If you are a Schoology LMS user, hopefully, you have witnessed some of the magical things you can do within the program itself such as backchanneling, creating digital assignments, creating auto-grading tests and quizzes, tracking student work submissions, and so forth. But the true power of Schoology… is held in the ability to embed other content into it.
Consider, for a moment, the ramifications every teacher encounters when using multiple programs in the classroom, and sending their students out to use these tools. The classroom management piece alone limits the potential buy-in from prospective educators. So imagine what it would be like if you could somehow corral your students, making managing the class that much easier, and taking full advantage of everything your LMS (Schoology) has to offer. Then consider the possibilities of transforming old lessons and activities, to something more digital and engaging for the students.
Here’s how to do this. When adding materials to your Schoology course, first select the page type that you would like to use.
As long as you select either “assignment”, “discussion”, or “page”, you will have the ability to embed outside content and tools into your material. Each of these page types opens the editing window with a built-in rich-text editor like below. Within the rich-text editor bar, you will see the icon with an arrow inside a square as shown below. Select that.
From here follow these next steps… Select “image/media” –> “from the web” –> “media”. This last window will give you the option to paste the embed code from the site or tool you want to include and use. Go there to grab this code. I have embedded:
- An NPR audio broadcast
- A Tubechop video
- Desmos Graphing Calculator
- and finally Google docs, slides, and forms
I am sure there are more things you can embed that I didn’t mention above, but the possibilities seem endless. You have to check the site/tool you want to embed to verify whether or not an embed code is offered (this is usually found under “share”).
Ok, so this all sounds great, but now what? Well, think about how managing the class will change. As a teacher, instead of sending my students to Polleverywhere, I was able to embed our daily Do Now or Exit Ticket Poll into my materials for the day. Students didn’t have to go out to the Polleverywhere site, Padlet site, etc. They knew that everything they did, with exceptions obviously, would be within Schoology. This made managing the classroom so much easier on my end. I knew what I was looking for. I knew I should ALWAYS see the Schoology banner at the top. Plus I didn’t need to keep sending students out to more sites, which basically entices them to go somewhere they aren’t supposed to go.
On the flip side, my lessons became more engaging. Since I flipped/blended/gamified my class, I was able to embed my presentations as a lesson and afford students multiple opportunities to view it at their own pace. To rewatch and master the content before them. I was able to utilize Schoology’s discussion feature and track their posts while still embedding something into the material/assignment I created. With this, I’ve had students listen to an NPR broadcast, watch a Google Slide, or interact with a Thinglink, and then share their thoughts via the Schoology discussion, making it easier for me to manage their “submissions.”
Now, to take this a step further. Consider the innovative practice. I began ridding myself of the “digital worksheets” I previously completed, and began creating entirely NEW content fully on the web. Google Docs became the place students collaborated, shared, wrote, and edited. But Schoology materials became my “handouts” and lesson, activities, and projects. This opened the door to a whole new world of possibilities. One I hope you find and take advantage of.
If you have any questions- feel free to reach out to me. If you know of another tool I didn’t list above, that embeds well with Schoology, share it!