PowerStudio to be replaced
Come next year, many of the students and teachers will be experiencing the third online grading and classroom system in just three years. The BSM technology department is now planning on replacing the current “Studio” with yet another site for next year.
Last spring, after years of troubles with Edline, the faculty decided that it needed to be replaced. “There were a lot of problems with the gradebook [because] it was designed to work on PCs, not macs,” said technology specialist Jessica McMahon.
The final decision was to use Powerschool for this year because it would vastly simplify the gradebooks. “We decided on Powerschool because it was one of the largest and most highly rated [gradebooks], and Studio just came with it,” said technology integration specialist Dan Sylvester.
The technology department is now going through the same process this year as they try to find a replacement for difficult-to-use Studio. “There was no combined calendar, it was difficult to use for both the students and teachers, and it just wasn’t visually appealing,” said Dave Kuntz.
Because of these troubles, Mr. Sylvester has found two new websites, Schoology and Haiku LMS, that teachers are testing for next year. “We would keep Powerschool because the grading system is easy, but then replace studio,” said Sylvester
So far, the teachers testing these programs have been raving about Haiku LMS and how much of an improvement they are to studio. “It is far easier to use than studio, it also has a combined calendar like edline did, and it also allows you to embed widgets and videos directly onto the class page,” said Kuntz.
Schoology offers many of the same features as Haiku, the primary difference is the layout of the system. “Schoology looks more like Facebook and it has a list like the news feed that displays all the things your teachers have posted recently,” said Kari Koishol.
Teachers and technology staff met on April 17 to discuss the options presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each. “We [had] a meeting with the teacher testing these programs to talk about each for next year,” said Sylvester.