Schoology.com : A Great Website for Teachers and Their Students

Schoology is an educational platfrom that teachers can use with their students. It has lots of use.

On this platform, it is very easy to create different Web pages with dynamic content creation tools and a user-centric interface. Also, we can create aggregated calendars threw Schoology that include your personal, course, school calendars into one calendar. Those calendars provide automatic updating which can be really usefull when you have a busy Schedule. The calendar option is fun ,because it is rare to find such a complete calendar on an easy to use website like Schoology.

There is the possibility of creating workload planning. To use those, every student has to create an account on Schoology. Once this is done, every teacher who uses this program and that has their students on it can get in touch with them. In other words, a student only needs to create one account to get in touch with as many people he has to. Every teacher has access to the workload planning of his students. He can see what the other teachers asked from their students on that platform. That way, teachers can make sure that their students are not overloaded. Also, as students can  »check’ what task they have done, the teacher can follow the student progression and make sure that he is in time. Teachers can also track their students path with the mastery reporting tool available on Schoology. Students report precisely what they have done, how it went and on what they struggled on with that tool. That way, teachers know better to which student they have to give more support. There is also a tool teachers can use that allows them to see how often their students are going on the Platform, when they used it and what they used it for.This website exists for teachers to support their students even when they are not in class and out of the office hours. Students can write messages to their teachers on Schoology. Students and teachers can post and comment on the platform. As on Facebook, they can like and dislike comments and posts that were made by others. Schoology can be used on a computer as it can be used on cellphones and on iPads. They created their own applications for Androide and for Apple products.

What is even more interesting with Schoology is that there is a discussion section where the teacher can invite all the students he wants on it . That way, those students can discuss about different subjects. It gets really usefull for English Language Arts classes where students are studying litterature. On Schoology, they can discuss what they liked or disliked about the book or story they read. It is possible to add videos, powerpoint slides and links into those discussions. Teacher can have access to those discussion at all time. There is also the possibility of creating groups. So if students are , for example, sitting in teams of four in the classroom, it is possible to make groups according to the way students are sitting. A teacher can also assign work to individual student if needed without doing it in class in front of the others. As a teacher, you can also create tests for students on Schoology. The only problem with that, is that you need to be in a computer lab in order to have all your students do their test, but it is a nice way to do it as it saves paper and as it is faster to fill in. In order to understand properly how Schoology works and how to use it, a YouTube video has been made to support the users.

As a futur ESL teacher, I feel like Schoology is a nice tool to use. It is really complete and you can do a lot with it. It is safe and students can have easy access to it. What I like the most about it is that you can collaborate with other teachers on that platform. It can be hard to be aware of what is going on in other classes , but you can easily know it with Schoology.

Catherine Hébert

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Facebook : A good idea to use it with a class

Social networks are taking a lot of place in our lives. Most of us use them everyday and many times in one day. Facebook is one of the most popular social network we can find in 2015. Pretty much every one has a Facebook account. Facebook is an interesting social network because it gives you the opportunity to keep in touch with many people by posting pictures, by chatting or even by having an online voice conversation. There is many fun things we can do with Facebook and many ways to use it in our personal life . The aim of this article is to check if it is  a good thing to use it as a pedagogical tool with your students when you are a teacher or not.

There are many advantages in using Facebook with in your classroom. To use it with your students you must create a group page where all the members of your group can take part. Once the Facebook group is created, you can post informations on it whenever you need to get in touch with your students. You can post and share documents for homework, exam’s reviews, power points, word documents, etc. You can make a class brainstorm on the page to help students to have many ideas on a project before starting it. Also, you can ask your students to follow journalists and media outlets pages that give relevant information for your class content. It is easy for the students to share their work on their class’s group. It is also useful for them because they can post questions on that page whenever they have one and if the teacher is not online to answer it, another student can do it. Thus, students can help each other easily via Facebook. It is an easy and a fast way to get information.  As a teacher, you can also have your sutdents discuss on the group with the help of the  conversation option that you can find on the group page. Discussions can be access by anyone and it is possible to give name to the different conversation. This way, students can oriented themself easily and quickly.

In my opinion, the most interesting advantage in having a Facebook page with your students is that you are sure that the information will get through your students really fast. Teenagers are always on Facebook and they can get allerts on their phone whenever there is a new notification done. Most of your students and of your student’s parents already own a Facebook account. Thus, it is easy for them to use this website. Also, it is important to notice that there are strong privacy options despite what we are used to hear about Facebook.

Moreover, despite what people must say on teachers’ having their students as Facebook’s friends, if it is done responsably, teachers should have their students as Facebook’s friends. With the friendship on Facebook, you can get to know yours students way better. In fact, by going on their profile, you can get to see their pictures, what they like and what they are into. This is something nice, because more you know your students easier it is for a teacher to have a good relationship with them. Also, you can keep contact with your students for the later years. If ever those students want to ask you any question or if you want to know what they are becoming, it is easy to stay updated. What I recommand for those teachers who want to be Facebook friends with their students is that they create a  »teacher’s account » where there are no personnal informations and no personnal pictures.We often hear stories where some innapropriate pictures of the teacher are found on internet and it always causes a lot of drama. Teachers have to be careful on what they post on Facebook.

As a futur ESL teacher, using Facebook becomes an interresting option only if you ask your students to turn their Facebook in English and that you force them to have conversations in English on the class group page. It can be hard for a teacher to manage those variables. It is really easy to switch in French or to communicate in French because only the account owner can have access to the account. I don’t think I would be using Facebook with my students , because I feel like students would not take as seriously than other Tools because it is a social network that they use for their personnal life.