what is the roadmap for PSL now that powerschool is buying Schoology?

hernick
Achiever

what is the roadmap for PSL now that powerschool is buying Schoology?

My subject title pretty much sums it up - Are there any plans for future develpment for PS Learning (Haiku) now that Schoology is being purchased by PowerSchool? How much longer will PSL be offered?

Thanks!

87 Replies
rpsb
Specialist

If you are able to find anything out from your rep, please post it here. If I get any info from the two questions I posted on the webinar board, I will do the same. It was annoying that my webinar questions were not even acknowledged with a "we'll get back to you" as other questions were.

jhanlon
Professional

The PowerSchool Marketing Machine was in full force today.  Same presentation that sold us Unified Classroom.  The mess we have had in UC has now made us very skeptical and we are worried the Schoology Learning component will just continue the UC confusion.  The road map was mainly educational buzzwords.  My guess is there were way more concerned Schoology Customers then Unified Classroom/ PS Learning Customers there (because there are not many).  The Unified Classroom and PowerSchool Learning Integration is a confusing mess and PS knows it.  It would not be a good look to address our questions in that webinar.  I am hoping a rep follows up with mine.  Some were below

 

Most of our issues and confusion come from the PS Learning (Class Pages) integration with Unified Classroom Assignment and Activity List and the overlapping of features.  Will this continue to be the case with Schoology?  Will there be Unified Classroom Calendar and Messaging (very basic features wise) and Schoology Calendar and Messaging.  We had much more success with PS Learning when we used it as a stand alone product with  PS SIS integration.  We would like to see something similar with Schoology.  Use the communication and Calendar features in Schoology.  Being able to sign into the Schoology Website Directly and the mobile app would be important.  There is no UC App just a PS SIS app that takes the PS ID from UC.  We couldn’t do this with Learning (Class Pages) and using it within Unified Classroom is more cumbersome then the standalone product.  Our primary concern is for the confusion and same pain points to continue with a different platform for learning

 

What is the role of the PowerSchool ID in Signing into Schoology? What will this look like? Will Parents be able to get accounts automatically created or use thier PS ID to access Schoology?

 

What will happen to the UC Scoring Center?

 

What is going to Happen to UC Assignments?  We were told to use this instead of assignments in PS Learning.

 

Will the issues be fixed with the Assignment and Activity List in UC?  Will all the UC Features remain?

 

Schoology has the AMP Product and Performance Matters has a Benchmark assessment these seem to be similar Products.

 

Will Unified Classroom Customers have access to the Schoology Mobile app?  We didnt with the PS Learning Integration.

 

 

We really hope these questions get anwsered.  We need to set a direction in our schools and trusted PowerSchool and they just keep changing those directions.  We talked with PS Engineers a few weeks back and they were talking about imporvements to UC Assignments on the horizon.  We are like, "didn't you just buy Schoology". 

 

I would really like to stay connected with those currently using PS Learning within UC and see how things unfold.

rpsb
Specialist

All I can say is ditto, ditto to virtually every point in jhanlon's post. The experience of our faculty has been almost exactly the same.

DMFermiPhysics
Practitioner

@jhanlon You've posed a fantastic set of questions, we are all hoping will be answered as they address the exact concerns we have about the acquisition. I'm a teacher in a PS/UC district that once upon a time had theenterprise version of Schoology feeding the eSchoolPlus SIS and gradebook. We're optimisitc that Schoology Learning will be a mainstay and that the mobile app - something that wasn't developed with UC or Haiku Learning/Pages, - will be a prominient piece in how students interact with the overall integrated system, especially given that we're an iPad 1:1 district. Frankly I'd be content with having my students use the Schoology mobile almost exclusively along with HTML 5 simulations and use the website only when needed. Unfortunately the web based Haiku Learning/Pages just doesn't work well on Mobile devices. I'm also curious about grading tools and features that are no longer present in UC that are fully functional in Schoology such as such as markup pens and comment boxes.

As we have realized, the webinar did nothing to satiate those concerns - not even a proposed timeline for migration. I'm hoping that some meaningful integration will be ready to try bu the 2020-2021 academic year. For now it's futsing around with Learning/Pages and PS Assessment with a rather bizarre workflow; a strange labrynth of empty screens and dead ends before a page correctly displays the information or fields we were looking for...

hernick
Achiever

X2 please share any info learned from your rep.

Think we’ll start prepping an RFP in the meantime as we’re pretty nervous re: uncertainties around next school year.
gylepat
Specialist

We just finished a 30 minute webinar with our customer service rep and sales rep.  Many of the same questions/concerns that appear on this thread were asked. Unforunately, little new infromation was gained during the session.  They listened and said they would try to get answers for us ASAP......

jhanlon
Professional

@gylepat 

 

That is what we were worried about.  Just like when we went with UC it was a Vision and the idea of integration of Schoology for exiting UC customers seems like an infographic the marketing team made at this point.

 

All the PS Support and Success teams have been good to us but just don’t have answers.  PowerSchool says they want personalized learning.  Do that with a feature rich LMS.  I think Schoology has a great product but we cant take any more risks following PS. Right now we have an abandoned LMS in PS Learning (although we did get a UC Assignment Block) and doubled features labeled UC to confuse everyone.  The braded UC features don’t even compare to what else is out there for teaching and learning in an LMS.

 

UC Assessment- Terrible product (see performance matters push)

UC Assignment- A featureless digital dropbox

UC Assignment/Activity List- Inaccurate if you are using PS Learning Features

UC Scoring Center- A third place for teachers to grade work.......... sigh

UC Calendar- Not bad  we use it for homework posting for parents

UC Messaging- Id be better off handing a kid a letter as they leave class or emailing them.  We still use Remind

 

Personally, Id just love to see all these UC features gone and have UC as a gateway to get to Schoology and use all the features there with the PS ID just like it is a gateway to the SIS.  The change would be rough but atleast we would know what we are getting into.    PowerSchool is so concerned with getting everything in the UC dashboard.  I'd just rather see things work.  An LMS with a tight connection to the SIS and Gradebook.

 

The PowerSchool IDs have been a nightmare and I hope they can make them work with Schoology.  The problem is that if we need to put our staff through another change we can't do it with all the hiccups we encountered when we went with UC.

DMFermiPhysics
Practitioner

@jhanlon 

 

Most of the features and the entire concept of a dashboard is developer / programmer centric in design and concept.  The top down designs in now way consider actual teachers, administrators, students, or parents.  The entire suite does appear that it was created in a vacuum with little or no input from its user base.  By Schoology seems to understand its audience and developes a UI and systems that were simple - easy to share and collaborate yet incredibly powerful in terms of communication, organization, notification, and sturcture.

 

  • UC Assessment- Terrible product (see performance matters push)

    We'll see what performance matters brings.  It's supposed to have a simpler UI, but reduce the number of question types from 60 to 15 -  just the most commonly used.  As long as it can handle numbers with a +/- figure and not treat it as strings I'd be happy.  Otherwise ithe current Assessment piece in the lIbrary is powerful but the menuing is cryptic and the learning curve to use it is currently high.  It also requires standards at every step of the way for each question.  Too cumbersome...

  • UC Assignment- A featureless digital dropbox

    I actually have no issues with this piece.  It works for me in terms of selecting categories, applying points and extra credit, attaching files, due dates, and even the selection of individual students for individualized instruction.  The only part that is truly terrible is the rubric piece, which is pathetically awful and is a quagmire of a disaster.  

  • UC Assignment/Activity List- Inaccurate if you are using PS Learning Features

    No issues with this piece at the class level.  At the individual student level all information and file icons are present - and you can get a preview of that file.  The one thing you can't do is change a score there.  That's a surprising deficiency in workflow - instead there's an "Edit Scores" button that leads to a PTP screen.

 

  • UC Scoring Center- A third place for teachers to grade work.......... sigh

    I heard this was supposed to eventually replace PTP.  It looks prettier and more sophisticated than PTP.  Would be better if there were key-stroke combinations to select "Missing" or Incomplete" indicators etc.

 

  • UC Calendar- Not bad  we use it for homework posting for parents

    No major qualm except it would be nice if it also triggered push notifications

  • UC Messaging- Id be better off handing a kid a letter as they leave class or emailing them.  We still use Remind

    Within Communication, the Activity Feed needs to have an ability to edit messages rather then delete and post new, and also push to students.  It is fine for posting messages to introduce the class, or if studetns check in but is severely lacking. Messages is worse than the most rudimentary messaging systems of the late 90's  Schoology will hopefully solve this piece as they are terrific with push notifications to the Mobile app or via email..  So far have resisted outside services like Remind, hoping for in house improvements.

 

Powerschool ID's are managed through Microsoft 365 logins and have been working well this year.

DanM3
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

Thank you to all of the users who responded following this morning's disappointing presentation about PowerSchool and Schoology Learning. I agree with all of your comments! I was expecting to hear about the product itself and how it would be incorporated into the Unified Classroom. I too submitted a question:

 

"Is Schoology Learning replacing PowerSchool Learning within the Unified Classroom? If so, how and when?"

 

There was no response to my post at all, not even an acknowledgement that it was received. In the thread of 15 questions in the sidebar, mine was the only one listed with no response!  We were told to watch the webinar to get our initial questions (including to this thread) answered. Three of us at our school wasted 50 minutes because there was no new information provided to us using PowerSchool Learning and/or the current Unified Classroom.

 

I did receive a phone call within 30 minutes of the posting of my question, however I was in class and then had to drive to Sacramento for a meeting. Part of me wanted to continue driving up to Folsom and stop by HQ asking why noone address the elephant in the room. When you publish new Unified Classroom graphics and insert Schoology Learning, that says a whole lot and yet nothing at all. 

 

Many of us were early Unified Classroom adopters and were basically beta testing a product in development. We have experience lots of heartache and pain dealing with the product over the last two years. At the end of the day I'm left wondering what is happening with the Unified Classroom!

Dan Morgan
Saint Mary's College High School - Berkeley, CA
PowerSchool Hosted - v 20.4.3 - 600 Students
PowerSchool User and Admin since 2000

jhanlon
Professional

@Dan 

Your question is pretty to the point.  Mine was more a frustrated rant just wanting direction for the UC product so we can evaluate our options.

rpsb
Specialist

Hi DANM3

 

They must have been running several question threads yesterday. I posted two questions that were not acknowledged and have not had a phone call from anyone either. It is beginning to look like those moderating the webinar question board were instructed to ignore questions related to PowerSchool Learning's future. Our school waited a year before switching to Unified Classroom hoping to avoid some of the early pain of the incorporation of Haiku as PowerSchool Learning. I don't think it is all bad, but there are serious issues with it. It was especilally frustrating to me that we were recomended specifically to watch this webinar by the PowerSchool moderators of this board with the promise that we would get answers to the types of questions we have all been posting since the event. I suppose they were as much in the dark as we still are about the future of PowerSchool Learning as the LMS function. It doesn't make us or PowerSchool look good when all you can do is shrug your shoulders when the principal asks us what is PowerSchool's plan for next year.

DanM3
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

@rpsb Upon further research last night I discovered the phone call was from the SALES department. 

Dan Morgan
Saint Mary's College High School - Berkeley, CA
PowerSchool Hosted - v 20.4.3 - 600 Students
PowerSchool User and Admin since 2000

rpsb
Specialist

I too got a phone call today from sales following up on a conversation about the registration module but still nothing about the questions we have raised on the site in the last 24 hours.

 

I just received the link to the recorded webinar. This was the reply I sent.

 

Hi Michael,

 
I am not sure if you have been following the PowerSchool Community comments that have blown up on the site from customers like us who are PowerSchool Unified Classroom schools using PowerSchool Learning. I most emphatically did not enjoy the webinar as it was a complete waste of time for us. PowerSchool Learning was, literally, not mentioned one time during the entire nearly one hour webinar and the questions posted by me and other PowerSchool Learning customers are being ignored although there were promises that all questions would be answered either during the webinar or offline. I have not had any written response nor a phone call.
 
I was extremely disappointed and frustrated after the webinar and don’t know anything more to tell my principal now that before the webinar. Which is to say, I still know absolutely nothing about the future of PowerSchool Learning or how PowerSchool intends to transition us to Schoology Learning now that PowerSchool Learning no longer even appears on the info graphics of the PowerSchool Unified Classroom family of products. Our principal was going to watch the webinar using the link below but I have told him not to waste his time.
jhanlon
Professional

@DMFermiPhysics 

 

Its always great to hear how other people use the product.  I am sure one of the challenges for PS is that schools all value different features.  Everything you say I agree with.  The big thing for us is the assignment and activity list only shows categories as classwork when you do something in learning even if you change the category in PTP.  Also restricted learning assessments dont show in the assignment activity list.  We have brought this up many times and the attitude just seems to be... 'Yeah we know.  Use UC Assignment Submission"  Having the PTP gradebook and assignment activity list both be the same should be a high priority for developers when using a "Unified" product. The moxtra annotator in Learning is very valuable.  The UC Assignment submission with MS Handout just is still limited and that window is so small for grading. 

 

With Schoology Learning it says "Formative Assessment" and it looks like they want customers taking district benchmarks in Performance matters.  Schoology has the AMP add on https://www.schoology.com/k-12/assessment-management      So............. what is the role of this?  Can a UC customer use it?  Will it be supported?

 

With high school students especially the lack of push notifications through a mobile app in UC is a huge fail.

 

 

rpsb
Specialist

Dear

 

Is there any comment you can share as this message thread's moderator from PowerSchool regarding the issues that have been mentioned in all the posts in the last 24 hours regarding yesterday's webinar? Since you encouraged us to attend to find our answers, I can only guess it was not what you were expecting either.

jbidk
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @rpsb,  

 

Thank you for reaching out to me on this. I have shared the questions from this thread with our PowerSchool team. The goal for the initial webinar was to address what PowerSchool’s acquisition of Schoology means for the entire K-12 community, and then to have follow up communication based on the specific solutions that are currently in use. With that in mind, we are planning additional information sessions where we can specifically address questions from our PowerSchool Learning and Unified Classroom Learning users. The details and invite for those sessions will be shared with you in the near future.

 

Jbid

 

JbidK
PowerSchool Community Manager
DMFermiPhysics
Practitioner

@jbidk    Thank You...  we look forward to future sessions addressing both UC and "Schoology" Learning...

hernick
Achiever

Got two email - first from sales wanting to pitch Schoology to me as I attended the seminar.

 

My reply to him was not very positive.

 

Second email came in as I was writing my response to the sales pitch - it was inquiring re: my questions... and they also followed up with a voice message (which I did not get due to teaching this afternoon.)

 

Left a voice message back, referring to this thread on the discussion boards and looking for some basic answers re: Learning product.

 

>>>>>Update<<<<

 

got a call from client rep as I was tying this reply.

 

Reps don't know what the roadmap is, they don't have any answers re: Learning in the suite going forward. Rep is following up w/ the powers that be at PS & will get back to me next week re: anything she can find out. Sounds like they have a lot of unknowns in their world.

rpsb
Specialist

I received the same set of calls and voicemails from a Schoology rep, my PowerSchool sales rep, and my PowerSchool customer success manager. I didn't get to talk to my sales rep as I didn't get to his message until late this afternoon. Our customer success manager promised to forward our concerned to the product management team and said they were working on a roadmap specifically for how PowerSchool Learning customers will be moving forward. He implied they were hoping to have more details some time next week. It is a bit mystifying to me that a PowerSchool Learning roadmap forward isn't already in place.

rpsb
Specialist

Thank you for replying to my post. I too am looking forward to the additional information that is specific to PowerSchool Learning customers.

jhanlon
Professional

I did get a phone call from someone in UC product development.  I think that this was a shock for them and a decision was made high up at PS to buy Schoology and figure it out from there.  It is a win for PowerSchool because they now have a strong product to market and bring in new customers and a win for Schoology because they get funding they need to grow.  The plan is to continue to have Schoology operate separately and I think now PS is finding a way to get Schoology in the "UC Dashboard".   With so few UC customers they are willing to let us float around with no direction while they work out the big picture.  I will say though that everyone at PowerSchool have been responsive and available to us but they just dont have concrete answers.

 

There will be a lot of mixed messages I get a sense confusion will ensue. Schoolgoy reps are still selling the Schoology product as is (including AMP assessment).  They want you to do everything in Schoology.  The main point of entry for teachers and students.  Highlighting the PS Integration but have no idea when it comes to the UC interface (assignment/activity list and PS IDs)  Basically Schoology reps are pushing Schoology as the new Unified Classroom.  Which is fine by me but I dont think that is how PowerSchool sees it judging by the marketing materials with Schoology Learning in the UC Dashboard.  That is my biggest concern