Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Tech Tip: 4 Handy Enhancements in Schoology for the '16-'17 School Year

As we start the beginning of any school year, we typically post things related to updates and/or good ideas for getting the year going.  We posted earlier this month about "7 Steps for Starting the Year in Schoology" and "Outlook Email Awesomeness," and this week, we're posting about a few noteworthy additions in Schoology.

If you're curious about other things coming down the road, you can view the Schoology NEXT keynote from Ryan Hwang, Co-founder and VP of Product (posted on the Schoology Exchange).

1.  Syncing to custom grading categories in Powerschool

This year, those using the PowerTeacher Gradebook will be able to map Schoology gradebook categories to the categories in the PowerTeacher Gradebook (even if they are custom made!).

While we could map to Powerschool's "default 4" last year (homework, test, quiz, and project), teachers with custom categories (like "essay," "peer review," "vocab," etc.) had to manually change the category in the PowerTeacher Gradebook after syncing. Now mapping to PowerTeacher custom categories is an option.

To see how to map your categories, check out the support article in Schoology's Help Center.

2.  Lots of New Apps in the App Center

If you're looking to add some interactive elements into your course from other providers, Schoology has added quite a few new integrated apps in the App Center.  A few are subscription based, but apps like Quizlet, OneNote Class Notebook, TedEd, & CollegeBoard are just a couple that you might want to check out.  They will be adding even more as the year goes on, so stay tuned.

To see how to add apps from the App Center, check out the support article in Schoology's Help Center.

3.  New User Login Page for Mobile Devices (coming soon)

We have a lot of mobile app users, but the login page can be a bit confusing since we use MyCherrycreekschools to log into Schoology in CCSD.  The login page for mobile devices will be getting new look, making logging into Schoology even easier.  Instead of having to choose between "username" or "email," the page will ask you to choose your school first.  This will take you directly to the single sign-on page (in our case, http://my.cherrycreekschools.org).

For schools with shared devices, the app will remember the school, so students will only need to log out.  The next student who logs in will be automatically taken to my.cherrycreekschools.org.

4.  Assessment Management Platform (AMP)

This is easily the biggest addition for the '16-'17 school year.  Schoology announced the addition of AMP in June, which lets PLCs, schools, or the district deploy common assessments across multiple sections and collect the data centrally.

Probably the most exciting part is the new question types that are now available as part of the assessment builder, including technology enhanced items.

These question types will be available in the "old School"-ogy  test/quiz builder later on this year, but here are the question types that are currently part of AMP.   

  • Multiple Choice (auto graded)
  • True/False (auto graded)
  • Matching (auto graded)
  • Ordering (auto graded)
  • Fill in the Blank Text (auto graded)
  • Fill in the Blank Dropdown (auto graded)
  • Short Answer/Essay (teacher graded)
  • Shared Passage (mixed)
  • Label Image (auto graded)
  • Highlight Hotspot (auto graded)
  • Highlight Image (teacher graded)
  • Highlight Text (teacher graded)
  • Math Short Answer (teacher graded)
  • Number Line (auto graded)
  • Chart (auto graded)
For more information, check the support article in Schoology's Help Center.  Our team will be working with schools who wish to use AMP.

We hope everyone has had a great start to the year.   And as always, feel free to reach out to our team if you have questions or need support. 

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