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Empowering Puyallup - Why Schoology?
Empowering Puyallup - Why Schoology?
Posted on 04/13/2016

This article is third in a series on the Empowering Puyallup initiative which is a technology-focused project featuring the implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS) and the roll out of one-to-one devices for Puyallup students.
Of the two highly regarded vendors, Canvas and Schoology, Schoology was selected unanimously by the lead Empowering Puyallup team. Although Canvas offered a lot of potential for the district, the product was originally designed for colleges and universities whereas Schoology was designed for K-12 school districts. With these designs in mind, the Empowering Puyallup team saw Schoology as the product that could best meet Puyallup School District's needs.
Schoology was approved as the new LMS vendor by the Puyallup School Board at the February 20 School Board meeting.
Schoology was recommended and approved because of the product's abilities to allow for seamless communication, collaboration, to easily store and push out content and curriculum, as well as being cost effective for the vendor's ability to meet the needs of the Puyallup School District.
Empowering Puyallup is all about the learning, and the technology comes second. Technology is a tool that has amazing potential of changing the way things are learned, but Empowering Puyallup is all about the people using those tools. That means students, parents, and staff and the way they can engage and collaborate together.
The ability for Schoology to provide quick and efficient interaction is a key piece of what makes Schoology fit the district's vision of enhancing learning through an LMS.
Staff can give personal feedback on assignments through audio or video feedback instead of the traditional markings with red pen, they can collaborate with other staff in the district to share digital curriculum and learning resources, as well as access professional development.
In the past, if a teacher retired for instance, the way that curriculum was studied would often retire along with the educator. With the new LMS, staff will be able to upload and edit digital curriculum such as worksheets and quizzes that can be easily shared and distributed to their peers and then to students.
Students will have the ability to communicate with one another for group projects or teachers for assignments, look up upcoming due dates or access curriculum digitally. If a student was sick for example, they could still access their assignments online from home instead of waiting to return to class to get caught up.
Parents can access grades as well as upcoming and previous assignments or tests and communicate with the student's instructor about assignments. Parents will not only see what their students grades are, but they will be able to see why the student received that grade on their assignments by being able to see the feedback that was given. All of this information will be located in one place online which will easily allow for the parent to stay engaged in their student's studies.
All of this and more can be done using Schoology's social media-like design with which many are already comfortable or familiar.