workflows of paperless classrooms easy increases efficiencies and time for even more learning to occur. I can't imagine a 1:1 program being successful without a LMS. Schoology's iPad app is wonderful.
  4. Schoology supports our differentiated instruction through online classes for students and staff. We use Schoology with over 400 students taking classes in Tonka Online. Staff also can take courses online over the summer for professional development.
  5. We use Schoology for staff collaboration which strengthens and expands our already successful academic program. From department chairs to committees to building staff, a wide number of groups utilize Schoology for communication, networking, and sharing resources.
  6. Our curriculum and resources are designed and shared through Schoology. Our teachers working on curriculum both during the school year and in the summer use Schoology to connect, dialog with one another, build out and share their curriculum and resources.
  7. Schoology supports our Framework for Teaching and Learning. Teachers and students have access to content and activities that support all areas of this Framework. A LMS is essential to successfully teaching students these skills.

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