Monday, March 9, 2015

Schoology Selected as BVSD Learning Management System

The Board of Education recently approved the purchase of Schoology as the district’s Learning Management System (LMS). Schoology was awarded the contract after a vetting process to determine the best fit for BVSD.


Schoology_logo_black.png


Schoology is a cloud-based learning management system that makes it easier to create and share academic content. It combines several functions, including:
  • personalizing instruction
  • delivering instructional content
  • sharing curriculum and resources
  • assessing learning goals and standards
  • collecting data to inform instruction


Eventually Schoology will be integrated with Infinite Campus to create an even more seamless environment, but at this point we are still determining a feasible timeline for connecting these two complex systems.  


Diana Gamboa, Director of Online Learning, is the business/education owner of Schoology; her team will lead the rollout and implementation of the new system, which will include training to support teachers. The projected go-live date is August 1, 2015. The Office of Online Learning will be releasing more information soon about the implementation timeline and training offerings.


Of course, the real question on everyone’s mind is, “How do I pronounce Schoology? Is it three syllables or four?” The official word from the company is that it’s pronounced Skool'uhjee. Mystery solved!


Please chime in with your thoughts about Schoology below. Don't forget to login.

Andrew

17 comments:

  1. Will the existing learning management system material be migrated?

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    1. Also, one of the major limitations of most Ed software platforms is that they almost never take specialists into consideration. Is there functionality for a special Ed teacher to see rosters/assignments/grades/etc that are part of a GenEd teacher's class? This is a major limitation to the district's inclusion initiatives in terms of communication and collaboration.

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    2. I've asked Diana to chime into this question.

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    3. Hello David - Two great questions. If you have been using Schoology within this school year, your content is available; if you have/had a free Schoology account, it will be moved into the BVSD domain and your content will be moved as well. If you are using an LMS other than Schoology, we will move content as permitted by the other company.

      Features in Schoology allow Specialists to provide support to students on their case load regardless of the location or teacher. They are able to monitor the student's work, communicate and collaborate with the teacher, and monitor the assignment lists and grades. Other features allow Specialists to support parent groups, to host groups of students for discussions, and for those who co-teach they are able to access the same functions as the classroom teacher.

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  2. How will Schoology work with Google Apps? I found one brief mention of Google Drive in my quick read on the Schoology webpage. The Google tools have been a powerful addition to my classroom--hoping this will help me to harness that power more efficiently?

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    1. This is Sarah Zerwin at Fairview, by the way. Thanks.

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    2. Hi Sarah, There is no direct integration, however you can use Google links in the Schoology environment to allow for teachers to provide assignments and students to turn in assignments using in Google.

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    3. Hi Sarah - Actually your Google Drive resources are available directly within Schoology, just click on Resources in your top menu bar, then choose the Apps option. I posted detailed instructions on setting this up for the first time on the BVSD Schoology Updates page (https://www.schoology.com/school/16590887 scroll down a couple of posts), but please feel free to contact me directly with questions about this or anything else Schoology related (enrique.gonzales-moo@bvsd.org).

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    4. Great! Thanks for the info.

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  3. Will teachers still be able to use current LMS systems such as Edmodo, Google Classroom to manage classes and work(I know a few teachers that currently use these systems) or will there be a requirement to use Schoology? In my opinion, students should gain experience in a variety of interfaces as they will be using a number of different systems in the "real world" outside of school.

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    1. There are no immediate plans to turn off other free LMS systems. However, we encourage all BVSD teachers to adopt Schoology to make it easier on students and parents. Having to go to multiple systems for multiple family members can cause confusion in a home. As students move from grade to grade and eventually to a new school, having a standard system will help there as well. Also the student data privacy laws are changing and security with passwords and data will be reevaluated for free systems.

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  4. Will Teacher Librarians have access to classes in Schoology? I currently send assignments to classroom teachers who then assign directly to students using Google Classroom and Edmodo. If so it will be great for collaboration. I did try logging on without success.

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  5. Sarah,

    Schoology will be accessible for all staff and students using their BVSD log in for next year. I'll defer the second question to Diana Gamboa who should be chiming in soon.

    Andrew

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  6. A Teacher-Librarian may be set up to collaborate with a teacher in a variety of ways, the level of collaboration would determine the extent of the access to a course. For example, some T-Ls might need to provide the assignment to a group of students each having a different teacher, others may be collaborating consistently with a specific class/course, so features would be adjusted to the needs of the teacher and teacher-librarian. Schoology is a great tool for collaboration - teacher:student, teacher:teacher, school:parents, etc.
    If you did not already have a Schoology account on the BVSD domain, you would not have been able to log on. We will be adding all district students, instructional staff, and eventually all other staff.

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  7. Is BVSD ending their contract with MediaCAST? Does Schoology have video resources. I know my colleagues and I often use MediaCAST to find short videos to support our units of study across all subject areas. I hope the district will continue to provide these important resources.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding MediaCAST in BVSD. Through extensive discussion and feedback from BVSD Teachers, Tech Contacts, Teacher Librarians, and leadership as well as analysis of the current state of access to MediaCAST in BVSD, it has been decided to no longer purchase MediaCAST. The next blog will have a detailed plan for MediaCAST and the steps that we are taking to make this transition as smooth as possible.

      Schoology does not have a bank of videos to share but allows you to share video resources from iTunes U, YouTube, TedX, NationalGeographic and many others.

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