Four Things I Learned on the Path to the Right Online Learning Platform

digital learning platform

Edmodo, Coursesites, Schoology…which digital learning platform is best for you? I’ve been searching for the right, free fit for me for the last three years. My journey has taken me from Edmodo to Coursesites to Schoology. I learned four valuable lessons about myself along the way that may help you make your own decision.

Keep It Simple – I want students to focus on learning chemistry, not learning how to use a website. My time is limited and too valuable to be spent answering lots of technology questions.

Edmodo is very easy for teachers and students to use. I used it for two years with my students. The only confusion was using the mobile app to access quizzes. Schoology is another simple, intuitive site.

Organization Matters to Me – I like neat, clean, organized folders storing my digital files. My preference is to organize by topic, not date posted.

Edmodo’s feed is similar to a blog. The most recent posts are at the top, and you scroll down to access past posts. You can save assignments into library folders for yourself, but it takes another step. Coursesites and Schoology do not work like a blog. They are websites allowing you to create videos, website links, digital quizzes and more. I prefer this layout.

I Only Want to Do It Once – Planning new lessons with innovative labs and activities is so much fun to me. I get wrapped up in my new ideas and forget to reload or re-release video lessons for my flipped classroom. Let’s admit – they’re pretty important!

Coursesites and Schoology don’t require me to rebuild, reload, or release content. Once I build it, it’s there forever in my course. I just go back and change due dates when necessary. Edmodo required me to go to my library of saved assignments and re-release them. I had to be careful to click in an intentional order so as to be sure the blog fee read in the order I intended.

I Want Students to be Accountable – My flipped classroom doesn’t work if my students aren’t watching the videos. This is a problem for five or six students in each class, and it really bugs me. The flipped model works so well for most of my students so I refuse to abandon it. Data-drive accountability has solved my problem. Some platforms give teachers statistics about student log-ins, access to assignments, and time spent. This truth speaks to students and their parents.

Edmodo, Coursesites, and Schoology all provide some user statistics. Schoology’s “analytics” are my favorite. It also allows me to set up my folders for “student completion” meaning a student can’t open the next link until he/she has completed the current activity.

As for the 15-16 school year, I’ll be using Schoology. I am confident that I have much more to learn, and I’ll keep you posted. Do you have a story to share or question to ask? I would love to hear from you!

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Comments 1

Shannon Bowen's picture
Shannon Bowen | Tue, 10/13/2015 - 10:06

After seeing your presentation at ChemEd in GA, I jumped into Schoology with both feet.  It has been GREAT!  I'm using it for a flipped lesson every two weeks, always have a quality lesson when I have a sub, and for asessments that I can use to get data and create differentiated lessons for class.  Thanks for all the ideas.