I got to attend a development meeting the other day, and got the go-ahead to tell you about some of the things they're working on for My Big Campus. I'm excited about the news, and I hope you will be too.
Late this spring, or early summer, you'll see a newly redesigned My Big Campus website, incorporating features that many of you have requested. I'll have more information and screenshots when we're closer to releasing the update, but here the highlights.
- MBC Drive will replace "Your Stuff" and consolidate all your content: Bundles, Schoolwork, Documents, and file uploads.
- You'll be able to create folders in your MBC Drive to organize your items.
MBC Library search
- Teachers will be able to find published Schoolwork and Bundles in the MBC Library, as well as websites, YouTube videos, and other items.
- Search for your own items, items from your school, your district, or shared by the entire MBC community.
- Other advanced search types: standard, keyword, item type, and more.
- The layout and navigation of the My Big Campus website will adapt for easier interaction on all sizes and types of devices: smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, and desktop computers. You'll get an idea of how this will work by logging into the Parent Portal from your phone, tablet, and computer.
- MBC will be easier to navigate for users who require assistive technology or who need to use the website in languages other than English.
- The Android and iOS versions of the My Big Campus mobile app will be upgraded to support more of the features currently available only in the website version of MBC.
Schools: Plan ahead for summer training
If you're responsible for staff training, plan to update your training materials so teachers are up to speed on the new interface before school starts again after the summer break. We know you'll have plenty of questions, so join us in MBC Trainers, where we'll have sample training resources ready for you to adapt by the time the update goes live.
Got ideas and suggestions related to the subject of this blog post? Let me know in the comments.
Recently, I've been seeing an increase in posts from teachers who are getting on My Big Campus for the first time. Teachers are joining the standalone (freemium) version of MBC because they've heard about My Big Campus from their colleagues, and districts using the Lightspeed web filter are getting a head start on implementing My Big Campus over the summer. And, of course, when school starts again in the fall, we'll have a flood of new students learning their way around.
I just wanted to share a few of the self-help features on My Big Campus, that can transform you from a novice to a power user.
Click Help in the top right corner to find a growing list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), neatly organized by subject matter. You'll also see a tab for Community help, where you can browse, search, ask, and answer questions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the FAQs, see what questions your peers have been asking. Or see if you can help someone out.
You’ll also find video tutorials for specific functions. If you’ve made some and are willing to share, I’ll add them to our collection. Send them to me via email@example.com.
If you need to ask a quick question, or just say "Hi Bob!", post on my Wall. Bob's Wall is available to everyone on My Big Campus, and I'm on there answering questions most hours of the day, including weekends.
MBC staff and other MBC users have created and published several comprehensive and very useful training Bundles on the Bundle Exchange. Here are a few to check out:
To find others, search for "training" or "mbc" – you can branch, customize, and share any of these bundles with your own school.
We regularly present webinars (interactive online meetings) for teachers and IT staff, to help get you up to speed on My Big Campus.
- Register for one of our regularly scheduled Teacher Overview webinars, presented by MBC staff and senior MBC Coaches.
- The monthly MBC Trainers Update webinar is a good way to stay caught up on new features and tips. Join the webinar live, or watch the closed-caption recording in MBC Trainers.
You can also request a training webinar for you and your staff at a time that suits you; email firstname.lastname@example.org to set things up.
MBC Orientation Center
Staff can navigate to Topics (just to the right of Groups and People), click on More Topics and find the MBC Orientation Center, where users have shared how they are using My Big Campus in short videos and some easy-to-duplicate lessons. In Resources you’ll find Reference Materials and documentation that you can distribute to new users, and reference yourself. There are even pages for admin and IT staff.
MBC Release Notes
If you’re waiting for an enhancement, feature, or bug fix to be released, check out the MBC Release Notes topic.
Topics, Topics, Topics
And while you’re navigating to Topics, which are visible to staff users only, peruse the diverse list of topics being discussed by your peers: flipped classrooms, iPad/iPod educational resources, project-based learning, collaborative writing, virtual field trips, cyber classrooms, and more. You may even want to start one yourself. These topics are groups that span district boundaries so you can form professional learning networks and learn from each other.
Finally, if you're responsible for training folks, join the MBC Trainers group for IT pre-requisites, awareness building, training agendas, documentation, and more.
So in summary, I’ve got your back! Let me know if there are more ways we can help.