There are several different ways that teachers can share information online with students and parents. NEOLA School Board Policy is somewhat restrictive when it comes to school and teacher websites, for safety and other reasons. It states that all school, school related, and teacher websites must be located on Board-affiliated servers, which means teachers are not permitted to use whatever website hosting technology they want. Currently there are four different board approved ways for teachers to have an online web presence, which are listed below.
1. Canvas (also known as myLearning)
Canvas is an online Learning Management System which is automatically populated each year with teachers, courses, and students. Canvas is very powerful and can be used to do anything from posting basic homework information to offering tests and quizzes online, facilitating group discussions, providing a method for students to upload assignments, and much more. Canvas is used by numerous colleges (including USF) and online learning institutions and schools (including Pasco eSchool) and has phone, text, and email support options available. Canvas is our number one recommendation for teachers. Take a self-paced online course to learn Canvas!
2. Office 365/OneDrive
Teachers and students have access to Office 365, which contains OneDrive. OneDrive can be thought of as a storage location for your files and folders in the cloud (meaning on Microsoft's servers on the Internet.) Documents and folders can be shared with the world if desired, so some teachers use OneDrive as a location for files that students need access to. Office 365 provides online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote to students and teachers. Office 365/OneDrive can also be used with Canvas, so some teachers require students to complete assignments in the online version of Word and hand the assignments in using Canvas. NOTE: Office 365's Word and OneNote both allow teachers to create pages which can be shared with students. But pages made with Word will automatically reformat to fit any screen size, and documents made with OneNote won't. Word is more compatible with iPads and smart phones. Learn more about Office 365 on the OTIS DIY Tech Tips website.
Our online gradebook/attendance program can be used to share files and information with students. It's not as powerful as a sharing method as the first two options, but many teachers use it because of high student traffic. And of course it can be used in conjunction with anything else.
4. Connect Plus
Connect Plus is an online version of WordPress that is used by some teachers. It replaces an older system named Connect. A Connect Plus site can be created for teachers or teams on request, but is not provided automatically. It is generally a good idea for a teacher to know how to use WordPress in order to use Connect Plus, because there is no official staff development available for learning WordPress.
If you have any questions or if you would like to request a Connect Plus site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.