Goodbye, Schoolloop

A majority of the public schools in the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD), along with 4,000 other schools in the nation, use the website Schoolloop on a day-to-day basis to keep track of student’s grades, attendance and assignments. However, due to new developing programs, for the 2018 to 2019 school year, SMUHSD has planned for all schools in the district to adopt a new program called Canvas, which will replace Schoolloop as the school’s Learning Management System.

California local colleges, state and UC schools have already adopted Canvas in place of Schoolloop. Dominic Bigue, District Instructional Technology Coordinator for the SMUHSD curriculum assessment office, says, “the exploration for a new LMS came from conversations … regarding our needs for a common curriculum and assessment resource that supported 21st century skills and learning.” Unlike Schoolloop, Canvas integrates with other day-to-day school used apps, content, and services such as Turnitin, Google apps for education, Quizlet and Khan Academy.

Canvas seeks to increase students’ interactions with their teachers. Assistant principal Ron Berggren says, “A lot of colleges and universities use Canvas, they feel it is a more interactive way for students to work with their professors.”

For the next school year, 2017 to 2018, Berggren says, “[The district] wants to use next year as a real pilot year with a core group of teachers at each site to be able to put everything onto Canvas, all their class presentations, all their work. Students would then interact with Canvas with the teachers.”

Plans for implementing the program are still unclear. Berggren explains, “my concern is whether [the district is] are going to continue Schoolloop for another year until they implement the Canvas or are we going to have to go to some type of other third platform for grading for the school year of 2017/2018 school year. We don’t know and that hasn’t been clarified yet.”

Math and Avid teacher, Don Bush discusses how Schoolloop is no longer used for the reasons the program was first created, Bush says, “it has turned into is a crux because parents look at it every day, every hour and they are nagging students. Students don’t have an opportunity to kind of do for themselves because they have their parents looking at it every day.” Bush sees Schoolloop as a “tool of stress” for students rather than students using Schoolloop as a tool to keeping up with assignments, Bush adds, “It has turned into a secondary deadline, so posting it on Schoolloop doesn’t really mean a whole lot, but if I put a zero next to a student’s grades that’s when they will go do the work.”

Bush recalls what teachers used to keep track of student’s grades before Schoolloop, he says, “it was a spreadsheet where we could keep our grades, it was not public.” Bush mentions the advantage that students have at hand to be able to check their grades, but he comes back to his main opinion on this “tool of stress” for students as he says, “I think if my students spent time doing the work and doing the practice instead of just checking Schoolloop and figuring out what they need to do to raise their grade. I think they would be better off.”

Student counselor, Thalia Luna does not have any opposition to the new Canvas program as she says, “as long as it keeps the schedule, grades, and calendar the transition should not be difficult.”

Sophomore Miranda Chai comments on the Schoolloop app saying, “I really like that the Schoolloop app on the phone, sends you a notification about your homework and when your teacher has updated your grades.” Chai mentions the accessibility that Schoolloop offers saying, “Schoolloop is an easy way to check your homework because all your homework is all under one website.”

With the replacement of Schoolloop with Canvas, the San Mateo district hopes to settle the criticism Schoolloop and maintain its advantages. going to continue Schoolloop for another year until they implement Canvas or if we are going to have to go to some type of other third platform for grading for the 2017/2018 school year. We don’t know and that hasn’t been clarified yet.”

Math teacher Don Bush discusses how Schoolloop is no longer used for the reasons the program was first created. Bush says, “it has turned into a crux because parents look at it every day, every hour and they are nagging students. Students don’t have an opportunity to kind of do for themselves because they have their parents looking at it every day.”

Bush sees Schoolloop as a “tool of stress” for students rather than students using Schoolloop as a tool to keeping up with assignments.Bush adds, “It has turned into a secondary deadline, so posting it on Schoolloop doesn’t really mean a whole lot, but if I put a zero next to a student’s grades, that’s when they will go do the work.”

Bush recalls what teachers used to keep track of student’s grades before Schoolloop, he says, “it was a spreadsheet where we could keep our grades, it was not public.” Bush mentions the advantage that students have at hand to be able to check their grades, but he comes back to his main opinion on this “tool of stress” for students as he says, “I think if my students spent time doing the work and doing the practice instead of just checking Schoolloop and figuring out what they need to do to raise their grade, I think they would be better off.”

Student counselor Thalia Luna doesn’t think the change to a new program will be hard. She says, “as long as it keeps the schedule, grades, and calendar, the transition should not be difficult.”

Sophomore Miranda Chai hopes Canvas will preserve Schoolloop’s benefits. She says, “I really like that the Schoolloop app on the phone sends you a notification about your homework and when your teacher has updated your grades.” Chai also likes the accessibilty Schoolloop offers. “Schoolloop is an easy way to check your homework because all your homework is all under one website.”

With the replacement of Schoolloop with Canvas, the San Mateo district hopes to settle criticisms of Schoolloop while maintaining its advantages.

Posted by Mikayla Kaliski

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