Key Facts:

- 11 schools across Denison, TX

- Focused on student safety and learning

- Looking for one central platform for edtech stack

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“Schoology breaks down barriers of time and space”

 

Shonda Cannon

Director of Instruction

Story

Bringing Denison’s Entire District Together with Schoology

“By using the same platform for teaching students and professional development, we have driven adoption well over 90%,” said Shonda.

Students who walk into Denison ISD are not just there to learn the basics. They are part of a program that wants to turn students into independent thinkers who are responsible for themselves. That starts by creating a safe environment that focuses on building a community of learners. “We are very protective of ensuring that the community is safe and focused on the students” - Jennifer Brown, Denison High School Math Department Chair. That is why they decided to choose Schoology to centralize teaching and learning district-wide.

For the past 6 years, Schoology has been used throughout Denison for teaching both students and teachers. All new teachers go through a week-long Schoology training that was completely designed by Denison. Each day, new instructors focus on a different aspect of teaching with Schoology—organizing content, using groups, assessing students, etc.

Recently, they have expanded their use of Schoology as they grow their professional development. Last summer, they started using Schoology for a book club for teachers. Each curriculum director chose a book for their group to focus on. All the books were hosted on Schoology along with the activities they would do throughout the summer. Each week the teachers completed 1 activity which could be discussions, assignments, or any activity. The final exit survey, also on Schoology, was overwhelmingly positive. “Schoology breaks down barriers of time and space,” said Shonda Cannon, Director of Instruction, Denison ISD.

Schoology Groups are used throughout the district not just for teaching students but for the teachers as well. The technology coordinators have their own group. It is the equivalent of open office hours for all teachers in the district. Anyone can pop-in and answer questions. “By using the same platform for teaching students and professional development, we have driven adoption well over 90%,” said Shonda.

With such high adoption, their teachers have found new and innovative ways to use Schoology to engage with students:

1. The Denison math department makes podcasts of all their lessons. Every student can listen to lessons wherever and whenever they want. This allows not only students but also parents to review what is being taught in the classroom.

2. The Denison Alternative High School uses Schoology to allow for remote learning. All lessons are posted as videos within their Courses. The students are able to watch them on their time ensuring that they don’t fall behind but can still handle other responsibilities throughout the day

3. The Woodshop assigns videos from lessons on Youtube directly within Schoology. This makes curriculum scalable without worrying about students seeing things they shouldn’t on Youtube.

4. A librarian created Battle of the Books - a March Madness-style

Students across Denison love using Schoology for their day-to-day learning. They are introduced to Schoology​ in 7th grade and take to it quickly. By 8th grade, they are uploading their own podcasts and videos to send to teachers. Highschools have their own self-paced Test Prep Class (SAT/ACT) with videos and podcasts they can do at their own pace. Schoology’s student progress reports allow instructors to ensure they are hitting deadlines. “The great thing about Schoology is how it saves our instructors time on tasks so they can spend more time with students,” says Shonda. By integrating Schoology directly with their SIS, teachers at Denison don’t have to worry about manually entering grades. Scores get automatically graded in Schoology and then pushed directly into the SIS for state reporting and printing report cards.

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