Refining the System


Schoology Logo

Written by Ajay Nair

The next school year will be a fresh start for students and teachers, as well as for system platforms. Over the summer, the school district will implement a new learning management system (LMS) that will replace eChalk.

Schoology, eChalk’s successor, will create a more versatile experience for both students and teachers. Schoology simplifies the process for assignment submissions and grading.

Schoology Logo

Science teacher Clarissa Caro has been using Schoology for the past three years for her Biology and Anatomy classes. She is excited about the transition and believes it to be a beneficial change.

“I love Schoology! I have been using it for several years in the free version and have found that it suits any need that I might have to give assignments, get updates to students, and have students communicate with me,” Caro said.

According to Caro, the new LMS will not have the drawbacks of the current system.

“I think [Schoology] is more than viable as a replacement for eChalk. eChalk [is] a very basic system that allowed limited communications and submissions for students. eChalk has a dropbox for submissions, but it was one-way,” Caro said. “I had to download each document to my hard drive and if I wanted to communicate anything to the student, I would have to download it, make my marks or comments, attach the document to an email in a separate system and send it back to the student. Too many steps!”

Schoology will be a more comfortable experience than eChalk, she added.

“First, it looks like Facebook, so the intimidation factor for using it goes way down. Students and teachers alike see it as something familiar which makes it more user-friendly. In Schoology, it loads documents into a viewer that even in the free version allowed me to make comments directly on the document as well as draw if I needed to without downloading and sending [it] back. There are several places where I could make comments directly to the student and they to me as well about a particular assignment.”

Business teacher Doris Curry believes that transitioning to Schoology will be beneficial for the environment.

“One of my favorite things is that with Schoology it is easier to modify an assignment, drop an assignment, [et cetera] with no reprinting of materials or waiting for it to be sent and returned from print shop,” Curry stated. “I can save thousands of trees a year and hundreds of dollars by not having to print assignments.”

She went on to explain how she will continue to implement Schoology into her courses and how it will aid her in managing her classes.
“I currently have six of my ten courses on Schoology. My goal is to have all ten courses on Schoology. I am a very organized person and Schoology helps me keep everything organized. There are many more features that we will be investigating that Schoology will offer with the new Enterprise version that the school district has adopted. I am excited about this change and can’t wait to see the new version.”
Schoology provides many advantages compared to eChalk.

“For the teachers and students, Schoology will offer many more conveniences than eChalk offered. For one, videos will be more easy to upload and can carry a larger file size on Schoology than what eChalk offered. Being able to have everything in one place instead of several places will make things so much more convenient for everyone. In the future, when I grade an assignment it will automatically be entered into [the] Extended School Program for teachers and for students [that is their] Home Access.”

Junior Kareem Hlayhel, who is currently taking Anatomy with Caro, has a different perspective about the transition.

“I think [Schoology] is worse than eChalk because I believe the eChalk format of the system is simpler than of Schoology,” Hlayhel said. “[eChalk] has a calendar to notify you of all your due dates, whereas Schoology doesn’t have a calendar. eChalk allows you to view your necessary information all on the homepage.”

Even though Hlayhel has concerns about the transition, he’s willing to adapt to the change.

“I don’t think we need a replacement because I just personally think that eChalk is better,” Hlayhel said. “I’m not really going to like the transition from eChalk to Schoology, but I mean it’s not going to kill me, so I guess it’s fine with me.”