Updated: Feb 17, 2020
We held our 2nd annual Schoology NOW! mini conference on November 19th this year at Sand Creek High School. It was a great night of professional development. District 49 Schoology Ambassadors were on hand to help with registration and also presenting at the sessions. I myself go into the act with presenting a session titled "Schoology Makeover: Go from Dull to Dazzling". I had a total of 14 participants in my session which was really cool. Did I mention we also had prizes? Yes, we gave away an all expense paid trip to the Schoology National Conference called "NEXT". It will be held in Austin, Texas in July of 2020. We also gave away a MacBook Air, an iPad! and door prizes!
The idea to have a mini-conference for our Schoology LMS began in 2018 when Ed Tech Specialist for Instruction, Melissa Riggs, and I assumed the role of supporting the Schoology LMS platform from our predecessor Brian Green. Our goal when we took over management of the LMS was to build upon the work Brian did over the last couple of years so I thought of the idea to have a local Schoology event for our educators at D49. So, in December of 2018, we held the first Schoology NOW! mini conference. You could say it was a reboot or refresh for our user base at D49 and a way to introduce ourselves as the support team for the LMS. We were fortunate to have Schoology's VP of Product, Joel Hames, deliver the keynote for this first mini conference. Joel talked about the Schoology roadmap. Overall, it was a great success for our first time at putting together a PD event for our educators.
This year, for our second annual event, our theme was "Learn how to Harness the Power of Schoology" and we were lucky to have Senior Director of Instructional Strategy, Kellie Ady, deliver the keynote for us!
It was a close call for Kellie to make it to our event as her flight from Chicago was delayed. Kellie ultimately made it on time with a few minutes to spare before she got on stage. The Schoology LMS is gaining traction in southern Colorado school districts and Kellie noted that she worked with Brian Green in getting a state wide Schoology conference started. The state conference turned into what is known as ConnectCO and has been held at Jefferson County school district in the Denver area. Unfortunately, the ConnectCO conference is usually held during District 49's fall break when many of our educators are away. That being the case, our local Schoology NOW mini conference provides, on a smaller scale, an opportunity for PD on the Schoology LMS for those that can't make the state conference. We were able to livestream the Keynote with the help our Ed Tech team member, Brent Buena, who brought in his professional gear for just this event. Wow! It enabled us to share it live with our district. You can watch Kellie Ady's Keynote below:
Helping to put this event together was our Coordinator of Professional Learning, Dr. Kathy Pickering and our Professional Learning Specialist, Annette Romero. My colleague, Melissa Riggs, was also very instrumental in making this event a success. Melissa helped in adding a Schoology session for parents which was well received. We also enlisted the help of our students by having Mr. Eric Lustig's culinary arts team from Patriot High School cater the event for us! The italian sandwich was delicious. I would be remiss if I did not mention that this event could not have been possible without the support of our Executive Director of Learning Services, Amber Whetstine, who was also in attendance!
District 49 is really grateful to work with Schoology because, as a company, they always go above and beyond in supporting us with the LMS. Prior to our mini conference, we learned that Schoology was acquired by PowerSchool. In their official announcement, PowerSchool stated that they are committed to investing in the Schoology platform to advance what's possible in education. I am looking forward to the increase in the resources available from PowerSchool to make the leading Learning Management System even better.