Commercially released in mid 2009 and based in New York (USA), Schoology was founded by Jeremy Friedman, Ryan Hwang and Tim Trinidad. It is a cloud-based LMS and social network for K-12 and higher education users. It allows to easily create, use to share lessons and coursework and manage academic material through a social networking interface similar to Facebook.
On the first quarter of 2012, the company announced a total funding of $9.3 million venture funding led by FirstMark Capital (65%) and Meakem Becker Venture Capital (35%). By the end of the year, it had over 1 million users across 20,000 schools.
The platform allows teachers to create dynamic courses with management tools. There is a global learning community for sharing resources and best practices and experiences. Moreover, there are available 5,000+ instructional and curricular public resources. The LMS has its own advanced analytics which evaluates the learner’s comprehension and engagement with easy to read graphs informing the teachers about the pupils’ areas for improvement.
If the teachers have an email and the school’s name, signing up is easy. Once registered, they invite their pupils using a unique access code. Thereafter, meanwhile the teachers create their activities, the students submit their homework and join groups to participate in collaborative study projects, The company has already its mobile app, including iPad, iPhone, Android and Amazon Kindle.
The cloud-based solution and social network is a free service for the teachers and students. However, they may be some fees for premium add-ons (enterprise-grade solution) such as customized branding, support, storage space, single sign on (SSO), and data integration with existing student information systems (SIS).
The company allows individual subscriptions for trying the system in a limited number of classrooms before deciding to implement on a larger scale. Some of the apps are free to get but they need an account to work. Schools may need to purchase additional licensing to utilize these apps. For example, to access the blackboard collaborate, the person needs an account (which they need to buy). In 2012, it launched its own App Center with third-party applications built with the Schoology API and developer platform. The App Center offers tools, websites, and content to use on a regular basis directly into their platform. It currently has twenty apps.
In 2012, the company was recognized by the SIIA CODiE as an Award Finalist in 3 different categories: Classroom Management System, Education Community Solution, and K-12 Course or LM Solution. Besides its investors, some of its partners are: Remind 101, ConceptBank, ScootPad, BrainNook, Turnitin, Pearson and Blackboard Collaborate.
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