Thursday, May 30, 2019

How Am I Doing Being a Digital Agent?

I am working on a certification - the ISTE Educator Certification. In the course, we examine the ISTE Educator standards in detail. In particular, I am reflecting on how I am exercising Digital Citizenship skills as a Digital Agent. Specifically, how am I "Mentor(ing) students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property."("ISTE Standards for Educators", 2017)?

Much written about Digital Citizenship has been more about protecting yourself or Do's and Don'ts. In the refresh of the ISTE Educator Standards, it is more appropriate to view Digital Citizenship as a opportunity to students to responsibly participate in our world.

A large portion of my job is spent creating instructions or tutorials to assist learners at my district use creative tools or purchased systems. In that sense, I am creating things that may contain images to illustrate or enhance a document. I need to model responsible use of anything that I use to ensure I respect intellectual rights of others and copyrights.

I examined a number of items I prepared for this school year and found that when it came to presentations, I always observed copyright and made strides in ensuring that all images were properly used. To do this, I often started looking for images at websites like Photos for Class or Unsplash. I must stress, though, that it isn't enough to use the image from the site like Photos for Class without examining the license closely. To do this, one must always find the original source of the image to determine the usage rights.

I often use resources that are licensed under Creative Commons. What's great about these licenses is that anyone can label their content with a license to let people know exactly how the image should be used. This is a powerful way to share your work so that others can use it.

Wanna Work Together? from Creative Commons on Vimeo.

Something that is common among all of the licenses is that  one should attribute the original source and author. This is something that should NOT BE FORGOTTEN and should be consistently practiced when using others' content.

In looking over presentations I have given, I have done pretty well with this!

However, when looking at tutorials I create about online tools used at my district, I have been a little lax with this. For the most part, I am showing images of online pages of proprietary software. I will investigate proper attribution with the companies to ensure I am giving proper attribution.

In addition, sometimes I have copied support articles word for word to help create more condense versions of FAQs for staff. I need to examine how to do this without infringing on copyright. On the one hand, I am creating something more usable for staff. However, this is not modeling proper attribution and responsible usage of someone else's intellectual property.

Overall, this was a useful check to ensure that I am modeling the "safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property."

ISTE Standards for Educators. (2017). Retrieved May 30, 2019, from

Monday, January 8, 2018

Schoology Assessments Unveiled!

Add Materials with Add Assessment Tool
There is a new tool in town - Schoology Assessments. Schoology describes this new tool as such:

Create assessments in your Schoology course to assess your students' grasp of the material or evaluate their preparedness for class. Each assessment is automatically graded (unless you've included a subjective question, such as a short answer/essay), providing you with instant and powerful feedback that can help guide your upcoming lesson plans.

Why would you want to start using Assessments? Schoology Assessments is the next generation of the Quiz/Test tool and provides the following:
  • 7 new enhanced question types (along with the ones we already have)
  • accessibility features (change color scheme, font size, zoom)
  • more optional tools for students (calculator, protractor, etc)
  • more options for students (ability to eliminate choices, ability to flag questions for review)
  • and more!
Can you continue to use the Schoology Test/Quiz tool?
Yes, you can. Both the Test/Quiz tool and the Assessment tool will appear under the Materials area. However, eventually the Schoology Assessment tool will replace the Schoology Test/Quiz tool.

When will the TestQuiz tool go away? Schoology has stated publicly that this will happen a little while after the Schoology Assessment tool contains the features it is currently missing as it is still being developed.

What will happen with the Test/Quiz questions you have already created?
Schoology has promised a tool that will convert your Test/Quiz questions into the Assessment format. This should be coming out sometime in 2018.

What are some of the items that are not yet available in Schoology Assessments?
  • No ability to record audio/video yet
  • No ability to import questions/save questions to question bank yet
  • No printing options
  • No ability to time individual questions (but ability to time overall quiz is there)
  • No language keyboards yet
  • Limited insert menu 

More Information

  • To get more information about Assessments, check out the following:
  • BASD Assessment Announcement video
  • Official Schoology Assessment guide here
  • Schoology YouTube Playlist on Assessments:

Friday, September 15, 2017

Top 3 Ways to Integrate Schoology and Google

With the adoption of the Schoology Learning Management System (LMS) at BASD, many teachers kicking the tires on the integration of Schoology and Google. They are counting on the promise the the two systems will work well together.  While the two systems are managed by two different companies, they have made some great strides in working together. But sometimes things CAN go wrong.

Top 3 Ways to Integrate Schoology and Google

1. Have your students set up to the Google Resource App so they can pull directly from their Google Drive!  

This works great on Chromebooks and eliminates a lot of steps. In fact, they can CREATE Google Documents in the Google Resource App (under their Resources Menu > App). Here are some instructions on how to do that!

2. Utilize the Schoology Drive Google Assignment tool to distribute Google Documents to your students and access their work during the creation process! 

At our district, it has already been installed in all courses. Here are directions on how to get started! This document approaches it from a teacher and student perspective.  Here is a Schoology support page about the functionality and some things to keep in mind.

It is projected to be compatible with the Schoology Mobile app in October of 2017.

3. Get the Browser Settings Right for Google. 

Have your students been seeing these message when THEY try to access the Google Drive Assignment or the Google Drive Resource app? Make sure third party cookies are NOT being blocked in your browser if planning to use the Google integration in Schoology. Check out how to unblock them here. If they are being blocked, there will be error messages in both the Schoology Drive Assignment tool AND Google Drive Resources app

NOTE: If teachers see the access denied message when accessing an assignment and third party cookies are enabled, there could be another explanation for that

Here is video on how to clear these messages and get it working again!

BONUS! 4. Check out Schoology's FAQ About Google Drive Assignments in Schoology!