How I Use It
Schoology is an all encompassing learning management system (LMS) that allows teachers to expand the walls of the classroom beyond the school day. Students can easily log into their Schoology account and access class materials, watch embedded videos, practice skills, or respond to class discussions. Teachers can organize and create folders and build an entire course throughout the year. The interface has a social media look that can be appealing for students. However, students treat Schoology as a course and not Facebook. Restrictions can easily be enabled to ensure that student's post before they see other responses. The Schoology App works extremely well in a 1:1 iPad classroom. Students can easily add their Google Drive App and submit assignments from Google Drive directly to Schoology. Teachers have an easy toggle feature that allows them to score student work efficiently without opening new tabs for every student assignment. Rubrics can be easily created and directly attached to the assignment. Schoology does platform with Pearson, Powerschool, and many other online sources. Those services provided do cost money. If students are under the age of 13, you will need to sign a document and verify that you are a teacher. Videos and tutorials are easily accessible, and the company is very responsive to questions and suggestions.
Last year I was using another popular LMS but found that my students treated it like Facebook. This school year I switched to Schoology and have found that the interface and the assignment feed are easier to manage and sort through. Students treat Schoology as a course and not another form of social media. They respond appropriately and use it as a resource for their learning. Building on-line quizzes take time, but students respond well to receiving the instant feedback. As an ELA teacher, I find the assignment feature and uploading from Google Drive seamless. I've been able to leave feedback and not feel overwhelmed reading 100 essays submitted in Schoology. The hardest feature of Schoology is learning and discovering all of the bells and whistles it offers. I would recommend using Schoology with a team of teachers or a colleague. It's much easier to bounce ideas off of each other as you tinker with its features. Once you maneuver through the first weeks of Schoology you won't turn back. I left everything I created on my old LMS and have had no regrets. Schoology is ideal if your looking to go paperless as well.