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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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Schoology sparks students and staff discussion

With the new semester started, Schoology is now our school’s learning management system.

As any first day of a new semester goes, excitement, tiredness, and boredom filled the school in January. We learn our teachers’ and classmates’ names and interests. We learn classroom rules and maybe play awkward introduction games.

This time around, we also had to learn a whole new learning system.

Schoology launched for all students at the start of the spring semester. Some teachers in a pilot group used Schoology in the fall semester, but now all teachers

With Schoology, after logging in, you are greeted with a customizable dashboard displaying relevant updates, announcements, and course information. The next thing you will see are the courses. Courses serve as the primary organizational unit within Schoology. Teachers can create courses, add students, and manage course materials.

On the top bar, you will find the Calendar. The calendar feature displays upcoming assignments, events, and deadlines. Teachers can create course materials, including assignments, quizzes, discussions, and multimedia content. They can organize course content into folders and modules for easy navigation.

Assignments can be graded within Schoology, and feedback can be provided to students. Schoology offers various communication tools, including announcements, messages, and discussions.

Another feature is that Schoology integrates with third-party tools and platforms, including Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, Kami, and Turnitin.

High school students previously used Google Classroom before the midyear Schoology launch. According to the district’s Tech Resource Center website, Schoology should provide more interaction with teachers, students and their families.

According to the WSSD Educational Affairs Committee meeting on January 17, all teachers need to be prepared by the start of the fourth quarter to fully utilize Schoology. Google Classroom will no longer be available to students as of July 1, but teachers will be able to resource their materials created in Classroom through July 1, 2025.

Despite Schoology’s features, students have expressed problems with adapting to the new learning management system.

“The navigation is way different, and it’s kind of harder to understand. My teachers don’t get it, I kind of don’t get it. My classmates don’t get it, even worse,” freshman Brendan Godo said.

Some students have noted that the new platform feels less efficient.

“I don’t like how confusing it is, and it also just seems like it is a really old website,” junior Snehal Pandey said.

Pandey said that the interface even encourages her to put off homework because it is not Google Classroom.

“I dislike it, honestly, it’s kind of more confusing,” freshman Zach Chandler said.

Some teachers like English Teacher Ms. Reagan Lattari are also struggling to adapt to the changes. Along with the rest of the ninth grade English teachers, Lattari is using Google Classroom for her year-long freshman classes. She has transitioned to Schoology for her second semester Creative Writing Class.

“I haven’t really found anything that I’ve been like, ‘Wow!’, or that it is so much better than Google Classroom. It’s brand new to us, and the timing of the rollout was kind of stressful with the switching of the semesters,”  Lattari said. “I can only imagine how semester-based teachers felt.”

Godo notes the switch felt inconvenient and poorly timed.

“It’s just such a sudden change and in the middle of the school year, too,” Godo said. “They couldn’t have just introduced it at the beginning or the end of the school year. Just straight up in the middle kind of makes everything a little bit more difficult.”

The reason for this change is that Google Classroom is not a true learning management system. According to the WSSD Educational Affairs Meeting presentation on February 1, 2023, a learning management system simplifies teaching and learning by organizing content in a central location, enabling teachers, administrators, students, and families to have access to up-to-date information.

According to Lattari, this benefits the parents and administrators, because parents can more easily access grades and assignments as compared to Google Classroom. WSSD has posted parent and student instructional

 that demonstrate the platform’s features.

“I think for teachers and students, we aren’t going to see any of the benefits that Google Classroom didn’t already serve,” Lattari said.

It is clear that Schoology has been an adjustment. Students expressed that it would be a matter of time before they will get used to it.

“I think I’ll get used to it, but I don’t like it right now,” Pandey said.

Lattari agrees, and is focused on learning to make the best of the platform.

“I think it will be a matter of time,” she said. “Luckily, on YouTube, there are so many videos of teachers who’ve been using it.”

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About the Contributor
Advaya Singh '27
Advaya Singh '27, Contributor
Advaya Singh is a student Class of 2027 at Strath Haven. He enjoys sports, science, and a hot take. If he's not writing stories for the Panther Press then you may find him at home with his mom and brother.
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