New School

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Schoology

Do you need a place to organize all of your lessons, assignments, quizzes, and grades?

There’s an app for that! I recently discovered the world of Schoology. This website/application allows educators to work together to manage lessons, engage students, share content, and easily connect with other educator’s all around the world, to distribute or review material. With Schoology educators can keep track of their schedules, and have all of their material in the same place. This also offers more than the basics; as it enables its users to conduct online courses, provide one-on-one remediation, or host complex class discussions.

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Schoology also brings everyone together; its parent feature connects students, parents, and educators. This provides parents with the class material, and offers them a safe, secure online environment to contact their son/daughters teacher. This is a great innovative learning tool that will allow students to interact with each other through social networking, while also sharing important academic content.

Schoology is widely known for its extreme similarities to facebook, it is often referred to as, “the educational facebook”.  The website set up, as well as the application, mirror the layout of facebook, which allows students to navigate the website autonomously. As students cruise through their homework and activities with ease, educators will be able to choose from a variety of content types, and embed useful text and media.

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Schoology allows teachers and students to interact with one another in a variety of ways. For example, it allows teachers to post documents about the class, such as the class syllabus, and any notes that they think their students may need.  Once the teacher posts something new, a “notification” comes up on the right side of the screen showing the student that there is a new document that was uploaded.  Along with this, Schoology allows students to interact with each other, but also offers them the privacy of sharing assignments with only their teacher. It is simple to make homework private between only the teacher and student. This allows students to post and answer discussions, and also contribute to their classmate’s submissions.

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Schoology also allows the students to send direct messages, and keeps track of friend’s profiles. Students can also enroll with their entire class to keep everything organized. Along with this, it also allows classmates to become friends with one another so they can always stay connected. Students can also customize their page with a picture to make a more authentic learning environment.

Since this website/application has so many commonalities with facebook, students understand how to use every aspect of the site quickly and efficiently.  Instead of having to spend several classes on having to explain the specific functions to the Schoologyclass, a teacher may only have to take a few minutes because the students will be able to understand it without delay. This website takes blackboard, or any other online forum used by schools to the next step, it enables students to stay connected 24/7 in a personal atmosphere.

Educators will find it so easy to create, organize, and find content. There is a widget that enables each user to connect their Google Docs, there is also a place to search, browse, and integrate public content. It is simple to create and manage tests and quizzes; there is a place to score quizzes/tests and enter grades automatically. Another portion is available to provide students with direct feedback. One more awesome feature is the educator’s option to see what students are spending the most time on, and the steps they are taking while completing assignments.

This is a fully functioning classroom management tool, but at the same time provides Schoology_logo_blacka great social networking platform for teachers and students. It is easy to use and all instructional components are free for teachers and students! A mobile app is offered for Andriod or iOs. This will serve as an outstanding collection of resources for every class that participates.

Do you think this tool will be beneficial in your classroom?

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To download Schoology or find out more information:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/schoology/id411766326?mt=8

http://allmyapps.com/apps/schoology-students-teachers

http://blog.schoology.com/2012/03/schoology-for-android/

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After thoroughly engaging with The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition, I was introduced to the double-edged sword of technology in the classroom. While the benefits of tablet computing and game based learning are evident, teachers are reluctant to give in. After hearing about schools that have began to relax their policies, and allow their students to be creative together through technology, a conversation is created.

Within this conversation many questions remain unanswered:tech

  1. Will using mobile phones, tablets, and participating in gaming truly allow students to collaborate and self-discover?
  2. Are the challenges educators face, regarding letting technology walk into their classroom valid?
  3. Do you think the benefits are enough for educators to break down the doors of their classroom, and allow technology to swoop in?

Get your voice out there on this debate: join the conversation and join the movement to incorporate technology into the classroom.

Don’t Put That iPad Away

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
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  • We have all heard our teachers exclaim, “put that cell phone away”, or “nothing should be on your desk besides your pen and paper.”
  • Today this is unusual, as schools evolve into the new age, technology is a mainstay in the classroom.
  • More and more schools are jumping on the digital bandwagon. One imperative piece of technology that has affected many classrooms, is the iPad, which is now utilized on a daily basis.
  • The numbers don’t lie, and it has been statistically proven that the iPad can be a valuable tool in educating any age group.
  • In a partnership with Apple, textbook publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt conducted a study using an iPad text for an Algebra 1 course, and their results showed that 20 percent more students (78 percent compared to 59 percent) scored ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced’ in subject comprehension when using tablets rather than paper textbook counterparts.
  • Students seem to be responding to content better through technology, and engaging with material in a whole new way.
  • When students see a five pound Algebra textbook they may cringe their teeth, and feel discouraged, but when they see an iPad equipped with the same material they feel a sense of relief. 
  • Another benefit is group collaboration. Students are encouraged to use their iPad’s to ask questions, and learn from a larger audience. 
  • Social media (Twitter, Diigo, etc.) allows for students to connect with one another outside of the classroom. 
  • Using iPads in the classroom will benefit all types of learners. Most importantly it will encourage students to share their ideas, and open up a new learning forum.

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Sources:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/01/ipad-educational-aid-study/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-shanklin/ipad-vs-laptop_b_1374458.html

 

Name the 25 Most Common Three-letter Words

The folks at wordfrequency.info have put together a list of the most common words in the English language. For this quiz, they simply extracted the top 25 three-letter words, and will give you five minutes to name all you can. Good luck!

–brought to you by mental_floss!

Link  —  Posted: January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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book

  • Do you all agree that it is pretty amazing how much you can learn about someone by simply listening to them talk about their keys!?
  • After watching some of my classmates videos I have discovered their interests, family history, and where they are from.
  • I never realized  how much of myself is ingrained in my keychains. Just by looking at them you can find out where I shop, what kind of car I drive, my favorite sports team, and so much more!
  • This was a great ice breaker,and a refreshing change from the usual introduction, where you simply state your name and hometown.
  • What will people learn about you from looking at your keychain?
  • Setting up the technology for ENG 307 was a bit challenging for me, mainly because I have never been a member of some of these social media sites.
  • Once I get in the swing of things, and spend some time with the programs it will become much easier.
  • The step by step instructions helped tremendously.
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  • I look forward to sharing my first blog with all of you!
  • Here we will work together to make new discoveries, and create a community of life-long learners.