Opinion: Switch to Schoology brought unnecessary change


Photo courtesy of Zara Ducker

Sophomore Zara Ducker views her classes dashboard on Schoology.

Zara Ducker, Reporter

As CESJDS started the school year remotely, the school decided to transfer from Google Classroom to a new system called Schoology. The system is very different from the previous service, Google Classroom, and many students believe that the transition has been very confusing and was unnecessary. 

The school decided to switch to Schoology because it connects to and integrates applications already used by students and teachers. The thinking was that this would make it easier for students, parents and teachers. While this may be the case for many people, I personally think this change made the start of the school year harder. 

On Google Classroom, the system used during the 2019-2020 school year, everything students needed to complete an assignment was linked directly to the post. You could easily add any file, from a Google Docs document to a Google spreadsheet or Google slide, which made it easy to attach and submit notes and other resources directly to the assignment. However, on Schoology, you cannot attach extra documents nor can you unsubmit assignments once you have turned them in.

I was much more comfortable with Google Classroom, and I assume many other students were also considering the fact that we started using it at the Lower School. As previously mentioned, it seemed like a very unnecessary move in a particularly stressful and chaotic time. 

I think that this school year, specifically, was the worst time to change programs. We dove right back into school with no experience with Schoology, making the first week extremely difficult and stressful. Brief emails and videos were sent on how to use Schoology, however, students needed a more thorough explanation before starting the school year online. Along with many students, some of the teachers are also having problems adjusting to the new system. 

Like students, the majority of the teachers had become comfortable using Google Classroom and knew how to post assignments and knew where students would submit them. 

As time passes and we become more comfortable with Schoology, we will be able to see more of the positives it has, one of them being clear sections where teachers have specific materials, such as a class Google Drive, a Zoom link or weekly schedules. 

With all the change heading into this new virtual school year, students and teachers can feel extremely overwhelmed and stressed. There was no need to create more change by switching to an entirely new virtual classroom system, even if the intention was to make it easier for our community.