My fifth and sixth grade students started using Schoology this year. Schoology is a learning management system that will allow student to have access to class materials 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The plan for the next several weeks is to integrate Schoology in the classroom settings. Students will learn how to access instructional materials, hand in projects and seek extra help when needed. As the year progresses I'll begin to flip instruction on a regular basis. This means that student will watch a short video for homework that describes a skill that we will be working the next day in class. When student arrive to class they will either go directly to their computers to start working on a project or we will briefly meet to discuss a topic. This will allow more time for discussion about design and higher order skills. The "what to click on" part of the lesson will be housed in Schoology.
There are additional benefits to this style of teaching. Student will be able to move through a project at their own pace, I'll have more time to support individuals that may be struggling and every student will be able to revisit the lesson and review a detail that they may have forgotten.
Embedded within the process are a number of skills that students will need in the future. They'll learn to upload project, collaborate with classmates, how to manipulate instructional video to locate the information they need, and navigate an online learning space and many more.
The program is going well despite the normal issues of remembering passwords and website addresses that are typical for elementary aged students. As the system evolves I hope to provide a totally student centered environment where kids have more choice and can showcase their creativity.