Schoology and other LMS's are great venues to host learning. These are essentially digital classrooms! Teachers typically use this tool for communication with students, parents, and co-workers. This is not wrong, they are great communication tools; but they can be so much more!

Learning in the 21st century takes place everywhere. Students have anywhere, anytime access to all types of tools and most importantly, their LMS. Access to their LMS provides you the opportunity to take advantage of teachable moments, and the opportunity to free up class time.

So, what types of things can you do to extend your classroom?

Pre-teaching a concept in your classroom is a great way to build content knowledge and scaffold prior knowledge. Taking advantage of this outside of class is an even better use of this method! Here are some ways you can pre-teach a concept using your LMS:
  • Post a visualization of the concept and follow it with a discussion question
    • Create a custom image in Pic Collage, Popplet, Thinglink, Smore, or Glogster
  • Create a Google Form asking some basic concept questions and embed a YouTube video you create
    • Create a video using iMovie, YouTube Capture, Movenote, or a Screencast
  • Create an assignment asking students to show prior knowledge of a concept
    • Gather images, create a video, make a digital poster, complete a quiz
  • Ask them to show prior knowledge
    • Use image creators, video creators, or put their knowledge into words
  • At Home Activity
    • Provide directions/materials for students to do an activity and home with their family

Re-teaching can be a great targeting tool you can use to help scaffold learning for all your kiddos. There are several ways to do this on your LMS.
  • Record your Lessons and post them onto your LMS
    • Use Screencastify, Screencast-o-Matic, or Quicktime Player 
  • Record your voice
    • Use to record your voice providing help on a specific task or tasks
  • Hangout
    • Meet on Google Hangouts outside of class to provide scaffolding, provide a sign up schedule
  • Use YouTube
    • There are already millions of great resources here, link one back for students to watch
  • Coach your Parents
    • Create videos for parents teaching them how to tutor your students at home (create accountability)
  • Reuse a Pre-teach lesson you created above

You will always have students who grab hold of a concept and are ready to run with it. Provide them options to extend their learning on their own time to see where they can really go!
  • Tie in PBL
    • Give them lofty tasks that relate to a bigger project, tie in appropriate tools
  • Use Real World Problems - EXAMPLES
    • Search the news, create tasks from what is currently happening
  • Use their Thinking
    • Ask them to show what they know in a video then use that to tutor other students (peer coaching)
  • Task Analysis
    • Use the same concept, but amp up the tool use EX. instead of using iMovie, use Lego Movie Maker
  • Requirements - Be Careful, you don't want it to feel like more work!
    • Change questions, add tasks, up the difficulty

Arguably the best feature you can use to extend your classroom is to differentiate your tasks. Using a combination of pre-teach, re-teach, and extend activities gives the content to your students on the level that they need. The learning you will gain out of trying just one of these will prove the time spent to be worth while.