After many months of careful planning, administration is officially switching from the systems My BackPack and Google Classroom to Schoology as of July 1. Schoology is a new platform that essentially combines the functions of Google Classroom, Planbook and the grade book, where students will be able to submit assignments and view their daily or weekly calendar all in one app.
Now that all teachers have access to the program, they will be trained not only in how to use it, but also how to prepare their curriculum according to the “style guide,” which details specific naming and color coordination practices that teachers will employ.
“All assignments and materials will follow the same naming structure,” Sari Weltmann, the Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction for the Boca Campus explained. “We spent a lot of time creating a style guide that would make it easier for both students and teachers to keep organized and streamline the system.”
Ms. Weltmann and Pamela Holifield, the Executive Director of Innovative Technology at the Broward campus, have been working together to make the rollout process easy and effective. “We have many training sessions planned for teachers and have made a plan for the next few years as the school continues to adjust. By the end of the 2022-2023 school year, we expect all teachers will know the basics, and we hope that in a few years we will be able to use the system to its full potential,” Ms. Holifield said.
Teachers will learn how to operate the system, so that they help their students set up their accounts during the first week of school. They will also begin using the other features that Schoology offers, such as grading assignments in the same place as a student submits, similar to the built-in grading system of Google Classroom. Now, however, teachers can use this feature in Schoology and the grades transfer automatically to the grade book, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer the scores.
“Ever since we had decided to use Schoology, we knew we needed to have a roll-out plan that was easy but also realistic; we will try our best to help our teachers understand the program so that they can begin using it to its full potential, but we also understand that this change might be difficult, so that’s why we are starting early and using the summer as an intensive training period.” Weltmann said.