School adjusts to MyMCPS takeover

After implementing MyMCPS Classroom in 2017 to replace Edline for grade-viewing, MyMCPS is now aiming to replace Google Classroom as students’ primary file sharing and assignment distributing web service.
MCPS began working on MyMCPS in 2011 to centralize the online work of students into one place. A primary reason for the switch in 2017 was that MyMCPS was more cost effective than Edline. “Edline was also way too expensive, so switching from it is saving Montgomery County a lot amount of money in the process,” MCPS Chief Technology Officer Pete Cevenini said at the introduction of MyMCPS.
While MyMCPS’s grade viewing function is not new to students, teachers are now replacing Google Classroom’s assignment sharing functions with MyMCPS. “Last year, most of my teachers used Classroom but I only have one teacher this year still using it,” sophomore Ryan White said.
MyMCPS functions are similar to Google Classroom, but the layouts are different. Entering Google Classroom while signed into Chrome goes to a page with modules for a student’s classes. After clicking on a module, a student can select an assignment to view on the next page. With this system, getting to an assignment in Google Classroom takes two clicks.
With MyMCPS’s more complicated layout, getting to an assignment can take five or more clicks. “MyMCPS seems slower, especially on Chromebooks,” junior Scotty Collinson said. “I don’t like how there are so many different sections in MyMCPS. With Classroom, everything is right there. Plus, it lets you know when you have stuff that isn’t done, where MyMCPS can make stuff hard to find.”
Teachers who did not use MyMCPS last year now have to adjust to the new system. “I think that it’s more about being familiar than preference,” teacher Annette Evans said. “I’m familiar with Google Classroom and I’m familiarizing myself with MyMCPS. I would like to see the layout be a little less murky. I’m watching all of us try to navigate it and it seems like it’s taking us a good deal of effort.”
Despite MyMCPS and Google Classroom’s similarities, there are differences in capability that lead teachers to prefer one or the other. “With my experience, I like to do vocab warm ups with my students. And [with Google Classroom] I can see the count and I can immediately access their comments, and to my knowledge that is not in MyMCPS,” Evans said. “I’ll be using that function for warm ups.”
Google Classroom is still allowed for teachers, even if MyMCPS is available. “I think what’s most important is our principal has communicated that that is the expectation for us,” said Evans.
While differences between the systems are leading teachers to adapt to change, MCPS has no indication of going back to Edline or Google Classroom. “MyMCPS is here to stay for a long time. We will improve and make it better, but the concept to consolidate various other Montgomery County software including Edline and Google Classroom will stay,” Cevenini said.

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