Effectively creating a social presence with students is one way to ignite the passion for learning once more. Learning management systems (LMS) are software designed for documenting, communicating, tracking and reporting in an e-learning environment. According to Morrisons (2012), “Learning has become learner centric, students want an active role in the learning process.” Creating a social presence by utilizing the learning management system that best suites your students will promote active roles in learning and engaging learning experiences. Schoology is the best learning management system for my students.
Dunlap states, “When we design and teach online, we build in authentic and relevant opportunities for our students to interact and connect not only with the content but also with the instructor and each other.” Schoology is a great LMS recourse to promote interaction and connection among students. The blogging and class discussion component of Schoology will directly promote interacting among students, which will result in a connected environment safe or learning. The direct contact with teacher option is yet another way Schoology promotes interaction and connection. Furthermore, Dunlap states, “Contact between students and faculty in and outside of class is critical for student engagement because it influences student motivation and involvement.”
Schoology offers enhanced collaboration tools through the integration of Google Drive. Students have the opportunity to collaborate through Google Hangout, Google Docs and Google Forms. Though these cloud based services students will enhance their passion for learning while being connected though meaningful interaction. According to McCrea (2013), Google Hangout is a way to develop a rich online portfolio for teachers and students. Google Hangouts also are a great resource imbedded in Schoology to promote two-way communication in an e-learning environment.
My student population is made up of the entire school therefore the school wide application and the ability to create multiple courses within Schoology will best suite my students. “Social presence refers to the “ability of participants in a Community of Inquiry to project their personal characteristics into the community, thereby presenting themselves to other participants as ‘real people’” (Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (n.d.). A meaningful social presence will be created and maintain by individual students because of the identity and applications available within the Schoology platform.
In conclusion, Schoology is a learning management system that will be customizable to meet the individual needs of my classroom and my students. The structure and organization of the Schoology platform make it appealing to invest time and energy into creating an online presence through Schoology.
Bentley, K. (2015). The Centrality of Social Presence in Online Teaching and Learning.
Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (n.d.). Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 129-135.
Lowenthal, P. R., & Dunlap, J. C. (2010). From pixel on a screen to real person in your students’ lives: Establishing social presence using digital storytelling. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 70-72.
McCrea, B. (2013, September 17). 6 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from https://thejournal.com/articles/2013/09/17/6-ways-teachers-can-use-google-hangouts.aspx?m=1
The LMS Divide – Social Presence in Online Learning. (2012). Retrieved March 15, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/the-lms-divide-social-presence-in-online-learning/