Introduction to Schoology !

Hello guys,
Today I’m going to introduce you to a great tool called Schoology.

How does it work

Schoology is an online platform where teachers post all useful contents about what happens in the classroom in order to have students easily informed about it. It is pretty much like Facebook, but for educational purposes.

It is completely free and you only have to log in and start working on it.

Schoology let you organize your school courses:

1- You can post homework assignments for students

2- You can post due dates so students can track them

3- You can manage your schedule

4- You can increase you students’ engagement in interactive discussions

5- You can grade students on their participation

6- Students can post their homework assignments on the online dropbox on the platform.

Also, there are online quizzes that students can do on the platform, which is really useful. Another good thing with these quizzes is that there is instant feedback, so students know their answers quickly so they can easily learn from their mistakes.

As stated above, students can post their homework assignments online. The good thing about it is that there is also an instant feedback on them so students can track what the teacher told them. It is interactive and easy to use.

The grades are also posted online with all the dates.

Schoology versus The World

Here are some differences between Schoology and one other big famous Learning Management Systems: Edmodo

According to Tech 4 School Librarians:

EDMODO

Pros:

  • Easy to give feedback to students
  • Very little introduction for students
  • Creation of small groups within a class
  • Ability to post information to the group
  • Ability to submit assignments
  • Attendance recording

Cons:

  • Posts are only chronological so the board can get messy
  • Quizes are limiting
  • No messaging between students
  • Child-like

SCHOOLOGY

Pros:

  • Updates (Posts) and Discussion Boards
  • Discussion boards with nested discussion
  • Settings for Tests and Quizes (Time Limits & Retakes)
  • Ability to setup modules or lessons (with materials) within a class or group
  • Dropbox like feature for assignments
  • Online Gradebook and Attendance
  • Create Blogs within the product

Cons:

  • No small group creation options
  • Takes more time to learn and teach students
  • It connects your class as a ‘course’ not a ‘class’. This makes it easier for high school teachers, but for my single class, students became confused as to where they needed to go for their assignments, discussion boards etc.

What I have understood with all these Pros and Cons is that both tools are really useful, but I think Schoology offers more options and contents. However, Edmodo seems easier to understand and less difficult to manage for the classroom.

ESL Teacher Point of View

After reviewing various classroom managers and Learning Management Systems, I can say that they are a must in every ESL classroom. I think that too much time will be lose if these tools are not used. This is a great way to put every homework assignments, due dates, exam dates, important messages, and so on. Moreover, during my research, I noticed that there are many benefits like engagement from students, motivation, social skills, interaction, and more. This is great to see that one tool can do everything at the same time. I will definitely use Edublogs, Schoology, and Edmodo as well.

Publicités

Edublogs: The main place to share and learn!

Hello guys!

Let me introduce you to an useful tool called Edublogs. Educblogs is an online tool where educators, teachers, and students can share information and stay connected together. A great thing about Edublogs is that the team that made the software has an different idea of the use of technologies in classroom.

How does it work

Many social media networks (Facebook, Twitter), video creations (YouTube), presentation builders (Wheelhouse), and many other useful webtools (Gmail) are being used in classrooms by teachers and students. These tools are great for students’ motivation and learning, but, in order to tie things up, Edublogs wanted to add a central place to share teachers’ and students’ creations. When the blog is created, it is a great place to publish homework assignments, calenders, ressources, and important news. On Edublogs, there are also Wikis, surveys, and quizzes which are really important for students’ learning. There are three types of services on Edublogs: Free access (Completely free), Edublog Pro (Around 8$ a month), and Edublog Campus (For broader use). The biggest difference between Free access and Pro is that there are more tools for the Pro one (Plugins, Mobile Themes, Custom Domain, Extra storage, Class tools)

Enhacing learning experience

A central blog to publish useful materials is great for encouraging reflexions and collaboration among students. It is also great for students because it is a safe and engaging platform to publish their work from any devices.

According to Frank Calberg, Blogs in education have a lot of usefulness. First, education is focused on demand. Second, blogs can be used anytime and anywhere. Students are not resigned to poor hour times of learning. Third, it encourages to work and work everytime. Because there are a lot of information and feedback forms on blogs, it enhances students’ motivation to go see what is up on their blogs to keep it up to date. Fourth, it helps for the critical thinking, which is very important for students. Reflexions on blogs are the key of critical thinking. A lot of reflexions mean a lot of critical thinking. Fifth, it improves communicative skills. Blogs require empolying language and writing. Sixth, blogs in education enhance initiative and creativity. Because students are often told to put images and videos on blogs, it enhances their creativity.

All those advantages are keys in the students’ success.

Edublog VS the world

You may think about how edublog is better than others blogs tools? Let me show you some advantages.

Edublog is told to be better than Blogger and WordPress for some points:

According to Edublog, Edublog is only for education, there are support from teachers, class blog management, and academic funtionality.

It is said that Edublog has also a better support team: Premium email support, telephone support, customized webinars.

Concerning classroom tools: Video comments, Forums, Community Wikis, Friends and messages.

Honestly, from what I have read I can say that Edublog seems better for educational purpose, but I do not think that wordpress or blogger are bad tools. Moreover, only Edublog Pro seems really worthy. I do not think that the free section of Edublog is that far from the others about usefulness.

ESL teacher point of view

As an ESL teacher, I must say that blogs are now non negociable in classrooms. It has been demonstrated that blogs enhance students’ motivation, creativity, communicative skills, and critical thinking. It is what I exactly want my students to improve. Many forums were saying that WordPress and Edublogs are popular, but Edublogs concentrate only on blogs (Not creating websites).   

Software review: Netmath

Hello everybody,

Let me show you an amazing tool: Netmath. Netmath is an online website which allows teachers, parents, and students around the world to be in touch with mathematics wherever they want.

How does it work

This tool is really simple: it’s like a math book, but online. On the official website, there are four main sections: Activities, Follow-Up, My favourite, and Menu. In the Activities section, there are tons and tons of online math exercises waiting to be solve (Approximately 1000 activities). The Follow-Pp section is a section where you find statistics about your class (Grades, Average, Failure, Success, etc). My Favourite section is only a place where you can put important/relevant exercises in order to rapidly do them without harsh research. The last section, Menu, is a menu where you can find things like laboratory, class code, statistics, mails, lexical, etc. All activities are for students from primary to high school. Beyond that, it would be too easy for CEGEP/UNIVERSITY students. When the teacher starts hi/hers lesson, he/she can choose some activities about algebra, multiplication, division, etc. This is the strength of this tool because EVERY single exercises can be found. Each activity contains approximately 10 pages of questions about the same topic. It is really useful for students to stay good in any math topics.

Mission: In Netmath, besides activities, there are missions. Missions are very cool. They consist of little questions about known mathematicians and enigmas. If students solve enigmas, they can go on other pages and do another questions about known mathematicians. It is a perfect mix of common knowledge and maths.

Another good thing of Netmath is the instant feedback. When students answer a question, it is checked when the answer is good it is an X when the answer is wrong. When the answer is good, Netmath cheers you and when the answer is wrong there is a detailled answer. This is absolutely useful and amazing for students who want to learn rapidly.

To know if students do their homework properly, a follow-up section is there. For example, when they come back home, their parents can see how many activities are there to be done. If it says: « 2 new upcoming activites », the student has to do 2 activities to have a completed homework. Moreover, when students do a lot of exercises without errors, they are rewarded with yellow stars (They are showed in their profile).

A last good thing is all statistics are stocked in the teacher’s lobby. That being said, the teacher knows exactly which student did which activities, when, and the result. It is really useful for teachers who want to improve students’ weaknesses.

Classroom benefits

According to an article written by Joanie Godin, Netmath enhances motivation. Students are thrilled to the idea of doing a lot of math projects on iPad. Moreover, instant feedback keep students focused on their tasks because it is like a virtual teacher.

According to Alison, a nouvelist, Netmath has motivated about 68 000 Canadian students during a math competition. Students were told to do the more activities they could within 30 minutes. It was an amazing competion because students learned a lot of mathematics, and they were a lot more motivated to do maths. It is really nice to see that Netmath gives students this opportunity

ESL Teacher Point of View

As an ESL Teacher, Netmath is the greatest maths tool that I found on the Internet. It is free, simple to use, and available for every students. These days, a lot of students do not like maths. The coolest thing of this software is that students are motivated to do maths. Moreover, the instant feedback is very helpful because students do not need the teacher to be there everytime. I won’t be teaching maths, but I surely will tell my co-workers to try this website and to give feedback about it. This could be an amazing tool for any materials, but I do not know if the creator of Netmath will do version adapted for French, Physics, etc.

Introduction to a software: ClassDojo

Hey guys,

Let me introduce you to a fantastic tool named ClassDojo. ClassDojo is a website (Free access) which helps teachers all around the world to manage their classrooms. It facilitates communication within the class as well as inside-outside relations. Moreover, it is very easy to use: teachers have to go on the website and create a room for their classrooms. Then, students log in into the room with any mobile devices and choose their own characters (Characters are like funny-looking avatars which represent each student in the class).

How does it work

Once every students are logged in, the teacher can see every one of them in his/her monitor and can share any information to them. The pretty cool thing is that no more E-mails are required to share information. With this website, students are rewarded for good behavior and penalized for bad behavior. For example, in one hand, let say one student speaks in English the entire duration of the class. Then, the teacher may give « +1 for speaking in English » to the student. Those points are accumulated and the teacher may reward kind students. On the other hand, let say one student has been off-task the entire duration of the class. Then, the teacher may give « -1 for being off-task ». It is way easier for the teacher to know which of his/her students are acting kindly or poorly because he can see the historic of given points. Moreover, students may see their points on the screen (SmatBoard) or on their devices: that keeps them tracked on what they have to improve. Teachers can also give reports to parents.

A great advantage of Class Dojo is that parents and students can track the room wherever they are. That being said, it is easy to be in touch with the class everyday and to be informed of what will come soon. It is also useful for parents who like to ask questions to the teacher.

Educational Benefits

According to David Higley, ClassDojo enhances students’ motivation and encourages students to act kindly in class. ClassDojo also helps students for decision making. This software also grants the opportunity to favorize good behavior. With the website, it is easy to notice the positive and the negative points of your class so you can spot the weaknesses and work on them.

According to Alesha Bishop, ClassDojo allows feedback to be more concise and relevant.

According to Dave Dodgson, ClassDojo is not only a helper tu support positive behavior, but also a helper to maximize the use of the target language in class.

ESL Teacher Point of View

As a ESL Teacher, I must say that ClassDojo is far from fail. It has been demonstrated that ClassDojo enhances implication, motivation, and good behavior. This is what is expected in a classroom and I’m sure it would work with any class. At first, I was skeptical about the capacity to earn points (because I thought it would be only a reason for students to fight) but I realize that results are there! It is beyond earning points: students develop the capacity to be involved in many activities and react when a student does not act kindly. Moreover, it looks very easy to use. I will certainly use it and I must recommend this software to everyone with behavior issues in their classrooms.