by Jonathan Gonzalez and Tim Levine, Executive Editor
Schoology, an internet-based learning program for grades K-12 where students can communicate with teachers, find the school calendar and, of course, see their grades, was launched this semester to mixed reviews.
A lot of Bosco parents are extremely involved with their son’s academic lives, and most of the Bosco community may be familiar with our school’s old system called Moodle. However, Vice Principal Edgar Salmingo ensured that Schoology was a practical and beneficial shift. Bosco has advanced its technology so their platforms are better equipped for students.
“Schoology is better at syncing with PowerSchool with grades–seeing your class, seeing when your homework is due. And it shows you what you have to do for homework that week,” said Mr. Salmingo.
Students around campus are already noticing the benefits of the change. Junior Ben Hill believes that Schoology will decrease the stress and pressure he previously felt.
“Using Schoology now for personal use just for the students gives us less stress and pressure felt on from out parents since they no longer get notifications of our grades as were the ones who have to be dependable on our grades at our own pace,” said Hill.
Teachers also feel that it is easier to put Powerpoints, Ed puzzles, notes, homework, tests/ quizzes, etc; on Schoology. However, Schoology is also just a learning tool and it will not be able to replace PowerSchool. Mr. Salmingo believes that there is still a place for Powerschool and that it will still be needed going forward.
“PowerSchool is good for information with grades/ GPA or transcript, Schoology is strictly just for learning purposes, schedules, and communication between students and teachers. It’s also great with linking to the students Google accounts,” said Mr. Salmingo.
Some of the students who have been used to the old system of Powerschool and Moodle such as juniors and seniors seem to be finding the transition difficult as it is a completely new system that they are not used to. Senior Andrew Serrano believes that Schoology is more complex, however still finds the transition to be a good idea.
“I dislike Schoology in terms of its complexity and how to use it, but do not hate the idea of switching to a better system,” said Serrano.
Andrew Serrano also thinks that the transition could have been handled better and a formal seminar introducing the platform would have been beneficial.
“We students weren’t given a seminar on how to use Schoology or at least have the teachers explain it to us,” said Serrano.
He also did give some good feedback with Schoology. He likes the fact that we can see “percentages of tests, homework, projects, and classwork.”
While some of the Juniors and Seniors are having difficulty and concerns about Schoology, many freshmen who only know Schoology believe that it is a great platform.
“It is an awesome system with grades, homework, and our school schedules,” said freshman Victor Murillo
Murillo loves all the different functions Schoology serves and appreciates the new calendar system.
“I love that you can also check whether your teacher is coming to class or not on different days and that on the calendar you can see what colleges are coming to our campus to talk to us,” said Murillo.
The new system of Schoology doesn’t yet seem to be a perfect match with all of St. John Bosco but with all of the functions it has to offer and the clean interface, it seems to make the teachers’ jobs much easier.
Mr. Fernando who has been a big face at Bosco, being part of the Dean’s staff and now a full-time English teacher, is also getting adjusted to Schoology and time to get to know what Schoology is all about. He believes that it is the right transition, as it creates an easier and more convenient interface for teachers to work with.
“I don’t think it’s easy to compare PowerSchool and Schoology but I do think Schoology is a lot better than Moodle for its interface and ease of constructing classes for students,” said Mr. Fernando.
Parents of students at St. John Bosco also believe that Schoology can be very beneficial for students as well as for them. Freshman Joshua Gonzalez’s mother Ana Gonzalez likes how informative Schoology is.
“Schoology compared to PowerSchool is a lot more informative on the updates it gives out and also how we can see what’s going on at Bosco and I can see what’s upcoming assignments my son has coming up and anything he has late,” said Mrs. Gonzalez
Mrs.Gonzalez also does not have the Schoology app, as she believes it will give her son more personal responsibility and will not make him feel as stressed.
“I don’t have the app Schoology to be able to give my son the responsibility of being a young adult and having to do his schoolwork without me having to constantly remind him like how I have done with my other son. I can tell it gave my older son a lot more stress and was always worrying about grades,” said Mrs. Gonzales
Mrs. Dolphin, a known figure at St. John Bosco, has some thoughts on Schoology not only as a teacher but as a parent as well, her twin boys class of 2019 Myles and Isaiah dolphin both currently attend Brown University. She believes that Powerschool’s interface is more friendly for checking grades, as a lot of parents are not educated on how to use Schoology.
“As a parent, I liked PowerSchool because checking my sons’ grades was a lot easier than Schoology. A lot of the parents of sophomore class to the senior class don’t know how to use Schoology,” said Mrs. Dolphin.
She also believes that while it can be seen as more complicated, it does help provide students with a more stress-free environment.
“Schoology is a lot more effective. Also, it is a lot more stress-free and indicative then PowerSchool, and it gives students more ownership of their grades,” said Mrs. Dolphin.
Schoology has taken its share of criticism in replacing Moodle. Schoology gives the students less anxiety and allows them to focus on school and not worry so much about their grades being shown to their parents day in and day out.