When I first started teaching in 2005/6 VLE, or Virtual Learning Environments were to be the way of the future, all schools were to have one, and I believe there was ring-fenced funding for this initially. Then they died off in most schools, though most schools maintained some sort of online homework setting tools. In the current environment these tools have been pushed into the forefront.
We have for a number of years used ShowMyHomework (Satchel One), but as a school we use Office 365 so have teams available to us, and for a few years we had piloted teams. We have decided on a hybrid programme – for Years 7-9, ShowMyHomework, and for Year 10-13, MS Teams. Please find below a comparison document I put together to compare the two tools.
MS Teams vs. SMHW
- Allow teachers to set work and share resources that students can access at home.
- Link with our MIS to allow groups to be automatically populated and updated on class lists [for MS Teams this can be broken if group description is changed]
- Allow teachers to provide feedback to students [SMHW has just upgraded with this feature so it is more comparable to teams]
- Uploading documents.
- Sharing Links
- Both have iOS/Android Apps
|Show My Homework||MS Teams|
|Advantages||Easy to set the same task to multiple groups at once.|
Allows auditing features to run reports to monitor student engagement and staff setting work in line with policy.
Parents have a separate account.
|Uses school login -so one less password to remember. |
Free. (included in our organisational Office 365 subscription)
Allows for collaborative discussion.
|Disadvantages||Functionality is quite basic and it is not as easy to review historic work.|
Does not allow for collaborative discussion.
Paid for – we pay for the MIS integration and then per student user.
|Difficult to see other groups, staff have to be added as a teacher, and then it becomes overwhelming when a member of multiple groups.|
Lack of reports on student engagement.
Allows for collaborative discussion – students can post comments for the group to see (can be disabled on a student or group basis).
No separate parent access.
Less out of the box user friendly.
No way to easily set work to multiple groups at the same time.
Download Comparison as a Word Document: