NCCS

North Canton City Schools (Ohio)
  • 4,500 students
  • 600 staff
  • 7 schools
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Tapping into Schoology’s API to Integrate a K-12 District’s Public-Facing Website

Forward-looking district extends Schoology as a content management system for its public-facing website.

The Challenge

While North Canton was moving to a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, they were also searching for a new learning management system (LMS). District officials wanted a K-12 LMS that featured a gradebook, digital document management, and collaboration and communication tools.

Simultaneously, the district made the decision to revamp its primary website. With individual websites for each school, the district felt that there were too many repositories of information that did not do a good job of telling the district’s story. Director of Communications and Special Projects Jamie Smart recalls that time as a “perfect storm” of converging needs.

Schoology was selected as the new LMS because it met the district’s essential requirements. Then Kim Nidy, Director of Instruction for the district, discovered that Schoology could provide password-protected information to feed its public-facing website.

The district hired Innis Maggiore (innismaggiore.com), an advertising and web development agency, to help with branding and web design—and to use Schoology’s API (application programming interface) to enable the revamped district website to take advantage of some of the content already stored in Schoology.

Connecting Schoology’s API

The API allows two systems to talk and pass information between them.

Using secure credentials to “open” the connection, the agency web developers wrote code incorporating the API so that much of the content within Schoology could be pulled through and displayed on the public-facing website at NorthCantonSchools.org.

According to Mark Vandegrift from Innis Maggiore, “The beauty of using the Schoology API is that the district manages what content is shared on the public website. Once it’s set up, the selected content continues to automatically populate the website whenever new updates are entered into Schoology.” Vandegrift also appreciated the ease of working with Schoology developers.

The Result

By using Schoology’s API to create the link between Schoology and the public-facing website, the district simplified the management of content on the site. Now, each school building is only responsible for updating one Schoology page instead of an entire website. The API automatically populates the public-facing website with information from each building’s Schoology page, eliminating duplication of effort and the need for individual school website maintenance.

The use of Schoology to disseminate information has resulted in a more customizable and personalized flow of information to parents. Much of that information is also accessible to the community at large via the public-facing website.

In addition, the district website now has a more consistent look and feel. Each page of the website has a branded design that combines a mix of static content, such as banners, headlines, and copy from the website’s content management system, along with dynamic content that is pulled from Schoology, such as announcements, resources and photos.

Jamie Smart is pleased with the results of the integration. She said that teachers have increased their use of Schoology throughout the year creating their bios with photos, which flow to the district website. “Including teacher information on the public-facing website makes the site more personable.” she said.

“While we’re excited with the current results, we believe the potential of the integration will be even greater once our district has maximized its use of Schoology.”

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