I really like that Schoology is a robust app on mobile platforms in addition to being a website. No matter what the platform, the tool can be accessed by students, parents and teachers alike. I love that the same tool can be used effectively from K-12. The media album feature is extremely useful not just to upload photos and videos but also to upload student creations on mobile devices quickly and efficiently. Media can then be used for several language based activities. The discussion feature is extremely useful for realtime, delayed and blended learning discussions. It enables every student to participate, no matter what the language ability or shyness factor is. Finally, I really like that digital etiquette and cybersafety, so critical to today's world, can be effectively taught to students from first grade up using a secure, reliable and useful tool with practical uses. The support, enthusiasm and willingness of the Schoology team to implement enhancements and reliable solutions, while thinking ahead is a bonus.
Look at your needs and the big picture. See your age group, platforms being used, mobile availability. There will probably be some hiccups as you get started but don't let that deter you. Use your creativity to expand the uses of the product.
The business problem being solved is to have a common platform for grades K-12, enabling an integrated environment for students, parents and teachers alike, to post assignments online, enable connectedness, collaboration, empathy while continuing to learn and grow.
The benefits are as follows:
- Students absent from school can feel a part of the class, do not really "miss" their work
- Students collaborate and help each other, thereby developing empathy as well as appreciating each other's varied skills
- The teacher is not the bottleneck. The teacher is the guide.
- Digital etiquette. The students really absorb what's right and not, what's respectable behavior online (not really different from in-person).
- The teachers have a wider platform to collaborate across grade levels, across sites and all the way from Pre-K through Grade 12.
- The administrators have a secure medium to put up information
- Media can be stored in a secure medium without worrying about various other online sites and publishing student photos.