Brightspace Becomes Required

November 18, 2021

Last year the district implemented a new platform: Brightspace. Teachers were supposed to start using it instead of Google Classroom late last fall, but few teachers did. This year, Brightspace is required and all teachers are using it. Gone are the days of Google Classroom, and in comes the new Brightspace. However, one of the biggest changes is that Brightspace costs money, Google Classroom was free. 

The cost of Brightspace is steep with a price of $45000 a year! Currently we’re set up to use it for five years – around  $225000 – last year included. The big question is: is Brightspace worth the price tag? 

Although, before Brightspace, before Google Classroom was Moodle. Moodle is another educational platform that TCAPS used in the past. Moodle was also free like Google Classroom. EMS teacher, Mr. Taylor really enjoyed Moodle and all it had to offer, saying, “I loved Moodle because it was easy for students to use and had a ton of flexibility. You could do so many different things with it!” However, back then teachers weren’t required to have a website where they could put all their tests and teaching materials. Unlike now when teachers are required to use Brightspace in their classrooms. This seems like an unfair requirement considering that teachers have likely already developed their own organization method for teaching. Having teachers replace that method just seems too abrupt and disruptive. However, Mr. Taylor believes that switching from Google Classroom to Brightspace was the right choice overall, even though many staff and students disagree with that statement. 

When TCAPS began using Google Classroom it wasn’t as user-friendly as it is today. In fact, Mrs. Mackey – a teacher who loves Google Classroom today, said that at first it was very “clunky”. But, as more and more districts began to use Google Classroom, the platform progressively improved itself, becoming more and more advanced with each update. 

Now as we have switched to Brightspace, we are presented with a question: Should Brightspace, an expensive platform, be given the same amount of time to advance as Google Classroom, a free platform, was given?

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