Education technology company Schoology has expanded its services among K-12 schools, announcing that a host of large school districts will be using its Learning Management System (LMS).
Schoology will be implemented in Seattle Public Schools (Washington), Boulder Valley School District (Colorado), West Aurora School District (Illinois), Bristol City Schools (Tennessee), Princeton Day School (New Jersey), New Legacy Charter High School (Colorado) and Castilleja School, (California).
Schoology’s LMS is known for its ability to personalize education, improve collaboration among teachers and for keeping the channel of communication between educators and learners open outside of classroom hours.
The LMS connects a district’s or a class’ digital solutions under a single platform, making it easier for educators to share materials, best practices and experiences to improve student’s learning. Schoology boasts 25 million resources and an international network of over 1 million teachers in 200 countries.
At Carrie Downie Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware where Schoology is used, the program enables educators like Corey Katy to create lessons and activities for each student based on their needs and knowledge level.
Students have the resources and the support to practice a new skill, such a math problem based on their understanding of that problem. If a student gets it, advanced activities are provided, but if a student struggles, then that student engages with more basic math activities until they can advance. Katy said that Schoology helps students learn at their own pace:
“This provides a welcoming environment where kids can be at the level where they need to be. There’s no more asking kids to raise their hands if they have a question or stopping class just to give them attention. There’s much less pressure, and it’s much easier for me as a teacher to meet every student where they are.”
Jeremy Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Schoology, says that as technology becomes more prevalent in the classroom, many execution issues are raised:
“[T] teachers and students are faced with an overwhelming number of tools and apps, all of which promise ways to better manage crowded classrooms and improve test scores. Unfortunately, these are often underused or abandoned because they are difficult to learn and master, don’t translate across curriculums, or provide enough visibility into student engagement or performance.”
As Friedman explains, Schoology is different from other LMS offerings by:
“[M]aking it possible for educators to more easily personalize education and improve student outcomes, but in a way that works easily with their current systems and teaching approach.”
In another school, Schoology serves as a Facebook for class aid; the teacher posts assignments to students and photos of the children working on these activities. A student using Schoology in the classroom at Ely Elementary in Elyria said about the program:
“I like Schoology because it’s more interactive than a textbook.”
From a teacher’s perspective, Schoology helps boost participation as even introverted, timid students get to participate in classroom activities:
“If kids raise hands to volunteer, you don’t get 100 percent participation. I get 100 percent participation on that,” Fifth grade teacher Mike O’Brien said when testing the BYOD trend with his class.