Leveraging EdTech for Personalized Learning, San Juan USD Implements Schoology Districtwide
Grassroots Growth in District Drives Implementation
SACRAMENTO, California — October 30, 2014 — In San Juan Unified School District, over 22,000 teachers, parents and students have been using the Schoology learning management system for everything from online book studies to web-enabled collaborative learning. With so many district users and educational applications already in place, San Juan USD made the decision to invest in the enterprise version of Schoology—which provides additional analytics, integration with the district’s student information system, and administrative features—to deploy throughout the district.
Schoology is a learning management system that enhances schools’ ability to power collaboration, communication and resource sharing. Educators can build media-rich learning communities within Schoology where students share, collaborate and learn together in class and beyond the classroom walls—even from a smartphone. San Juan USD has a clear vision for deploying Schoology districtwide, including the work teachers have already started, creating and curating Common Core–aligned curriculum to be stored and easily accessed right from within Schoology. They are also using Schoology as a repository for digital learning resources (also called OER, or Open Education Resources like Khan Academy and CK-12.org) that will be aligned and tagged for districtwide use.
“Quite a few San Juan teachers have already found Schoology to be an easy-to-use yet powerful teaching tool, so we will build on those experiences as we deploy Schoology throughout the district,” said Carl Fahle, senior director of technology for SJUSD. “Schoology’s features fit well with San Juan’s goal in helping students acquire 21st century skills, such as effective communication in any medium, collaboration, critical thinking, and the appropriate application of technology.”
“Schoology doesn’t just benefit students. It allows us to provide online and blended PD for teachers while giving them a private community to build their professional skills. It also allows for many creative applications of learning, like building personal learning communities for students,” said Kalei Eskridge, a teacher on special assignment who has used Schoology for professional development. “Our teachers see Schoology’s potential for a variety of situations, like self-paced instruction, face-to-face teaching, blended learning, and 1:1 instruction using devices like iPads, Chromebooks or almost any other computing device.”
There are numerous examples of educators in San Juan using Schoology for everything from enrichment to teaching students how to code. Leslie Wriston, a teacher on special assignment, ran an online book study for GATE (gifted and talented education) students located at various sites without a GATE program at their own schools. Location didn’t hinder these students who communicated with their teacher and their peers using Schoology. In another application during the summer, a group of students took a coding class that used Schoology as a “Digital Hub” for all their lessons and resources.
District staff members have developed a formal training and deployment plan in conjunction with the district’s Strategic Plan, which is currently under revision. “Schoology is a terrific resource for achieving many of the objectives outlined in the district’s Strategic Plan, which recognizes that students learn in different ways and at varied paces. This is one of many tools we’ve put in place to meet our students’ needs and help them achieve remarkable results,” added Mr. Fahle.
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