BSM leaves Powerschool Learning in the past, making the switch to Schoology this year

The recent shift from the Powerschool to Schoology has left the BSM hallways divided. Pohlen, Benilde-St. Margaret’s director of learning and technology responds to the burning question of what the reasoning was to make the change.

Schoology has created issues with drop boxing, schedule planning, and learning on the platform. Some teachers have voiced discontent about the new platform due to it causing scheduling conflicts, and difficulty getting assignments posted along with getting them submitted on time.

After Powerschool bought Schoology in October of 2019, the switch was inevitable. “Two reasons why we switched are, one, Powerschool indicated that they are on a path to stop their support of Powerschool Learning and that we would eventually be required to switch. Two, [there are] improved features in assignments, assessments, and communication,” Pohlen said.

The new platform is an adjustment for not only the teachers but also the student body. “I do like how you can see the Google slides presentations on the class page, but I do not like how you cannot see your assignments as well as you could in Powerschool,” senior Camden Carter said.

Schoology is also difficult for new students to navigate. “I am not a big fan of Schoology because it has made it more difficult to submit and find assignments,” Bella Near, a new member of the Benilde St. Margaret’s community as of the 2020-2021 school year, said.

Big changes in technology are often disruptive at first. Pohlen touches on what he thought the biggest issues are on Schoology. “The biggest issue is getting everyone up to speed on how Schoology works (students, teachers, and technology team). Any time a school makes a change like this, there are bound to be bumps along the way, but I think when everything levels out, we will end up in a really good space,” Pohlen said.

Though optimistic, it is clear that some members of the student body are missing the comfortable, familiar Powerschool, and Pohlen agrees that there are qualities of Powerschool he misses. “The one thing I miss about Powerschool Learning is the way it looks. I liked the website feel of PSL. Schoology has a file folder structure that I think is less engaging. However, Schoology has more features behind the scenes that I think are going to be great as we get better at using them,” Pohlen said.