Schoology constitutes waste of resources due to technical issues

Sayan Sonnad-Joshi

As we descend further into the digital age, schools are becoming progressively more complex. It is important to have an online learning system that keeps things simple and does not add to the further complication of schools. This is why the switch to Schoology from Google Classroom has been controversial among both students and teachers.

The switch to Schoology has come with a few positives for the school. One of which is that Schoology has a testing system built into it, and teachers do not have to look to external software. This makes it easier for students, as they can see when tests are and can use familiar software for each one. Another beneficial aspect of Schoology has been its built-in grading system and connection to Infinite Campus. Teachers no longer have to manually transfer each grade into Infinite Campus, as Schoology automatically inputs grades into Infinite Campus. This makes life quite a bit easier for teachers who already have so much on their plates.

Although Schoology may have some positives, it was a wasted investment on Midtown’s part, as Google Classroom is much easier to use and does not have all the technical issues.

Schoology is intended to connect the entire school and put everything a teacher needs in one place. However, this has led to an extremely overcomplicated system that has caused far more problems than it claims to solve. For example, Google Classroom, on the other hand, thrives on a much simpler user interface that has functioned smoothly for many years. Each class is its own, and when a student clicks on that class, they can easily see when assignments are due. 

One of the main reasons that Midtown administration had for Schoology was that it supposedly integrates many learning resources into its platform, including Quizlet, Nearpod, and PowerSchool. While this idea seems good on paper, there have been many technical issues with accessing these resources from Schoology. For example, when teachers try to link a set of flashcards to Schoology through Quizlet, it does not show up and instead displays an error message. This has led to teachers not using this feature and students going to the resources separately as they did before. 

For many students, the biggest problem with Schoology is the assignment list, which shows what assignments are coming up and when they are due. The problem is that when a student submits an assignment on the to-do list, it stays there. When all assignments stay on the to-do list, it becomes cluttered and hard for students to find which assignments are upcoming and still need to be done. This was never a problem on Google Classroom because as soon as an assignment was submitted, it went away and did not cause the same confusion. 

Another reason for the major backlash towards Schoology is that teachers and students were not given enough training on Schoology. This led to everyone around the school being unprepared for the implementation of the software, which created a lot of confusion and technical issues. Because of this, many teachers returned to using Google Classroom for the first few weeks, preferring the trust and familiarity they had with the software. In my AP U.S. History class, when the teacher announced that they would briefly return to Google Classroom, there was a cheer of support, demonstrating how much more students like myself enjoy the software.

From Schoology’s pricing layout, it can be estimated that Midtown paid above 5,000 dollars to implement the software school-wide. Since Schoology replaced a better, more functional system, this was a waste of money on the administration’s part. This money could have been spent on more pressing problems for the school, such as Covid-19. Midtown has already had numerous cases of Covid-19, and student safety appears to be a more pressing issue than implementing inferior software to replace a better one.

Google Classroom is a software that has worked without problems for years, and that both teachers and students are comfortable with. After a year and a half of virtual learning where students’ classes were all in Google Classroom, a sudden switch was sure to cause issues. The uproar will soon die down, and people will get familiar with the software, but one thing remains true: Schoology has been a wasted investment and a failure on Midtown’s part.

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