My Big Campus: Wrapup
This school year, I have been using and reviewing My Big Campus from Lightspeed Systems, an online service that allows schools to create an engaging, collaborative, online environment. It was extremely easy to set up and use, and there are great help resources, a blog with tips for using it, and a user forum. Below are some highlights in my final review of this product:
* Resource Library: I include files and links and use the calendar feature to put in assignment due dates, test dates, and more. These are all filed under the “Your Stuff” section.
* Assignments: The assignments feature allows you to easily assign students work, manage assignments, and see who has completed what assignments. Students get notified about new assignments so they won’t forget.
* Apps: My Big Campus has apps for iOS and Android. The apps include most of the functions that the full Web site does.
* EduTalk: EduTalk is MBC’s “social network for educators.” It is made up of status updates from educators, not students, and allows educators to share resources, tips, ideas, and more.
* Calendar: The calendar feature allows you to add events, reminders, due dates, and more. Your students can subscribe to the class calendar to stay current and get reminders.
* Conversations: The conversations feature is a great place to hold virtual study and help sessions. It can be used in real time, or can be done as you and your students have time to connect.
* Schoolwork: Here you can assign work to your students and post assignments. It also keeps track of what is graded and what still needs to be graded.
My Big Campus is a very useful and powerful tool for educators and students. To give it a try, visit www.mybigcampus.com
This is one in a series of posts about our year-old pilot with the STEM Web site Learning.com. The site allows teachers to assign math, science, and technology lessons or units.
Formative and Summative Assessments: The feature that our students and teachers most enjoy is the ability for students to gather immediate feedback. This provides students with a real sense of motivation that their work—evening game playing—is being viewed as skill progress. Students feel comfortable going back and reviewing videos.
We, as a district, are working on making decisions based on formative assessments and have been experimenting with making quizzes using Google forms and the widget, Flubaroo, to grade the quizzes. This process gave us some minimal data to make decisions on. After we had the students take a quick math quiz using our Google form, we created an assessment using learning.com. These questions are lengthy and can include diagrams. After we had the students take both assessments that covered the same standards, we discussed which was more challenging and reviewed their scores. The assessments in learning.com are problem-based questions that make students practice their skills in context. Although our students found these questions challenging, the assessment questions provided were allowing us to see if they could transfer the skill into a new, novel problem environment.
We will continue to use both of our formative assessment tools, but seeing the difference in skill that occurs when students are asked to transfer knowledge into new word and diagram problems is causing us to think about our assessment creation differently.
The video and assessment support that this program provides has been extremely engaging to our students and has allowed us to see them as independent learners who need feedback to continue growing.
Peg Keiner is an instructional technology coach for Oak Lawn- Hometown District 123.