October 4, 2014

Schoology Is Here: Get Over It

By Shayla Sandoval


        School-ogy. Scho-OL-ogy. However you pronounce it, Hong Kong International School is ready to completely make the switch over to Schoology from the MyDragonnet system in the 2015-16 school year. Many students, myself included, were apprehensive when the new system was introduced. Anyone who has been at HKIS for a while has grown up using MyDragonnet. From viewing differently colored homework assignments on the monthly calendar to leaving sticky note messages on each other’s profiles, MyDragonnet was a core part of the HKIS learning experience. Although familiar to the school, regrettably, the bugs outweighed the benefits. Schoology is the school’s solution to fix these problems while still working online.

          With the 2014-15 school year designated as a transition year, some teachers have fully embraced Schoology while others are still using the old system. Though many may grieve the loss of MyDragonnet, Schoology offers many benefits. It is generally more user friendly and encourages communication among students and teachers. Many of my classes have used the discussion board feature to post quick answers to overarching questions, which are available for everyone to see and reflect on. Schoology also allows for many types of files to be submitted in a more efficient manner, and provides easy access for comments on assignments from teachers. Files can be viewed instantaneously, no download necessary. Grades can now be viewed in both Schoology and PowerSchool. Profile settings are easily alterable, just like most social media websites. Many club leaders are now able to send out updates, polls and signups through Schoology, rather than through mass emails.

         Some may be upset about the change, but everyone needs to move on and put more energy into adapting as quickly as possible. Students have been complaining about having to check both sites for assignments and receiving too many notifications. These are the kind of first world problems that make other Hong Kong schools frown upon HKIS. Is it really that hard to open two tabs, or adjust the notification settings? We are extremely privileged as a school to have a website as advanced as Schoology, let alone Apple MacBook computers for every student and teacher in the first place. There are bigger issues to dwell on, and we can’t live in the past forever. After all, if we never made changes, imagine where we’d be today: still working on big, desktop, dinosaur computers, using Internet Explorer.


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