Schoology: Award-Winning Social Media Platform Brings Classic Literature into the 21st Century

Posted by Alicia Lawrence on Sep 18, 2013 in Communication, Social Media

logoThe largest push in today’s education is the overwhelming need to remain engaged with a new generation of technology multi-taskers and 21st century applications. Recent school initiatives, known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), have enabled students to use their smart phones as a resource to fuel their learning in the classroom. Not only do students connect to the internet and utilize QR codes, but students can also talk with peers and their teachers in an informal, yet educational setting.

Schoology is a safe, controlled social media platform that mimics the layout and functionality much like Facebook’s interface. To protect the identities of students and their content, teachers have them enroll in a private digital group through an access code. Once signed in, students create their digital profile, write in a blog, visit outside links, talk to their classmates, and yes, even “like” a friends’ post or idea.

As a new, enterprise learning management system (LMS), Schoology won the 2013 CODiE Award, as they were voted for Best K-12 Enterprise Solution. This platform not only grants students the social outlet they crave, but it also gives teachers the ability to relate to their students, closing the gap on some of our largest educational feats in classroom management.

Ultimately, one of the largest perks of this educational social media site is that teachers are able to customize their class groups. While in control of what is said and posted, teachers present the illusion of granting students full writing freedom.

However, this is not meant to pull the wool over the student’s eyes. Quite the contrary; students tend to respect that what they say is monitored and has to be appropriate. Simply having the ability to use smart phones and technology in the classroom is a reward enough.

Schoology’s desktop and mobile app capabilities make this social network easy to use for any type of school. Priding themselves on forward-thinking, the Mark Twain International School would be a perfect school to utilize all this platform has to offer. No matter where you are in the world, a classroom can come together and hold discussions and receive grades as if they were in one room.

This easy to navigate platform serves as a template for all content areas; however, Literature and English teachers will find its blog feature to be a great avenue for book discussions. Similar to Facebook, the teacher will post a “status” or discussion topic, and students will make a “comment.” Once the conversation gets rolling, students can respond to their peers and “like” their classmates’ post.

Take the classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. In this coming-of-age literature piece, students are asked to discuss race and roles in society. Add Twain’s colloquialisms, and this proves to be a challenging piece for secondary education.

Sometimes speaking in a classroom puts pressure on a student with some of these more difficult topics. However, with Schoology’s blog feature, more students will feel safer sharing their thoughts behind a computer screen, allowing for a more comfortable approach to discussions.

Whether leading literature circle discussions, completing and receiving a grade for assignments, or connecting across the globe in a digital classroom, Schoology is the perfect and engaging avenue to accomplish such tasks.

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