The innovative educational technologies are being developed, but at the same time the quality and improvement of the educational programmes, curriculum and assessment are also required. Teachers are asked to differentiate the teaching and learning, use different active learning approaches, work with low able and high able students, provide them effective feedback, and promote learners’ self-learning, research, reflective and critical thinking skills. The list of suggested methods can be continued.. but, complains about a lack of teachers’ and students’ time and energy are heard everywhere. Therefore, there is a need to keep all the data in one environment and organize the work time effectively. Also collaboration and communication with students and colleagues are very essential. One of the online learning environments and the best friend of mine in solving these issues is Schoology.
Teachers and students can have access to the schoology.com for free. As it is written in the webpage of the environment, there are plenty of opportunities the online tool can offer: to create new courses, new groups, school wide or world wide communities, create various types of tasks for students or him/herself, upload any data, set up restrictions or permissions to a particular group of students or assignments, make a grade book, share resources, and etc. One of the convenient options of the website is a creating of quizzes and tasks according to the criteria- based assessment model. The online tool is also can be downloaded from appstore or playmarket for smartphones and tablets.
From my own experience, I have been using this tool for four years, which means from the beginning of my teaching career I use schoology in my classroom. Nowadays all of my colleagues are trained to use this tool. We are using it not only to teach, but also for the collaboration and sharing purposes. According to the students’ feedback about schoology, it is very effective for assessment preparation and to get instant feedback from the teacher.
I can discuss the advantages of the website infinitely, however as my colleagues said, there are some drawbacks of the tool. The language of the website content is English. So it is problematic to understand the instructions for Kazakh and Russian speaker teachers. As the second disadvantage is relevant to any other educational technology, it is time consuming to construct and set up the environment and create assignments. Nevertheless, after making and regulating it for the first time, it will be applicable and usable for multiple times.
Video. Retrieved from https://www.schoology.com/learning-management-system.php