Jeremy Friedman (CEO)
Ryan Hwang (Chief Product Officer)
Tim Trinidad (CTO)
Schoology is a online learning management system/course management system that was founded in 2009. It was originally designed as a platform to share notes for University students, however it quickly transformed into a social network for K-12 students as well as students of higher learning. Their goal is to engage students in a different platform of learning and to give teachers/educators the resources to be able to do so.
In 2013 Schoology was rated 6th for top learning management systems (behind Moodle, Edmodo and Blackboard) and had 35,000 schools using its system and 2 million users (http://www.capterra.com/learning-management-system-software/#infographic)
Some of the services that are provided include: attendance records, online gradebook, tests, quizzes, and homework dropboxes. In addition to the organization aspect of the site, it also provides areas for discussions among a specific class, smaller groups, or an entire school. There are also enhancements that can be purchased, like text messaging notifcations.
All three founders attended Washington University in St. Louis. Schoology was designed while the three of them were still undergraduate students.
Jeremy Friedman – Obtained a degree in Arts with a focus on Economics and Computer Science. Had held previous summer jobs as an analyst intern.
Ryan Hwang – is a web designer who leads product design, corporate identity and partakes in coding. Obtained a degree in Business with a focus on marketing and international business.
Tim Trinidad – Obtained a degree in Science with a focus on computer science and entrepreneurship.
Having used this product in a test run for a previous course, I was impressed with the functionality of the website and the dual purpose in creating both private communities to use with school related staff and students or in the public communities of practice. I think it makes an excellent use of fostering discussions in a non face to face environment As the site is very similar to Facebook in its design it was easy to navigate and keep threads and course products categorized and organized. Another function that I liked with this LMS system is that it also provides learning analytics to its users.
I believe this venture is an example of how taking a small idea like sharing notes can be transferred into something bigger. It is difficult to assess how valuable an idea can be until you start working on it and can see where it can take you.