Tech Tip Tuesday: Using the Tool Tip Feature in Schoology

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There are so many features in Schoology that most of us do not even realize are available. Many of these fly under the radar and we never get a chance to see what they are and how to best utilize them in the classroom. One such feature is the “Tooltip”.

To access the “tooltip”, create a material/assignment as you normally would, then in editing mode –> highlight a word or phrase –> click the “insert content” button –> select “tooltip” –> type what you want your note or information to be –> click the green checkmark –> then save at bottom. Once you are out of the editing mode, the word or phrase you selected will show a light blue line underneath and if you hover over it, a question mark/bubble will appear with your note!

The “tooltip” feature is great if you want to add more information or a definition to your content to better help your students. You can even add a “tooltip” to an image by selecting the image and following the steps noted above. This is great for DI or to help struggling learners and/or ESL students.

Hope this helps!

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Use Google Drawings to Make Interactive Flow Charts and Graphic Organizers

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There is something to be said of how useful graphic organizers are, so finding a way to utilize them in the digital classroom is a plus. If you haven’t played around with Google Drawings, it is Google’s version to Microsoft Paint. A simple program that lets you do a number of creative things.

All you have to do is open Google Drawings, and start mapping out what you want the graphic organizer or flow chart to look like. Students can even create their own for an assignment. Check out this website link for a lot of information about making your own or for example templates you can use right away.

To create your own, simply open Google Drawings. Begin inserting shapes into your drawing. Use lines or arrows to connect parts together. Pro Tip: Utilize the gray area of the screen to hold objects This is great if you want students to move objects into the drawing. When you are all set with your creation, make sure you set the share settings to “anyone with the link can view”. Then, remind students that when they open it, they have to go to FILE –> Make a Copy so they can begin editing their own version and share back with you!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: How to Recover or Mitigate Deleting Files

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Recently, we have had an uptick in accidental deletion of files. I’ve been there myself. From lesson plans to family photos, it’s quite a snag. True story: just last year I somehow managed to delete family photos from a weekend trip to Washington D.C on my phone. You could imagine how my wife felt at the time she found out… I’m still trying to recreate every photo we took during that trip.

  • First thing first: With a Mac, Time Machine can be your saving grace. You’ll need an external hard drive for this to work. Hook it up, then go to System Preferences –> Time Machine –> and designate the external hard drive as your saving destination. You can even set it up update automatically, but you’ll need the hard drive to remain connected to do it.
  • Another tip: When you delete, only tell files to “move to trash”. By doing this, you bypass deleting files completely (more on this in a second). So by getting in a habit of only “moving to trash”, files stay in the trash bin. Then from there, you can go ahead and delete them if you really want them gone. NEVER use the quick delete key-command. You’re just asking for trouble if you do!
  • Something else to check: Sometimes you think you are deleting a file, when it is really stored somewhere else and NOT your Mac hard drive. An external hard drive or flash drive actually has its own trash bin. Also- Mac has a little trick up its sleeve that could help. It actually keeps a “hidden” folder that saves trash from those external hard drives called “.Trashes”. To enable these hidden folders/files in Sierra or newer: simply use the SHIFT+CMD+. hotkey (that’s the period key). In an older version run the following commands in Terminal –> Press Command+Space and type “Terminal” to bring it up. At the prompt, paste these two lines in there one at a time, hitting Enter after each line:
    • defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    • killall Finder

After running these commands, you should be able to see the “.Trashes” folder. You can even empty it from Finder to clear some space on a USB stick.

But don’t get to this point! Google Drive should be heavily used. Make it practice to take all of your hard drive folders/files and upload them to your Google Drive. What’s great is that Google Drive’s trash pretty much just sits there, so nothing is ever really gone forever unless you trash the trash. And even then, there might be a way to get it back via system administration. I’ll be honest… I NEVER touch my Google Drive trash. This is a GREAT safety blanket. Plus, you can even get your family photos to sync to your Google Phots, or have them sent to a Google Drive folder as a backup!

 

Tech Tip Tuesday: Digital Citizenship Resources

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Digital Literacy is way more than just using technology appropriately. It is about building 21st Century skills, learning about copyright, and understanding digital footprint.  What is great, is that it shouldn’t be taught in a vacuum. It applies to all subjects and should be integrated within the curriculum. Here are some resources!

  • Google has recently put together a great curriculum you can use to integrate into your classroom. Check it out here.
  • This article talks about 5 Steps to Teaching Digital Literacy.
  • Common Sense is pretty much the go-to site on all things digital citizenship.
  • Edutopia featured an article about ways to integrate digcit in your classroom.
  • Iste has a varietty of resources available here.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Bring Schoology and Google Together

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Google Drive works within Schoology. Unfortunately, many of our students do not know this and when they try to submit a Google Doc or slide, it doesn’t submit correctly, often showing some HTML coding or script. Once they figure out the correct way, they can submit their work right from their Google Drive. And you as their teacher can upload/attach/embed Google files to your Schoology assignments. Here is how you and your students can sync Google Drive to Schoology.

First, at the top of your Schoology window select the “Apps” –> “App Center.” Locate the Google Drive Resource App –> click on it –> then “Install Resource App” –> “Add to my resources”. Google Drive should open a pop-up window asking for permission to access your account/drive. This is ok as Schoology and Google need to sync across each other’s interface. Allow this!

Whichever app(s) you installed should now show up under “resources” –> “apps”. Select “Google Drive” (if not already opened) and the right column should now open with all of your folders and/or files from your Google Drive. From this you can: open a file or folder that you want (which opens it in Google Drive on the web), create a new folder/doc/sheet/slide/drawing, or import the document as a file or link (to do this place the check next to the document you want to select and the “import” button will appear next to “add resources.” These are the same steps you want your students to follow if you want them to sync their Google Drive accounts to their Schoology.

Next, to have students submit work from their Google Drive simply have them click “submit” in your assignment –> “resources” –> “apps” –> “Google Drive” –> select the file they want by placing a check in the box next to the file –> then “import” –>
“import file.”

Pro Tip: When creating an assignment in Schoology, don’t just insert the link or attach a file, instead, embed it! If it is in your Google Drive simply create an assignment as usual but then click the “insert content” button –> “Google Drive” –> check the file you want to embed –> “import” –> “import embed.”

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Direct a Comment to a Specific Person in Google Docs

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This one is short and sweet, but definitely a neat little trick to try. The benefits of using Google Docs are in the ability to collaborate seamlessly with everyone. By leaving comments, everyone can see and respond to them as needed down the right hand side of the page. However, there are times when you may want to give someone a specific task, or comment to an individual person.

To do this, simply leave a comment as you normally would on the document by highlighting a word or phrase and using the “insert” –> “comment” option or “right-click” –> “comment”. In this message, type “+” followed by the person’s email address like this: “+namaral@rih.org”. This person will then receive an email that you mentioned them in a comment and others will see that you directed this specific comment to that person.

Those people will then be able to check the comment, and complete it as requested. Simple, but effective! Great for designating tasks to specific students during a writer’s or reader’s workshop, during a science lab, during a socratic seminar, or as part of a group project.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Self-Paced Mastery Learning with Schoology

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One of the biggest advantage of using an LMS like Schoology, is the ability to create differentiated self-paced learning lessons/units for your students. With Schoology’s “Student Completion” feature, you can create a lesson or unit plan that essentially walks the students through at their own pace, and monitors what they learn by setting “completion settings” that students must abide to for true MASTERY LEARNING.

To set this up in Schoology, simply create your lesson or unit plan. (TIP, there should be a natural progression of ideas here that link together. Consider designing your lesson or unit around BLOOMS. Once it is set and you have everything in your Schoology course/folder follow these steps:

  • Go into the folder –> Click “options” –> click “Student completion” –> Add each assignment you created in the order you want them to appear, from top to bottom –> next to each assignment select a “mastery/completion setting” –> Check “requirements must be completed in sequential order” at the top –> then click SAVE at the bottom.

You have now designed your own self-paced learning activity/lesson in Schoology to really personalize the experience for your students and open you up to make rounds to each student in your classroom, checking in, and building those relationships!

If you want to try this hands-on with me or work together to create your self-paced lesson/unit, please reach out to me.

Hope this helps!