Opinion: Bye bye Blackboard


Tru Robbins

For the past five years, Fayette County has used Blackboard Learn as their learning management system. To begin the 2020-21 school year, the county will switch to Schoology. This change seemingly occurs for the sake of change, and will be a step back for the progression of the schools.

As students get excited about summer coming up, the school board is getting excited about what the next school year is going to bring. This 2019-2020 school year is, sadly, the last we will be using the Blackboard Learn learning management system in Fayette County schools. 

Schoology will replace Blackboard next year, which will only cause problems among users.

Why are they changing when students and teachers are finally comfortable using the present learning management system? 

Five years ago, the Fayette County schools made the transition from Edmodo to Blackboard. This process was long and confusing for many students and teachers. My mom still can’t figure out how to work Blackboard, and changing systems is only going to set us back further. 

Some of my teachers still get frustrated with how inconvenient putting information into Blackboard gets, especially when it goes unnoticed among their students. Changing platforms is only going to repeat history.

On the bright side, Edmodo and Schoology are similar in the fact that they are both structured like social media platforms. For the teachers who used Edmodo, this process will not be as painful. 

Changing just for the sake of changing is not good for the school and will only cause more issues and frustration.

— Staff Writer Tru Robbins

Most of the students that used Edmodo already graduated or are graduating this year. The majority of the students at Starr’s Mill either don’t remember Edmodo or never used it. For those students and newer teachers, the transition is going to be extremely stressful.

Schoology is more structured for K through 12 use, while Blackboard is made more for colleges, so why does the Fayette County school system want to stop preparing students for college systems?

Blackboard is used by many universities including Texas A&M, North Dakoda, Pheiffer, NorthWest Florida State, University of North Alabama, and more. Some of the international schools that use this LMS include Norweigen University, Teikyo University, and Universidad Mariano Gálvez. If so many schools use this LMS, then why make it harder for students who will have to adjust to a new program when they go off to college?

In 2017, Blackboard was named “the leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement,” so why is the county paying $112,750 annually to change to a new, unfamiliar LMS? And why are we changing to one that’s not aimed toward what colleges will be using? 

Will this type of change be good for helping the school progress technologically, or will it just be causation for more frustration among parents, teachers, and students? 

Changing just for the sake of changing is not good for the school and will only cause more issues and frustration.

Opinions expressed in editorials are those of the writer(s).  These views may not represent the adviser, The Prowler, advertisers/sponsors, the Starr’s Mill High School administration or staff , or Fayette County Public Schools as a whole.  Please see our FAQs for more information pertaining to the rights of The Prowler’s staff members.