In searching for a learning management system(LMS) to facilitate personalized learning for Kennett students, several teachers from across the District volunteered to participate in an extensive program to evaluate two systems, Canvass and Schoology. Although both programs were found to be very good, the evaluation participants ultimately settled on Schoology.
The program will not be mandatory for the 2017-18 school year, but it is hoped that teachers will discover the many benefits Schoology has to offer, especially in its integration with Skyward.
According to Robert Schuetz, a teacher and Technology Coordinator for Schoology, the benefits of using Schoology include:
“1. Schoology’s classroom management suite offers all of the tools that a teacher would use to support a connected online learning environment. Attendance, grade book (traditional & standards-based), online posting of assignments and assessments. Teachers can create online quizzes & tests. This practice can provide instant feedback to the students, and differentiation opportunities for teachers. One specific advantage that Schoology offers over many other LMS products is the ability for teachers and students to have a complete and reciprocal document workflow from within the application.
In other words…
- teachers can post an online assignment or assessment for the class
- students can view or download the assignment documents for completion
- students can then submit the completed assignment through the Schoology course drop box
- the teacher can grade, with either comments and / or annotations, on the student work and return it back to the student for their review. (assignment scores automatically feed into the grade book roster)
- Schoology provides curricular RESOURCES and collaborative GROUPS for students and teachers to build and engage with their personal learning networks. Course-specific or public resources (lesson plans, assessments, rubrics, etc.) are available for teachers to use and share. There are also many educationally-based social networks (groups) supported through Schoology. Examples include; 1 to 1 Computing, Common Core, Flipped Classrooms, and Response to Intervention. Teachers and students can also create their own social groups that can establish either a private or public communication forum.
3. Schoology will run on any web browser – although, Chrome seems to provide me the best combination of speed and clarity. There are also Schoology mobile apps for Android and iOS. The mobile app features are limited in comparison to the web app, but the developers at Schoology are hard at work to make the mobile apps as feature-rich as their web experience. The any device, any browser capability makes Schoology ideal for a 1:1 BYOD implementation.
- Schoology API (application programing interface) means that other applications can connect and interact with the Schoology program. Google Drive, Twitter, and Facebook are prime examples. If you already have an established LMS, Blackboard and Moodle data can be exported to Schoology. Schoology has partnered with several application companies to provide a more comprehensive, one-stop-shop, learning destination. Remind, Turnitin, and InstaEDU are popular in our learning circles. Schoology’s partnerships are continuing to grow as new features and enhancements get introduced and implemented.
- Finally, Schoology’s instructional components are FREE to teachers, students, and parents. (An Enterprise version allows for additional school management, developer, and analytic tools.) Teachers can create a code for parents to follow along with the course, as well as, monitor the progress of their son or daughter. Nearly all of our high school students are familiar with Facebook. This makes Schoology attractive and easy for them to navigate and learn. In addition, almost all of our teachers were able to create an account, build a course, collect a few resources, join a group or two, and begin posting online course materials within their first hour of professional development training. Students appreciate being able to access class materials from anywhere and at any time. Administrators have found Schoology to be a terrific organizational, communication, and management tool for faculty and staff.”
The second of three scheduled collaborative sessions focusing on Schoology was held at KHS on July 19. Hosted by the Technology Department (Dan Maguire) and proctored by Mr. Will Illingworth of Lancaster Bible College, the session was very well attended by Elementary, Middle School, and High School staff.
The six hour session focused on the basics of Schoology: how to log in; creating courses; adding students to courses; creating tests and quizzes; methods of grading as well as a host of other topics. Mr. Illingworth proved to be a very effective and personable instructor.
Some helpful links to acquaint you with the basics of Schoology:
For the latest Schoology update, please check out KCSD Schoology Update, 8.25.17
Use the following link to log into Schoology: Schoology Log In