With so many Learning Management Systems (LMS) out there, it’s hard to pick which one suits your needs. Now, more so than ever, it’s important to ensure your school has a solid online learning platform such as Schoology.
Hard to pronounce, Easy to Use
Even if you struggle with how to pronounce it, Schoology is one of the premier virtual platforms! By the way, according to their website, it is pronounced /skoo.luh.jee/. When Schoology was first developed over 10 years ago, it had a similar interface to Facebook and other social media platforms. This was ingenious because it was appealing to students who were familiar with social media and the parallels made the site easy to navigate since most students were about that Facebook life.
What makes Schoology unique is in October 2019, the almighty student information system (SIS) PowerSchool bought Schoology. Powerschool is a powerhouse (pun intended) in the educational world. It is one of the most well-known Student Information Systems. This purchase was epic because it integrated the teaching portion of the class with the paperwork portion, all online. With PowerSchool, Schoology became a one-stop shop. Attendance, gradebook, homework, virtual parent-teacher conferences, data storage, student information all in one package.
No Desks Needed!
Schoology is a teacher’s dream classroom! Teachers can upload tasks/assignments to the platform, create assessments, encourage online discussion opportunities, provide feedback, communicate with students and parents, and conduct virtual conferences. All with one school supply, a computer! No setting up bulletin boards, no desk arrangements, no school supplies, and fancy classroom decorations, it’s all online!
Differentiation is a breeze with Schoology. Students can communicate and submit assignments across a variety of modalities, including, audio, video, and text. Teachers can easily assess student understanding and adjust their lessons to meet the needs of all levels of learners.
Go the Distance
It’s no secret that distance learning was pushed to the forefront due to the recent pandemic. Schoology stayed on top of the ever-changing situation. As schools began to close, they consistently updated their site with tools to ensure distance learning success. Their support center is second to none, their Schoology YouTube Channel provides professional development as well as tutorials to support its users, and they created a Distance Learning Readiness Kit to help educators transition seamlessly.
The Fine Print
The integration of Schoology and Powerschool was a game changer, however,
to integrate the two, the school district needs to upgrade to Schoology Enterprise which is the paid version. That’s the bad news, the good news: even if you don’t upgrade to the “enterprise” version, you can still reap the benefits of Schoology and continue to use it as your online learning platform.
Tips and Tricks with Schoology
Start with Schoology on the first day of school. It can be a bit overwhelming at first but it’s worth the front loading. There will be plenty of glows and grows but, like most beginning of the school year rituals and routines, Schoology will become second nature in no time!