Tech Tip Tuesday: New Schoology Enhancements on the Horizon

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Schoology has recently announced two BIG updates that they plan to roll out at the beginning of the next school year. The first is an enhanced Google Drive integration feature that will offer many useful features within Schoology. Teachers will have the ability to “make a copy” of various Google Docs for each student in their class (similar to what Google Classroom already offers) with one click so that students do NOT have to make a copy of your document on their end. There will also be an “auto-submit” button for a cleaner and easier way for students to submit Google Doc assignments to their teachers. Check out the video below for the update:

This is a welcome feature as there is less reason for students to leave Schoology and more opportunity for the teacher to manage the classroom. With better Google Drive integration, teachers can easily embed and attach Google Docs/files to their assignments, as well as a better comment/edit system. Teachers will now be able to edit and comment on student work as they would in a Google Doc. Any notes made in Schoology will also show up on the Google end! Even rubrics will now be available right from within the Google Doc assignment for easy grading! Teachers will also be able to monitor student writing and activity in real-time from within Schoology.

The second Schoology update and enhancement will be on the quiz/test end, with more interactive question types. Teachers will now have the opportunity to create even more questions such as Label Image, Highlight Image and Hotspot, Highlight Text, Charting, Math Short Answer, Number Line, Math Formula, Math Variable, Opinion Scale Likert, and more. These new question types should help students better prepare for online assessments and the future of test-taking online.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Draftback

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There is a pretty cool Google Chrome extension called Draftback.  One you install it, it will automatically attach itself to your Google Docs in the top right corner of the window. When you open it on a Google Doc that has been typed in or shared with you, it will document the number of revisions that have taken place on that document.

But here is where it gets fancy- When you click on the Draftback button in the Google Docs window, it will begin auto rendering every revision that has taken place on that Google Doc. Once it is finished, click on the view button. Draftback will begin replaying every keystroke that has been typed in the document. This makes for a really great tool to help gauge student authenticity when writing and submitting work, as well as getting a glimpse into HOW the students compose their written assignments.

However, I could see this being used in other ways as well. So what if…

  • You and your student watch the revisions as they occur and note the errors as they are happening in real-time, on a collaborative document together.
  • You could show and explain to parents exactly HOW their child is doing with writing or exactly HOW many revisions they have made (if any).
  • You show your own writing to the class and discuss the corrections and edits you have made while writing and WHY.
  • You had your students conduct a Draftback on their own written work and document/track the revisions/errors/confusions.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Animoto for Simple Video Assignments

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Animoto is a simple web-based program that creates a video from various video clips and photos of your own and syncs it to music, to create a more professional-looking slideshow. Used by professional photographers to create demos of their work, Animoto makes for a very low-barrier way to focus on content and information in a concise manner, without the need to learn all of the nuances of a more elaborate program like iMovie.

You can access Animoto by simply going to www.animoto.com or by installing the Chrome App. After signing up and logging in, Animoto will ask you to pick whether you are creating a slideshow or a marketing video. Then select a theme/style and click create. Once you are in, it is simple enough as clicking the “plus” sign to add images/text/video and arrange them on the timeline.

So what if…

  • You used Animoto as a video to supplement a lesson or as part of a flipped learning unit.
  • Students used Animoto to elaborate on a theme or make connections.
  • You used Animoto to introduce a new unit.
  • Students used Animoto to share information about themselves.
  • Students used Animoto to create a marketing ad.

Check out Animoto today!