Teachers use School Fusion less and Google Classroom more


School Fusion has been utilized as the school website since 2009, but many teachers feel as though it is outdated and have moved toward Google Classroom.

by Patricia Whyte, Staff Writer

The days copying down assignments from a chalkboard are gone, and many students have used their physical agenda less and less since the introduction of School Fusion in 2009, the school’s online administrator. In recent years however, teachers and students have been moving away from the website and utilizing Google Classroom more.

Many teachers consider Google Classroom easier to use than Fusion. History teacher Christopher Pohlman uses Classroom frequently for different purposes.

“I like it because it’s very simple to use, it’s a very simple program to use, it’s a very simple website to use, you don’t need to be computer literate to use it,” Pohlman said. “It’s a little more user-friendly.”

Other teachers find themselves using School Fusion more often because they know the program better. Math teacher Megan Nordman uses Fusion daily to post homework and test announcements.

“I don’t know what to compare it to because I’m not really into technology,” Nordman said. Contrary to what Pohlman said, she finds School Fusion to be familiar and easier to work with.

Google Classroom is used by many teachers and students to stay updated on class assignments. Many use the Google Classroom app and have notifications about school work sent to their phone.

“As simple as I think Fusion is to use, I think Classroom is even that much easier. The process to learn how to do it all and incorporate Google Docs and Google Sheets, that took a little bit longer, but once you get that it’s very easy,” Pohlman said.

Both systems are used by teachers to post announcements, assignments, notes, and schedules, and both Google Classroom and School Fusion send notifications to students about upcoming assignments in their classes. Teachers often use the websites as a backup to reiterate what was announced in class.

Other than sending students notifications, Google Classroom has capabilities that School Fusion does not. For example, on Classroom, a teacher can post an assessment for the students to take at home to receive a grade.

“If there is one negative about Fusion it’s that I was never able to figure out how  to get results from doing anything on Fusion,” Pohlman said. “[Google Classroom] puts them all in one area so it’s very easy to find out when I give a class a take home assignment, I get a spread sheet that tells me exactly what they got wrong, how they did, and what their grade is.”

Spanish teacher Lesley Breuer also has some difficulties with Fusion.

“I don’t find it very user friendly, especially with Spanish. If I need to write anything in Spanish, you have to click on the symbol and it’s very time consuming,” Breuer said.

Breuer has also had difficulties in the past with posting announcements to numerous classes at a time, a feature that exists on Google Classroom.

“There’s even been times where because I was typing so long it logged me out and I lost everything,” Breuer said. A benefit of the Google applications is that it saves your work as you edit it, so that you do not have to continually press save.

Because it’s become somewhat outdated, administrators have been researching different websites to replace School Fusion next year.

“The only thing I would like to see, and I don’t know if it would be compatible with Google Classroom. Would I be able to use the two interchangeably,” Pohlman said.

Breuer would like to see a system that’s more compatible with typing in foreign language, especially for her AP classes.

“Google Classroom is a little bit better, it has some things that I like but it’s missing some things too,” Breuer said.