How time flies! The new school term isn't far off, and for some of you, it's already started. I've been getting questions from school staff about getting up to speed with My Big Campus, so I thought I'd call in the experts — the MBC Senior Coaches. Our Senior Coaches are on the road constantly, presenting My Big Campus to schools and districts, and training school staff on deployment and best practices, and some of them have offered to share their top Back to School tips.
Before I introduce the coaches, here are my favorite tips:
- Introduce your students to digital citizenship: Show them the My Big Campus Pledge, and have them discuss in their own words what it means. Perhaps their first wall post could be an acknowledgement of your expectations.
- If you're a teacher using My Big Campus for the first time, or if you have questions, join one of our regularly scheduled, free Teacher webinars or review the self-guided training modules bundle.
- If you're an IT Admin, we have free training webinars for you as well. Click here to register.
Now let's hear from some of our experts.
Matt comes to us from Ennis, Texas, where he taught ELA and Reading.
- Take faculty information gathering online – Each year, schools pass out questionnaire forms to staff for contact information, birthdays, etc. Save money and paper by assigning the questionnaires as Schoolwork within MBC. Add your staff to a Faculty group at your school, then create and assign the questionnaire as an attached MBC Document. MBC stores the submissions online, where admins can access the information wherever they have Internet access.
- Get to know your students through group discussions – One of my favorite discussion prompts is "If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be and why?" Or, ask students to list their interests and hobbies. It’s a great way for class members to get acquainted.
Stephanie Lennon hails from Powhatan, Virginia, and brings fifteen years in public education teaching Spanish to all grades from Pre-K through high school.
- Set up a Quiz to assess your students' knowledge of MBC. Do they know where to find schoolwork that has been graded? How to add a Quick Link? How to find Bob Campus?
- Check out the Bundle Exchange for ready-made lessons/units you can use as-is or "branch" to alter it to fit your needs.
- Connect with other educators through Topics. Learn from other MBC users about iPads, flipped classrooms, PBL, and my personal favorite, The World Languages Corner. And check out EduTalk, a news feed created by your fellow educators.
Chrissie Allen, from Atlanta, Texas, has taught just about every subject, at every level, over the last 25 years.
- Take it in stages. For the first few weeks on MBC, use Policies to block student-to-student messaging, while still allowing student-to-teacher conversations, while you teach "Netiquette" and focus on schoolwork. Once the school year gets rolling, let students earn access to the social features.
- Host a parents' meeting to explain the safety features with MBC, your expectations of students to complete schoolwork work on MBC, and your school's Acceptable Use and Social Media Policies.
- Remind teachers how they can save time using My Big Campus: group cloning and maintenance, auto-graded schoolwork, MBC documents, discussions, announcements, and resources.
Thanks, Coaches, for these great tips. I hope you all find them useful, and as always, I encourage you to share your own tips and ideas in the comments.