Have you ever…? An Introduction to Schoology

Have you ever wanted…
...a means to customize learning for each of your kids?
...a way to engage students using technology?
...a more efficient way to organize your classroom?
...a collaborative learning space for you and your students?

Schoology (skoo-luh-jee) is an online tool that allows teachers to create and manage academic courses for their students.  It simplifies the teaching and learning process by connecting most of the tools you need within one single platform.  Schoology provides an efficient method of managing lessons, engaging students, sharing content, and connecting with other educators while focusing on communication and collaboration.  In addition, it allows schools to communicate more efficiently, both internally and externally.

How did we get here?
For some time we have been hearing teachers ask for tools that could help students in the learning process.  We listened, and during SY2015-2016 a team of teachers, administrators, and district staff was assembled to pilot the top 2 learning management systems.  The team focused on finding a system that would address 4 primary areas of the learning environment;
  • Customized Learning Space
  • Student engagement
  • Efficiency (for students & teachers)
  • Collaborative learning space...
    • ...between students
    • ...between students & teachers
    • ...between teachers
The goal of the pilot was to determine which product, if any, was able to effectively address these 4 areas and help to move forward the mission and vision of the district as outlined in the ECS Strategic Plan.

We believe that Schoology not only addressed multiple parts of the strategic plan and the 4 areas of need, but did so with an efficiency that would allow anyone to jump on board at their level.  In addition, we heard very positive responses from students using Schoology during the pilot.

With the recommendation of the LMS Pilot Committee, the ECS Curriculum and IT teams have chosen to move forward with Schoology (skoo-luh-jee) as the LMS for Eagle County Schools.

What does this mean for you?
At the district level we are not requiring anyone to use Schoology.  However, Schoology will have the full support and backing of district teams.  We will provide training, collaborations, resources, curriculum, etc through the Schoology LMS.  If you would like to use an LMS in your school or classroom, we highly recommend that you choose Schoology.

How is Schoology being implemented?
Schoology will be available to all students K-12, as well as all faculty and staff, starting in SY 2016-2017.  You can visit login.eagleschools.net to access Schoology today.  Regular trainings will be provided through the ECS Education Technology team.  Details can be found at http://www.eagleschools.net/technology, just click EdTech Training.

Can you tell me more about Schoology?
I’m glad you asked.  Check out these Introduction to Schoology videos;
We also created this quick chart to help show some of the features of Schoology and how Schoology connects with two other key district tools.

What will I find within Schoology?
COURSES:  Using a nightly synchronization with PowerSchool, all of your PowerSchool classes and students will automatically be in Schoology with updated rosters.  Teachers may also enter grades directly into Schoology and sync those grades into their PowerTeacher gradebook.

GROUPS:  An area to find resources and collaborate with other teachers.  Here is a short list of groups that we have created at the district level to help get us started.  In addition, some schools have created staff groups. Please consult your school leadership to see if your school is one of them.  
  • ECS Curriculum PreK-5
  • ECS Curriculum Secondary - English Language Arts (ELA)
  • ECS Curriculum Secondary - Math
  • ECS Curriculum Secondary - Science
  • ECS Curriculum Secondary - Social Studies
  • ECS Curriculum Secondary - Technical Subjects
  • ECS Dual Language Teachers
  • ECS EdTech
  • ECS Schoology Idea Group
  • ECS Seal of Biliteracy & Bilingual Pathway
  • ECS Teachers of ELLs
  • ECS Teachers of the G&T
* To see your groups click on "Groups" from the top menu within Schoology.  To find a group, choose "See All" from the Groups list.

CURRICULUM:  Each of the curriculum groups will include discussions and resources.  Within the resources you will find your Curriculum Frameworks (previously units of study available through Ed Central) sorted by grade and/or subject.  Initially, teachers will be added to their curricular groups based on the courses they teach.  However, if you would like to join another group, you may find the group in Schoology and use the ‘request to join’ button or submit a help.me ticket and we will add you to the group.

What if I want to get started with Schoology now?
We recommend that you go to login.eagleschools.net, click on Schoology and play around.  You can join one of these courses or groups to help become familiar with Schoology. (click on course or group at the top, then click JOIN) Or check out this Beginner’s Guide to Using Schoology.

Schoology will be available to all students K-12, as well as all faculty and staff, starting in SY 2016-2017 with the full support and backing of district teams.  The EdTech Team will provide ongoing training, collaborations, resources, curriculum, etc through Schoology.  You can visit login.eagleschools.net to access Schoology today.  If you have any questions please contact an EdTech Team member.

Brian Brugger
Education Technology Manager
Twitter: @brugger | @ECSEdTech
o: 970-328-1933

Will Harris
Education Technology Specialist
Twitter: @WillHarrisECS | @ECSEdTech
o: 970-328-8918