Schoology's 2015 Review: A Look Back at a Great Year
Can you believe it's 2016? I know it is, but it still takes me a moment to register. It seems like just yesterday we posted our 2014: A Schoology Odyssey, our last annual retrospective.
At the same time, so much has happened over the last year regarding our company, our community, and our platform. There is no doubt that 2015 was a flagship year for Schoology, and this train just keeps moving forward, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
We hit some big milestones last year. Here are our top three.
Record Community Growth
The Schoology Community just keeps getting bigger. Together, we're now over 12 million strong, including over 60,000 institutions and 1,000 customers worldwide.
This would not have been possible without such an active and supportive community, so thank you all.
Raised $32 Million in Capital
We are thrilled to be working with JMI equity, along with our other previous investors, to expand Schoology even further. With their help, personalized learning for every student can be a reality.
Strategic New Hires
We expanded our leadership team this year, adding Norman Weissberg as Chief Revenue Officer, Melton Littlepage as Chief Marketing Officer, and Michael Brinkman as Chief Technology Officer. We are proud to have such passionate individuals on board to help us advance what's possible in education.
Huge New Product Updates
Our Product and Engineering Team is constantly working to make our platform the best it can be. Here are five of the biggest feature updates of 2015.
- Save, Share, and Reuse Rubrics
Just like it sounds, we made it possible to get the most out of one of your favorite Schoology features.
- Notifications for Overdue Submissions
Students get notifications if they forget to submit an assignment. This was the most highly requested feature at the time.
- Digital Portfolios Enterprise Only
In 2015, we launched our portfolios feature to let you and your students tell your stories through your accomplishments.
- Android Annotations
We gave you the ability to annotate and grade student work quickly using your Android mobile devices.
- Course Section Linking Enterprise Only
This feature enables you to manage multiple course sections in a fraction of the time.
Conferences and Events
Last year, we traveled to more than 100 major edtech events including FETC, TCEA, EDUCAUSE, and ISTE. We also broke new ground, for us, by attending two of the world's largest events, Bett London and Bett Latin America. That's a ton of planning, shipping, and tiny bags of airline peanuts.
But the 2015 event we're most excited to share is our very own NEXT user conference.
Hosted on Chicago, IL's beautiful Riverwalk, NEXT 2015 was three awesome days of collaboration among 700 attendees from around the world. We enjoyed over 40 breakout sessions, led almost entirely by the Schoology Community. Needless to say, the ideas being shared were empowering.
Check out schoologynext.com to for the dates and location of NEXT 2016!
Standout Community Members
The Schoology Community is one of the most powerful forces in education. Those of you in it know what I'm talking about. Well, it's our pleasure to recognize a few standout members that have simply gone above and beyond the call of duty.
2015 Ambassadors of the Year
Our Ambassadors of the Year for 2015 are Nicole Carter and Kellie Ady. They represent the crème de la crème of an all-star group of community members, the Schoology Ambassadors. Nicole and Kellie were awarded for their undying enthusiasm and unrivaled amount of contributions to the greater Schoology Community.
2015 Educators of the Year
Our Educators of the Year for 2015 are Tara Amsterdam, Bob Schuetz, and Stacy King! These educators were recognized for transforming their classrooms and, more importantly, the lives of their students through passion, ingenuity, and a healthy serving of technology.
Congrats, everyone! Learn all about our 2015 award winners in this blog post.
Awards and Recognition for Our Platform
We're honored that we also won a few exciting awards last year. In 2015, we were named Best K-12 Course or Learning Management System and the Best Overall PK-12 Solution by the SIIA CODiE Awards. Schoology was a finalist in the category for Best Postsecondary Learning Management System.
Last year, our platform also received the Editor's Choice Rating from PCMag. This extensive evaluation pitted us against other top products on the market, and gave us 4.5 stars out of 5.
Our Most Popular Blogs
The Schoology Blog keeps churning out great content because we have such a brilliant community willing to share their best practices and stories of triumph. Thank you for that. As the editor of the Schoology Blog, I am honored to have this opportunity to work with you.
Here are five of our most popular blog posts of 2015:
- Why Designing Better Learning Spaces is Essential to Success
A quick dive into how learning spaces affect students and four ways to enhance your digital learning environments.
- The Art of Reaching 100% Student Engagement
Beth Box tells her story of building her gamified, self-paced, mastery learning course and the incredible success she's had with it.
- 3 Smart Ways to Use Schoology and Google Drive in a Perfect Mashup
Shauna Polson shares three creative ways to get the most out of combining Google Drive and Schoology together.
- How Organization Helps Both Students and Instructors Win
MJ Linane takes readers on a journey of growth and lessons learned as he figured out the best way to organize his digital courses.
- The Art of Schoology: A Newfound Love for Teaching
Janet Tombre tells her story of how technology helped renew her passion for teaching.
Looking Towards 2016
There's so much that we are excited about for 2016. We have some great new product updates coming, including common assessments and offiline mobile access. We're also planning one heck of a user conference this summer.
But the most exciting things to look forward to this year are what our community will do with our platform. As we grow together, there's just no limit to what we can accomplish.
Happy 2016, everyone!