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In EdSurge Case Studies, educators share their real-life experiences with edtech in their schools and classrooms.
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Stephen Rao, @Sterao8
Computer Teacher, Ramtown Elementary School, New Jersey
1:1 devices and Blended learning classroom

We had the issue of receiving students work in a timely manner and integrating our devices for a digital classroom. Schoology was able to solve these issues by providing us with a learning management system.

Product Use: The product is used in multiple capacities including: delivering and receiving work, students working together on discussion boards, gamification units, self-paced learning for students, and enhanced assessments. In addition to the classroom, the teachers use Schoology's network to share resources and connect with educators around the world.

What Worked and What Didn't: Schoology has worked tremendously in our district. It is the complete learning management system that enables us to be an organized and efficient digital district. Students learn a lot from discussion boards and being able to work through a unit at their own pace.

The only thing that has not worked yet for us has been the mastery reporting which we are working on implementing in the near future.

Age Group: Elementary school students

Nov 27, 2017 Provide Feedback
Nicholas, @NamaralEDU
District Staff Development Coordinator, Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District, New Jersey
1:1 devices, College prep classroom, Blended learning classroom, and Special education students

Schoology helps meet the needs of the ever growing 1:1 demand and personalized student learning. We implemented this program when our district officially went 1:1 to help bridge that gap and help teachers manage their now digital classrooms.

Product Use: I used this product in two different ways. The first was in the HS English classroom with CP and Resource level students. I used this program to create a gamified, self-paced, mastery learning blended classroom. Students logged into Schoology daily for all of our classroom needs. This became the dual physical sense of our classroom and where they went during personalized learning time digitally. I now use Schoology to house professional development modules for my new district, where teachers can complete PD anytime, anywhere, at their own pace.

What Worked and What Didn't: My students loved Schoology. They appreciated the fact that everything they needed was in Schoology, kept in order (so they did not lose their work) and flowed well with Google Apps, where they spend the other majority of their time. The enhanced features and fact that Schoology worked well with other programs was a game-changer. There aren't many, if any, other LMS programs out there that offer student completion settings and ways to maximize gamification elements in your classroom. For PD, the built in badge creator was a welcome sight as I use this to replace certificates of completion for my staff when they complete a module.

Age Group: High school students, N/A (I am an administrator), and College students / adult learners

Jun 21, 2017 Provide Feedback
HS English Teacher and Tech-Coordinator, I work outside of the United States
1:1 devices and College prep classroom

Common platform to connect teachers, students, and parents

Product Use: We tried using it as an all-purpose mailer/messager/grader/tracker/quizzer/assigner/blogger/recorder/discusser/attender/grouper/clubber, to replace the several different tools previously used by various teachers and administrators.

What Worked and What Didn't: Schoology is attractive and robust, like Facebook. But it is severely functionally compromised in every aspect of a Student Information System. The underlying database is surprisingly robust, and response time is reasonably quick, and the interface is designed for phones. As with a consumer internet product, updates occur often, changing functionality and appearance with little warning. And did I mention that it is attractive? A consumer with little experience, watching a quick demo, would be impressed by the look and the phone-interface. Older systems are ugly by comparison, and their adaptation to phone-screens is often uglier -- but the older systems are built for results in a real classroom, in a real school, with serious administrative and legal procedures to track and understand. List many standard SIS functions: attendance, enrollment, emailing, messaging, discussiongroups, assignments, quizzes, blogging, audio-recording, video-recording, grading, averaging, homework-tracking, testbanks, resourcebanks, security, collaboration. Schoology checks all those boxes, but with stunted functionality in each case -- both because it is immature, and because of the original design principle of KISS.

I would recommend Schoology only to those who now have nothing; and only to serve as an informal classroom/group organizer -- not for official purposes. They have great marketing, so it is hard for a harried teacher or administrator to resist. And did I mention that it is really attractive?

Age Group: N/A (I am an administrator)

Jul 7, 2016 Provide Feedback
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