Today, I attended the Connect Colorado Schoology Conference, hosted by Jefferson County Public Schools. Denver Public Schools has moved to adopt the LMS as both the student and teacher platform for online learning, so it was important for me to learn as much as I could about the platform and its features. I was able to learn a lot about functions that will be unique to the enterprise version of Schoology, which DPS is in the process of adopting. While each enterprise is slightly different, there are some common features across districts who have purchased the enterprise version of Schoology. One of these features is portfolios, which allow the users to compile a variety of documents, images, files, etc into one cohesive presentation. See the video below for more information on portfolios.
While I learned about some neat features and functions in Schoology, the most impressive session was the one that combined the power of Google Slides and the embedding features in Schoology. Below is the tweet one of my colleagues posted that best sums up the experience.
For those of you not familiar with Schoology, it is important to note that the current text options for content pages and discussions are... less than impressive. As someone who appreciates great aesthetics in a course, I find myself consistently disappointed with the current design features in Schoology. Adam Larson brilliantly pointed out that you can embed a Google Slides presentation into these pages, allowing you to utilize all of the infinite capacity within Slides as well as a sleeker design. For those of you not familiar with this feature in Google Slides, you can access the embed code by publishing your document. Even more brilliantly, he talked about ways to hyperlink within your presentation, making it an interactive learning experience for users that updates automatically. The video below is an example of what Adam described.
As this mind-blowing session continued, it was apparent that there were some major advantages to using this technique over the built-in design elements in Schoology.
Needless to say, this session have completely transformed the way I will design the courses I create in Schoology. Never underestimate the power of a good embed code. So simple, yet so powerful.
What simple and powerful workarounds have you found? Please share them in the comments below!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate creative educator dedicated to improving the student experience. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.