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Schoology

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Sep 1, 2012
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Company: Schoology, 115 W. 30th St., Suite 602, New York, NY 10001, (800) 393-7550, https://www.schoology.com/home.php

Price: Schoology is free. Schools, districts, and organizations can purchase premium, enterprise-level features to enhance and customize the program. Contact the company for quotes for specific situations.

Audience: Schoology is for K–12 and older levels but is most useful for older students, including secondary and post high school ages. It could also be useful with younger students with enough computer expertise and use.

Format: Schoology is a hosted, subscription, cloud-based service that allows infinite scaling. Advanced access controls help institutions rapidly implement and constantly incorporate technologies, tools, and features without interruption as they become available.

System Requirements: Since Schoology is deployed as a cloud-based system, it requires no software or specific hardware to support new institutional implementations. It is compatible with Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 7+, Safari 3.1+, or Google Chrome and will work best with JavaScript enabled, Flash 9+, and with cookies enabled. As with most programs that rely heavily on internet use, newer, faster computers are better for access, but it will work with many configurations.

Description: Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) like Blackboard or Moodle, but it has more features. It offers a way to manage lessons, engage students, share content, and connect with other educators. It is an easy-to-use, easy-to-implement online learning, classroom management, and social networking platform that improves learning through better communication and collaboration and increased access to curriculum and supplemental content.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A-

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Nothing is required except arranging the subscription with Schoology. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: As an LMS, Schoology is basically a way to set up an online environment for student learning with as many, or as few, extras as desired. In some senses, it offers virtual education without walls.

With Schoology, educators can do things as simple as posting assignments, quizzes, and links to additional resources or as sophisticated as conducting online courses, providing one-on-one remediation, or hosting discussions. Schoology also connects students and parents to educators and learning resources anytime, anywhere in a safe, secure online environment.

Lessons, homework, and activities can be set up and managed from a variety of content types such as embedded rich text and media and from importing existing content. Content can be structured, organized, and released automatically. Teachers can quickly post updates, provide real-time access to academic material, engage students, and foster conversations.

To those ends, creating, organizing, and finding content is relatively easy. Google Docs can be linked, material can be shared with other educators, and public content can be searched, browsed, and integrated. Tests and quizzes can be created and managed with a variety of question types. They can be randomized and scored, and grades can be entered with students getting direct feedback and use analyzed.

Teachers can set up their own classes with Schoology, or multiple teachers can take advantage of free features. Schoology is best with students who are computer-literate and have had some experience working on the internet. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Some aspects of Schoology are complicated to set up, and all users will need some help getting started. However, lots of help is available and use is fairly intuitive; given the complexity, this is easy to use. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Part of the support is available to subscribers only via a coupon system. Other than that, support looks good with internet sections, including blogs, for teachers, administrators, students, and parents. Product Support Rating: A-

Recommendation: Eventually, when all students have enough computer literacy and access, Schoology is the direction education and technology will take. Schoology is an excellent product with lots of smart features, and I recommend it to all. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (charliegd@sbcglobal.net) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 12 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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