Learning Management Systems (LMS) are an integral commodity in education today!  As more and more school systems move toward online classroom tools there becomes a need to centralize communications, collaboration, and learning.   This is where learning management systems like My Big Campus (MBC) come into play.   MBC is part online schoolwork, part social network, and part classroom management.  It gives teachers a place to have online discussions, video chats, post announcements, share teacher resources, give assignments, store documents, and model good citizenship all in one.   There are many great features, but I’d like to just share a few for our purposes in the 30 Day Challenge.  Please check out this short MBC intro video.

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Collaboration is the name of the game in education.  As a matter of fact, that is what we are doing now!   The challenge itself is a way to learn new ideas from each other.  Along with all the standard features of any LMS (assignments, discussions, announcements, etc) My Big Campus has created multiple ways for teachers to collaborate their ideas.

LibraryOne collaboration option is through the MBC Library.   The library is a place where educators can share websites, YouTube videos, documents, lesson plans, images, assessments, any online media, and practically anything else in online packages called “Bundles”.  This collaboration is pretty simple and comes in an attractive social networking feel. Currently there are tens of thousands of teacher created resources based on educational standards spanning practically every subject and grade level K-12.
Edutalk

Another great collaboration tool in MBC is called EduTalk.  EduTalk is a Twitter-like interface that allows teachers and administrators to create short posts that are searchable by hashtag (#).  EduTalk can also be integrated with Twitter so that your Tweets are pulled and displayed in EduTalk.  This allows teachers a safe location to discuss educational topics with an educator only audience.


Safety is one of the greatest added benefits of My Big Campus.  MBC is owned and created by Lightspeed Systems, which is a web filtering company for education.  MBC is integrated with the filter to provide the best web tools with the fewest clunks of overblocking that many other LMS solutions face.  Because MBC and Lightspeed are one in the same, we can allow teacher guided YouTube videos and otherwise blocked sites through the filter by individual teacher request.  The teacher simply links the website or video to the students through the Library of MBC and when the students access it, they are there without being overly blocked.

New Bob Campus

Digital citizenship is also modeled and monitored by “Bob Campus.”  Bob is a group of real people from Lightspeed who respond to student interactions and comments online through the social aspects of the website.   Bob monitors inappropriate behavior and reports it to the schools emergency contacts, even if the teachers/administrators of the school didn’t know about the behavior, Bob keeps them in the loop.   Bob is always there 24/7 and models good digital citizenship at all times.

Your Challenge

Please provide at least one example of how the tools in My Big Campus could be used in your classroom.  If you have links to Bundles or Groups that you use, please share them with the group!

Note: While My Big Campus is not the only Learning Management System out there, we use it as our primary system in the EVSC.  For the purposes of the challenge, you may choose to discuss uses of any LMS (ex: Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, Haiku, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.) as the base features are the same for most systems.

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Kris is part of the Innovation, Curriculum, and Technology Specialist (ICATS) team with the EVSC. He has been with the EVSC for 15 years and has been a classroom teacher and coach at the middle and high school level. He taught biology, general science, and technology education courses during that time. As part of the ICATS team Kris has been directly involved with many areas of focus for support of classroom teachers, including: 1:1 initiative, Apple products, Google apps, My Big Campus (LMS) Certified Coach, RDS gradebook system, and web tools. Education: B.S. Michigan Technological University (Biological Sciences) M.A. Ball State University (Technology Education)

41 COMMENTS

  1. When I attended eRevolution 2013 I heard about and saw how EVSC and the presenters were using My Big Campus. PCHS is also, but I’m at the middle school and I didn’t know what it was. I would love to have lessons and keep my files in bundles on MBC and someday I should be able to. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to access any of the files that went with the classes that I took at eRevolution because I counldn’t get on MBC. A woman with MBC got me on for a bit the last afternoon, but I couldn’t when I got home.

    • Mary,
      You should be able to go into MBC and set up a free teacher account. You submit an online application (very basic) and MBC then verifies you’re a teacher by your email and then you are sent login directions. It could be that when you tried to sign up this summer you may have used a non-school email. That would have caused a problem because all accounts are students and educators only. You need to use your school email to get an account. Hope this helps!

  2. We use My Big Campus for quite a bit at Bosse. We held Student Council nominations through the Student Council Group. I personally use the site for assessments (they grade multiple choice and a few other types for you) and assignments. I create simple assignments (basically dropboxes) that students can simply copy and paste their homework or bellringers into. I’ve seen other teachers use bundles to teach whole units before, but I have all my materials on a Weebly.

    • It is great that you can use both MBC and Weebly as synergistic systems. Most people think that you have to be all or none. This brings up a good point that as with all of the tools we are giving out in the 30 Day Challenge, you take what you want the kids to learn and use the best tool for that task. Just like my trusty tool box at home, use the right tool for the right job!

      Thanks Peter!

  3. I started using My Big Campus 2 years ago and loved it! Every paper we had in class, I would put under pages, so the students could access them at a later date. Also, I used resources for concepts that we talked a lot about in class. I have used the discussion page quite a bit. I found that page to be very beneficial to the students that didn’t like to speak out in class. They were able to voice their opinions, which is something they have a hard time doing in class.

    I still use My Big Campus, but I’ve found myself using Google more and more each day.

  4. We do not have My Big Campus in my district but instead just transitioned from Angel to Blackboard Learn this year. Having something (MBC, Blackboard, etc) is vital in today’s classroom to post class information, have digital drop boxes, online assessments, and posting assignments. I love being able to check and see what is assigned in my students’ classes to help their organization and also be able to provide extra copies of things when students misplace or need to make up work if they missed class. There are students who miss school but can still complete the work since it’s mostly digital or can see what was assigned if away.

    • Andy,
      I agree that it is a good tool for when students are absent, but my last year in the classroom I found that I was out of the classroom a lot for meetings and conferences. So, it was a great way for me to be able to give “instruction”. The students stayed busy and they could ask me real-time questions while I was not in the classroom with them. They could complete their work or assessments and turn them in online, receive instant feedback and go back over it if they needed to. It really was a life saver to have that option with an LMS.

  5. We use MBC at my school. We started last year. I use it to post my weekly assignments on the page tab. I also post journal/writing topics on the discussion tab. I like that you can create a bundle over a topic you are teaching and add videos and web link for students to check out. It is also great if a student is absent; they can still access many of the items that were used in class. You can attach worksheets and more for students to look at or complete, study guides etc. We held our student council elections via MBC also this year. The guidance counselor posts videos for the students to view as well about character.
    I like that I can view other teachers pages also and know what my special ed students assignments are for their other classes.

  6. I use MBC on a daily basis for bellringers (schoolwork tab- grades it for me) and then all I have to do is print the grades at the end of the week from their site. I also use it to store extra pages and reference sheets under Resources. I use it for a dropbox too but there are times that size can be an issue with it. I like it better than Angel, I jumped on the MBC bandwagon when Jason Bailey introduced it way back when.

  7. We introduced MBC in our corporation last year when our high school went 1:1. Our middle school went 1:1 this year so we are using it in both buildings now. Several of our teachers have created bundles to share with students this year. Here are a couple of things we’ve figured out that we like…
    1. You can create bundles and put them inside other bundles. For those who our terribly OCD like a couple of my teachers, this can come in handy. :)
    2. Several of our teachers create a new page and type in the weekly assignment sheet. They then click on the box that will make it their homepage. The next week, they add a new page and make it their homepage. The nice thing is that if the kids click on the pages tab, they have access to all of the weeks’ assignment sheets. This has really been nice for kids who were absent.

  8. My school uses Schoology. I use it instead of a teacher website. This is our first year to use it and there has definitely been a huge learning curve for everyone. So far, I really like the ability to post, discuss and evaluate in one spot. It’s great for the kids to be able to have all of their resources in one spot.

  9. Switching our students from hand-written tests to tests on the computer is a difficult thing. The ECA and Acuity are only 2 of many tests they have to take online. I think that the quiz and the test taking abilities in MBC (my big campus) are a step in the right direction in getting students prepared for what it will be like for online tests. Many students have a hard time going from taking all tests and homework on a piece of paper, to taking it online. I know that I did when I was in college.

    • I agree Paul. The goal of education is to prepare the students for what lies ahead. We must teach them to use new tools, devices, programs, etc so that when they encounter a new system, they are able to adjust quickly.

  10. The Library and Edutalk seem to be great tools for teacher collaboration. When I first started teaching, I felt very isolated in my classroom. The work I did was with my students inside the 4 concrete walls. I love how technology and programs like My Big Campus allow teachers to develop professional networks that extend into their classroom teaching and to their students. Classes can no longer operate in isolation as we create 21st Century learning environments.

  11. I love My Big Campus. It is easy to use and effective as a delivery method of content. Unfortunately since a lot of our work for seniors is on Google Docs, I have not used it as much as I did last year.

    My favorite feature on MBC is the Bundle. It is like a digital binder where you can archive materials for the students to use. In one place, you can put everything they would need.

    Another great feature is the YouTube player, where it plays the video inside the MBC environment. This is handy and makes playback quick.

    This link is to my Midsummer Night’s bundle that I created for the EVSC CODE project. It has teaching materials, assignments, videos and support materials. This is more of a resource bundle, not a bundle for students.

    http://mybigcampus.com/bundles/grade-12-english-q2-unit-3-midsummer-night-s-dream—232513

  12. http://www.mybigcampus.com/groups/biology-i-honors-2nd-block—233447

    This is a link for one of my Biology groups on My Big Campus. I love the virtual access for information. Students and myself have access to all the resources anywhere we are..very nice if absent. I explain to my students that it is our ‘Go get stuff’ site. I post assignments, review tools, weekly assignment sheet, videos, etc. I create Bundles for each chapter and tweet these every semester..they are very easy to edit. I use the Schoolwork feature 2-3 times a week for a bell ringer type activity..it is graded automatically & a report generated so I know troublesome topics to review.

    This is my 3rd year using MBC…2nd with students 1:1 iPad access. The first year I used this to help a student out of school for a few weeks due to surgery. The student and parents said the resources provided helped him from falling too far behind. The student could work on what he could on his own, then email me for help as needed. Currently, with 1:1 technology, the access is great.

    There have been some minor glitches, but MBC has always been quick to help. I do not use MBC for everything, but it does help with organization and accessibility…even teaching student accountability for school work.

  13. My Big Campus is an awesome platform. The high school teachers I work with use it daily. They seem to like the discussion section the best. Many teachers also like the fact that they can put on assignments and receive assignments on MBC. I am currently putting together trainings for my middle school teachers.

  14. Our district just started using MBC this year. We just started creating groups for students at different schools to join in and participate in novel discussions. It has really added a new level of excitement for the students involved. Teachers have also found the MBC Library to be a great place to gather resources. From bundles to single videos or lessons, it’s a one stop shop!

  15. I think that the library would be useful for sharing videos. We often share you tube videos for body mechanics or desk ergonomics with teachers and/ or students. MBC would provide a safer, easier way to share this information.

  16. My school does not use my big campus but we have used moodle in the past. I have used it to assign students a pretest before a chapter.

  17. Without being in a one to one environment at my grade level I have not used MBC very much even though I have it available to me. Many of our teachers feel it is hard to take full advantage of the features of MBC without the one to one environment so why really use it when they have their websites and email to provide information for parents and students who are absent. I and many others do like the feature of the bundles and the libraries and use those. Our 6th grade teachers have a one to one environment using netbooks and LOVE MBC. They use it to post all their assignments and have the students turn in their work to MBC. The students also like the feature of the chat to collaborate with each other. They also have been using Google Docs to collaborate with one another. The teachers like the chat protection feature that alerts them if certain negative behaviors are going on. Just the other day the teachers caught a student chatting when they were to be working and they were able to print off the chat and show it to the parent in a conference. The teachers also have given tests from MBC. I like the fact that I can collaborate with many other teachers in my field and get new ideas to use. In technology class I could have students turn in various projects that I have them do into MBC. However, with this being our first year for technology class I am just getting them used to email and how to attach and send a document. Even many of our 6th graders do not know how to do this and for me this is more important than using MBC. Hopefully within the next few years more teachers and students will be comfortable using this Learning Management System and be more familiar with it so I can use it more in my class. Tiny steps and using what works best for you are key.

  18. My teaching partner and I post all our content and materials on our Weebly websites and use Haiku Learning for quizzes, tests, and dropboxes for student work, which allows our classroom to be virtually paperless. While Haiku does not offer electronic rubrics, it is very easy to use and visually appealing. I can even award “badges” to my students for their excellent work! The combination of Weebly and Haiku has worked well for us.

  19. This summer I attended a MBC class at erevolution. I came back to school all ready to implement MBC at our school. This summer we implemented a new System Management System. This system does some of the things that MBC does. We can correspond with the children and parents with this, like being able to see your grades and assignments. Very easy correspondence between parents and teachers and also from one teacher to another. Last year we used Google Docs. One thing the sis does not have are the bundles and library like MBC does. I am sure that would be tools that I would really use. We may start using it second semester.

  20. I currently use MBC for a total virtual help desk class and as a SVCS Professional Learning portal for teachers. Students are engaged in assignments, discussions and bundle creation. Teachers mostly use the Bundles as secondary resources following training. I would like to flip our PD requiring teachers to view the bundle prior to PD session as to allow them more working time.

    Most importantly, MBC offers a safe social environment for student development of netiquette!! With my iCats, I provide feedback to guide them in their journey. We aim to use MBC in a professional manner at all times.

    The student group link is listed here: http://www.mybigcampus.com/groups/icats-student-supported-help-desk—238386

  21. I tried MBC but we had quite a few issues with getting students on. I really like edmodo. The quizzes are super easy to create and they self grade, reporting the score immediately to the student. I also love the teacher collaboration. I have gained so many great ideas from teachers around the world. I have recently begun using google docs. I really like it as well.

    • Sorry to hear that you had issues with it! However, I’m glad you were able to find a solution that works for you. Google docs are great and being able it integrate and use them within these other solutions is awesome!

  22. I use My Big Campus each day in my sixth grade math and science classes. I post all assignments to MBC. I also post articles to read and links to other websites. A new feature this year that I love is that parents can now get their own id and password to access MBC. MBC is now a digital agenda book for my students which means many students do not write in the “paper” agenda book for my assignments. It is also great for students who are absent or out of town to see what we did in class. Also, like someone else mentioned, I can still post something for my students if I am at a workshop or in a meeting. I have not used the storage capabilities yet because I had so much posted on Angel which did not carry over to MBC so I am hesitant as this point to use it for storage. I have looked at the bundles, but I think some other resources offer more for my curriculum.

  23. I have been using Moodle for several years now. I do like aspects of MBC, but the straight forward nature of Moodle has tainted my views of other LMSs. I like how Moodle has the core parts all laid out on one main screen. Its quizzing feature is quite deep and robust allowing many different question types and imports from many different question generating programs and even other LMSs. My major difficulty with Moodle is that it does not support exporting questions. It does have all the main features of good LMSs like a chat, blog, grading, and lesson features.

    The big draw originally for me to MBC was the video hosting and allowing YouTube videos to be unblocked for students. The bundle feature is nice and MBC can integrate Google docs and NBC Learn videos.

  24. Since I am not in a classroom, these are not tools that I am familiar with, but I am always grateful for the opportunity to learn about all the wonderful resources available.

  25. Being the art and music teacher, I could create groups for each grade level. The choir would be very beneficial. I could create bundles for our music. I would like to share it with them to allow them to practice at home. Also, being able to load artwork on there would allow the students to have a running portfolio of their work. I could use the tagging system to tag them by medium, subject, and season as well. The difficulty is being in an elementary school, without a fully functioning mbc staff yet.

  26. My school district uses My Big Campus as its LMS. I was very hesitant at first to jump into it, but now I love it! I build bundles of curriculum for my students that they can access 24/7, I have them submit assignments on MBC, conduct classroom discussions to build critical thinking as well as encourage “shy” students to participate in class, and even send absent students messages about what they need to work on while they are home. It really has unlimited potential. While I still wish some of the features were more user friendly, I still enjoy the possibilities. :)

  27. Aside from using MBC in my daily instruction, I have shared with students how to utilize the content that is already in the library. I often encourage students and parents to utilize YouTube to see extra examples and their first response is that YouTube is blocked on the netbooks. When I explain that there are many videos already in the MBC library they can access to see examples and models of math content they are excited to know they can do this. This is also a great resource for students who are absent. Even if students aren’t in class for modeling and guided practice of new content, they can utilize the library videos as an instructional source.

  28. From using it as a student at USI and as an adjunct instructor there, my experience has been with Blackboard. The major advantage of any of these class management software programs is that it’s the major hub for both students and teachers. The teachers can post future assignments at her convenience and set an open date, post announcements and send an alert to the students to check for it – students can access lessons, grades, resources, etc. It’s also a great way for communication between the students without necessarily giving out their email address. As far as My Big Campus, our school is trying it this year but there was some initial difficulty getting the students enrolled to the point of frustration. I believe whatever those problems were have been corrected but not a good first impression.

  29. We have been using Moodle for a while now and although it isn’t as graphically appealing as MBC, it gets the job done. I use it to post assignments, to share links to websites or videos, and for my class to submit assignments. We have also used the chat feature a few times. We recently had our graduates from last year return to speak to our underclassmen. They all indicated that they use some form of blackboard at all of their schools and the teachers who use Moodle (or any LMS) are doing their students a favor because their students are used to this sort of format when they go to college. My goal for next semester is to use Moodle even more and to find some more teachers at our school to join me.

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