Responses contributed by Colette, Gavin, and Stephanie
What kind of workshops did you attend?
We each attended different Educational Technology conferences: PowerSchool User Group, Schoology NEXT, and ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education).
What are some of the overarching themes/lessons/topics of your workshop?
The workshops that we attended were selected with our teachers’ best interest in mind. Each session was approached with the mindset of “Is there a better way to _____________?” or “What kinds of high-level changes need to be made at O’Dowd?”
I (Stephanie) also had the opportunity to share the amazing work that O’Dowd teachers are doing in Schoology with 181 new users at the session on “3 Things Every Teacher’s Schoology Course Needs“. Special thanks to Sarah T, Carlos, Sarah B, Zoey, Kris, and Natalie for sharing model courses with all of these educators!
What are some things teachers can do to implement what you’ve learned next year?
What to Look Forward to with…
PowerTeacher. Gavin found new ways to make PowerSchool more useful by applying plug-ins that personalize the PowerTeacher landing page. He also discovered a way so that teachers can view a student’s preferred name in Attendance (ex: a preferred name of an international student). Another highlight was the enhanced report types that teachers can run.
Schoology. Simplified logins with QR codes, mastery gradebooks, progression tracking in classes, and aligning learning objectives. The company is also developing Schoology Compass, four levels of reference materials that focuses on what good pedagogy looks like in Schoology.
Curation Tools. Curation is a way for students to organize, sift, and refine information into a deliverable. Check out some of Colette’s favorites: New York Times Curation Tools, CommonLit, and Listenwise.
Web-Conferences. The Big Blue Button is a free external tool in Schoology that allows users to host meeting spaces online by providing breakout rooms, whiteboard spaces, chatrooms, emojis, etc. This could be another method to host trainings and meetings.
Anti-Worksheets. There are so many different ways you can integrate creative projects in Schoology – here are 33 different ideas on how students can submit work digitally that (best of all) are difficult to copy.
Facilitate Successful Online Discussions. In this session by Catlin Tucker, participants learned how to:
- Create a virtual safe space
- Build online community
- Design strong/dynamic discussion questions
- Teach students to say something substantial
Another interesting way to use Schoology Discussions to show progression is to use it as a form of documentation. Ex: Students can share their progress with art projects.