Director of Innovation Toni Dunstan has been selected as a world ambassador for Schoology – a unique online learning platform that connects students, staff and parents.
She was one of 25 educators from across the globe, and the only ambassador from the Southern Hemisphere, to be selected.
“It is awesome recognition for the school and our community,” Ms Dunstan says.
“Woodford House is committed to developing the best learning environment for our students and choosing Schoology as the learning management system is the right fit for our girls.”
The Schoology platform, which has 12 million users worldwide, uses a social media concept where people create their own Schoology account and post to a rolling newsfeed, similar to Facebook. Users can like comments publicly, send personal messages to staff, join groups that interest them, access course materials and create and collaborate with their classmates in courses.
It also integrates with a range of other apps such as Turnitin, a popular anti-plagiarism software that has been topical during the examination period.
Woodford House was the first school in New Zealand to join Schoology Enterprise, a paid version, which has more features and allows the school to have more control.
The School partnered with Glenn Cook Technology who provided support and strategic advice during the implementation of Schoology.
“It was an early step on our journey to becoming a leading school in innovation. It tied in nicely with the Bring Your Own Device policy, which launched at the same time three years ago,” Dunstan says.
Within the first four months of launching, almost all staff and students were engaged and active users of Schoology.
Three years on and the Woodford platform has had more than 2 million views, 36,000 comments posted, 169 active courses and 292 active groups.
Ms Dunstan says Schoology transformed the way teaching and learning occurred at Woodford.
“We want every student to have the online skills and attributes that are needed in this fast-changing, technology-rich world. We need to prepare students for jobs that have not been invented yet and Schoology is a piece of that puzzle.”
“Because it is social media based the students love it. It is familiar to them because it’s in their world. However, it is still ring-fenced with guidelines and restrictions to ensure it is a safe environment for all users.”
The Schoology ambassadors were selected based on their experience and deep understanding of the platform, their innovative uses for Schoology, their leadership qualities and commitment to engage with the Schoology community.
What the girls are saying about Schoology:
“Schoology has made learning accessible anywhere and anytime” – Natasha Wisker
“Schoology has improved our learning dramatically in a very innovative and exciting way“– Claudia Jonasson-Bell
“Schoology has completely changed the way day-to-day school works. The ability to access resources at any time and quickly get feedback and answers from teachers and peers is especially suited for a 21st century school. Along with BYOD, Schoology has truly sped up the learning process” – Susannah Hansen