eLearning Guide - For the most updated information, click here
Updated 3/27 11:00 AM
This is a challenging time for our entire society. We are all likely experiencing concern for ourselves and our loved ones. As educators, we have additional concerns for the students we care for each day. Transitioning to a remote, eLearning in the middle of the year is far from ideal, and even more so given the short turnaround we have to be ready to support students.
During this closure, there is no way to fully replicate an at-school experience within an online learning environment, nor should we try to do so. Parkway will not expect students or teachers to follow their normal schedule or be online for a full day of learning. Instead, the vast majority of the work will involve students learning at their own pace and the flexibility to complete assignments at a time that works best for their families.
Parkway will begin eLearning on Wednesday, March 25. Teachers will use Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 for development and preparation to implement eLearning during the eight days beginning Wednesday, March 25 and ending Wednesday, April 22. As the current closure will extend beyond April 3, we are reassessing all of the expectations and guidance below. April 10th is not an eLearning day as it was a scheduled day off of school.
Parkway eLearning days are meant to be used in emergency situations to:
- Continue to provide education during a prolonged school closure
- Provide some normalcy for students through engagement in learning activities and connection to teachers
In the case of a school shutdown, Parkway will implement eLearning days to provide alternative methods of instruction using the Schoology platform. All Parkway teachers and students have Schoology accounts and upon logging in can see all their courses. From their Schoology course, students will be able to access any materials and resources needed to complete work in this unusual time. All grades for secondary students will still be entered in Infinite Campus.
Tips and Recommendations for eLearning days
- Don’t try to mimic an actual school day- it’s not a normal situation and should not be treated as such
- Kids are stressed
- Not all are used to online learning
- Many kids struggle to self-manage their schedule on their own. Engage them with strategies that will help them manage their time.
- Lessen the workload (it takes longer to complete work online)
- Focus instruction on the priority standards, being cognisant of not introducing too many topics per day.
- Consider extending deadlines and due dates for previously assigned work and/or work assigned during eLearning days as students will be accessing your content at varying times.
- Try to keep students off of screens all day (i.e. assigning a writing prompt? Don’t make them type it out. Have them write it, snap a picture, and then upload it or email it to you).
- Not all students will have strong internet connections. Create options for students to complete assignments on paper as well as digitally.
- Some households will have multiple students impacted at different grade levels who are sharing devices.
- Be sure that your students can access your content on a mobile device. Students will have varying levels of access and many will use cell phones to access instructional resources and complete work.
- Create a daily checklist of exactly what students should do each day. This helps those that aren’t organized keep track of what they need to do.
- Create videos for direct instruction that can be posted and referred to by students on their own time. Set and inform students of "office hours" where you will be available by Google Meet video conferencing where they can log in and get questions answered in real time.
- If possible, post a short “good morning” video to let the students see you. Google Meet is a great option for recording a video and storing it in Google Drive. When posting videos, just be sure to share it with students appropriately.
- Use programs your students are already used to and have a login for. Remember that the only document type that we can guarantee that all students have access to is Google Drive. If you upload a Word document or a PowerPoint, your students may not be able to access it. Students may also not be able to print physical copies so be flexible in your approach.
- Use Schoology as the homebase for all communication to parents so they know where to expect information.
- Monitor morale and workload of students adjusting as needed.
- Be mindful of copyright as you post materials for students.
- Go to Schoology: schoology.parkwayschools.net (Recommended browser: Chrome)
- Bookmark the site
- Login using your Parkway Google Account
- Access your rostered course/courses using the Courses menu
- Click on a course to open it and add resources and activities. Be sure to provide a detailed explanation of expectations and due dates recognizing that students could have varying levels of access to devices and a high speed internet connection.
Delivering Content in Schoology - 3 methods
- Deliver content using Schoology - Go to bit.ly/pkwyschoologytraining for tutorials on using Schoology as your online classroom.
- Deliver content using Google Classroom or another online platform - If another platform or tool is to be used with students, teachers will link to the appropriate resource (Clever, Google Classroom, etc.) from their existing Schoology course.
Linking to another platform inside your Schoology course
- In your course, use the "Add Materials" dropdown button at the top of the center column to add links using the "File/Link/External Tools" option.
- When creating the link, click on the "Display in Schoology" option at the bottom of the box.
- In your course, use the "Add Materials" dropdown button at the top of the center column to add links using the "File/Link/External Tools" option.
3. Learn all of Schoology's features - Enroll in the self-paced online course and complete the assignments. Look for the "Schoology Essentials" course in PEERS.
When I click on a link in my Schoology course, it goes to a blank page. What should I do?
Edit the link using the gear to the right of it and click here to follow the directions labeled "IMPORTANT" at the bottom of the page.
Can I create content ahead of time without students seeing it?
Yes, click here for the options to schedule/publish content.
Can I copy materials from one course to another?
Yes, click here for directions on how to copy materials to multiple courses.
Can I add people to my rostered Schoology course(s)?
Admin, ICs, and Librarians have access to all of the classes in their building. Because Parkway Schoology courses are rosted through Infinite Campus, additional members that are not assigned to the class through IC cannot be added. A person can use the access code to see a class but they will get "kicked out" each night with the IC sync. To add someone permanently as a co-teacher, see your administrator.
What can parents see in Schoology?
When parents use the link provided to them by Parkway, they have access to the Parkway Schoology environment and can see all of the courses for all of their children. Inside a course they can see all of the content posted by the teacher and any work specific to their student. For example, in a discussion forum they will only see the teacher prompt and what their student has posted. All other student responses will be grayed out.
Downloading the Schoology App for Your Mobile Device
When you login be sure you select "Parkway School District" and login with your Parkway Google account. Do NOT select your individual school.
Video Conferencing with Students
One of the most useful tools that we have during an emergency closure is to connect with students through video and video conferencing. While there are many tools available as options to connect over video, Google Meet is Parkway's supported solution for video conferencing as it supports recording of the video conference and stores the video inside of Google Drive. Our legal counsel has advised that, during this emergency closure, we can meet with students in a face to face format using video conferencing technologies provided we follow the guidelines below.
Guidelines for using video conferencing:
- Invite your administrator to all video conference calls. They may or may not attend but they need to receive an invitation whether it is a full group or individual meeting. Instructions for adding your administrator to a Google Meet can be found below.
- For Special Educators: Special Educators working with Parkway students must log in to Google Meet using their parkwayschools.net account and invite either a building administrator or the appropriate Area Coordinator.
- When using any tool it's important to protect the privacy of students. To that end, if you intend to record a video conference where students are present, be sure to inform all participants that you are recording the conference call. All participants can see if someone has pressed “record.”
- If a student needs one-on-one instruction and video conferencing is the best method to meet that student’s needs, you are free to use that medium. Be sure to utilize one of the following strategies:
- Take and retain notes of the conversation and keep in mind Board policies for professional and appropriate conduct
- Record the conference call using the features of the platform you choose
- If you need to communicate one-on-one with a student but are uncomfortable with a video conference, use Google Chat or email to communicate with the student.
- Be cognizant of privacy issues and recognize that video conferencing may take place where families can hear and participate. Be careful to not share confidential or sensitive information except with the relevant individual(s).
- Recognize that there will be logistical challenges to asking all students to be logged in at a specific time as many households are sharing devices and may have conflicting schedules. eLearning provides flexibility for anywhere anytime learning. Record and post your videos for students who cannot attend.
Linking to external tools and giving directions inside of Schoology - Tutorial Video
Handout for Logging into Schoology for Students - PDF - Updated 3/24
Handout for Logging into Schoology - PDF - Updated 3/24
Handout for Giving Directions in Schoology - PDF - Updated 3/24
Handout for Adding Guardians in Google Classroom - PDF - Updated 3/24
Google Meet Video Conferencing Handout - PDF (Google Meet is now enabled for students k-12) - Updated 3/26
Joining a Google Meet for Students - PDF - Updated 3/26
Video Conferencing Best Practices - PDF - Updated 3/27
Converting Files to Google Docs - PDF - Updated 3/24
Logging into Clever - PDF - Updated 3/24
Logging into a Parkway Tablet (K-1 students) - PDF - Updated 3/24
This list of resources will be updated regularly - Updated 3/24 - 11:00 AM
Scholastic Learn at Home - Day-by-day projects from Scholastic
Creating a screencast using Loom - Loom is a great tool for creating how to or instructional videos for your students
Individual school library websites have a variety of digital resources available
Should an unexpected emergency occur, notification of eLearning days will be notified at the earliest possible convenience. The district will communicate in all the manners it normally does for inclement weather and emergency responses including but not limited to: Social media, Email, Phone call, Text and through the Parkway App.
Yes, in case of a closure, Schoology will be our platform that will allow consistent access across all of our student populations. Because teachers use a variety of digital tools in the classroom, families need to have one place to go. Schoology is the only platform in Parkway that we know all students have access to and which all class rosters are already loaded. If you plan to continue using a platform such as Google Classroom, it is your responsiblity to create a link inside of Schoology with directions that will take your students to the assignments for your class. Instructions for linking out of Schoology to another platform can be found here.
During eLearning days, students should not be required to print any materials for your class as many households do not have access to a reliable printer. All materials should be created distributed using Google Drive because it is the only office suite that we can guarantee access for all students. If you want students to complete something on paper, you can have them take a picture and submit it digitally.
There are a great many companies who are providing free access to their tools for schools during the closures. You are free to individually take advantage of these offers with three understandings.
1. We must continue to protect student privacy and comply with federal requirements such as FERPA and COPPA. If you have questions about these requirements, please check with your librarian.
2. We are all in uncharted territory and we are trying to respond as best we can to these new demands. Our technology department is no different. During this time we will focus on supporting tools and services that we currently have in the district. We will not be adding district level support to new tools that are being offered for free during this time.
3. Companies are offering these tools with enhanced features for a limited time to support teachers. We will not be able to financially support all of these tools after the crisis is over.
Parkway's preferred video conferencing platform is Google Meet. Students already have accounts and it has recording capabilities built into it. To get started, refer to the Google Meet Video Conferencing Handout found on this page. The technology Help Desk will only provide support for Google Meet. If you choose to record a Google Meet, be sure that you share it appropriately from your Google Drive and be aware of student privacy concerns.
In order to protect your privacy and not share your personal phone number with others, please dial "*67" before you dial the number. This will block caller ID from being sent to the receiving number. If you leave a message, encourage your families to email you back to schedule a time to talk.
The Parkway School District assures that the instructional plan for eLearning days for students with disabilities will follow each student’s individualized education program (IEP) and/or a 504 plan, to the greatest extent possible, according to the guidance from the U.S. Department of Education:
“If an LEA continues to provide educational opportunities to the general student population during a school closure, the school must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to the same opportunities, including the provision of FAPE. (34 CFR §§ 104.4, 104.33 (Section 504) and 28 CFR § 35.130 (Title II of the ADA)). SEAs, LEAs, and schools must ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s IEP developed under IDEA, or a plan developed under Section 504. (34 CFR §§ 300.101 and 300.201 (IDEA), and 34 CFR § 104.33 (Section 504))”
If you have specific questions regarding an IEP please contact the student’s caseworker or your SSD area coordinator. If you have specific questions regarding a student’s 504 plan please contact their assistant principal.
If, due to illness, you are unable to complete the eLearning expectations, contact your principal and communicate with your students. There are no subs available for elearning.