It has a "lot of possibilities."
The web-based educational platform allows Heritage High, and Blount County's other schools, to:
Users can access content through the platform's website, in addition to its mobile social media application. It also supports communication via email and SMS text messaging.
"PlanetHS offers us a lot of possibilities," said Jenifer Rowland, who teaches algebra 2. "I've used it to jump into the flipped classroom model. I've uploaded documents, photos and videos. They're watching lectures before class, and we're putting that knowledge to use."
Flipped classrooms are a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and perform homework or project-based learning in class. The model allows teachers to offer additional personalized guidance and interaction in place of classroom lectures.
Students have grown into the model through the last two years, she said. "They're leaving here better prepared for their postsecondary aspirations. They come to class and discuss what they've learned. They leave us with a much deeper understanding of the material."
"PlanetHS puts the responsibility on the student," said Philip Cottrell, who teaches biology and environmental science. He maintains two pages, one for biology and one for environmental science, that contain information about assignments for the first nine weeks of class and parent-teacher conferences.
"Conscientious students are better prepared due to it," Cottrell said. "They know what's expected of them, what they need to work on, when it's due. Parents and grandparents are online following my classes as well. They know what their students are supposed to be working on, and they appreciate this accountability."
Students: "efficient tool"
"PlanetHS is an efficient tool," said sophomore Katelyn Engelberger. "I always know what's going on in my classes, because I can subscribe to them. I've signed up for texts as well. So, I get reminders about homework, projects, due dates."
"It's really helpful when you're out sick," said sophomore Cheyenne Hundley. "I can see what I missed, get assignments and be prepared for the next class. I don't have to interrupt class to get caught up. I don't have to stay after school or meet with a teacher before class. It's kinda liberating, taking charge of my education."
Hundley also enjoys watching class videos. "I take notes while watching them. If I don't understand something, I can ask in class and get help. I don't have to take as much time away from everybody else's learning."
"We can learn more and learn quicker with it," Engelberger said. "You can learn concepts, review them and pursue future lessons on your own time."