Bravely Speaking to the Robinson Community

Blackboard is Here to Stay

September 22, 2016

When the 2016-2017 school year started, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) was making the decision on whether or not to keep the county’s online management system known as Blackboard. However, as of September 16th, FCPS has agreed upon extending the contract with Blackboard for three more years, delaying the switch to a free Google Classroom.

A question now arises: why is FCPS keeping Blackboard? “Blackboard might be the best option for the county, but it might not,” said Principal Eline, “I think what the county is going to do in the next three years is really explore other options. They’re going to look at other counties like Montgomery County, Loudoun, Prince William, and [those] even Houston and Los Angeles. While other schools in FCPS are pursuing Blackboard, Robinson will be pursuing Google Classroom, aggressively.”

With the switch to Google Classroom, there will be teachers that oppose this decision, or even agree with it. French teacher Madame Jugnet said,“I like Blackboard a lot. Every year I learn something different and it’s very helpful. I used to use it very minimally but now I use it a lot more. Every so often when I use Google Classroom, I’m uncomfortable, especially because I don’t like the look of it.”

With love for Blackboard also comes hate. “[Google Classroom] is a lot more user friendly and has the abilities to communicate between students and teacher. Students can now just do the work through Google Classroom instead of checking on blackboard and then turning a separate piece of paper,” said Spanish teacher Señora Singman. “It’s also a lot easier organizing wise, my bag no longer is filled with papers.”

Along with teachers being affected by the changes, so are the students. “Some of my teachers strictly use Google Classroom and some use only Blackboard. It’s hard to know which ones to check for classes. I think it would be simpler if we used one or the other instead of teachers using a mix. I can see it being helpful in the long term but as of right now, it’s confusing. I’m more used to Blackboard because I’ve used it more, but I think I’m going to like Google Classroom better,” said sophomore Sophia Willis.

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