While many students were eagerly awaiting the drama and romance of weekly episodes of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” this summer, a juicy new relationship was formed in Wesleyan cyberspace, unbeknownst to many. Over the last few months, hearts were broken and re-healed as Wesleyan technology went from an ugly, but necessary breakup with PowerSchool to finding love again with the advanced, all-in-one system that is Blackbaud.
As many people know, the Wesleyan community was having serious issues with PowerSchool towards the end of last year, as frustrations rose with its secrecy and continuous problems. Not only was the popular grading website hiding secrets from students such as their current and past GPAs, but it was simply unable to offer adequate information and conversation.
Director of Studies Chris Yoder, who has become very well acquainted with both PowerSchool and Blackbaud, realized that “the biggest issue with PowerSchool is that it was not integrated with our website…and programs.” Instructional Technologist Lisa Williams added that with PowerSchool, “none of those [programs] spoke to each other; none of [them] connected.” As it became clear that PowerSchool was an inefficient communicator, and even worse, caused rifts between Wesleyan’s other technological partners, it was time for Wesleyan to find its new mate.
Thankfully, PowerSchool’s golden relative, Blackbaud, came along to not only fill the gaps PowerSchool left, but offer a much healthier, wholesome relationship. Yoder added that unlike PowerSchool, “the Blackbaud system is fully integrated with all of our other systems.” Like an encouraging partner, it works to make the lives of students and teachers easier. Much more versatile in nature, Blackbaud is open to sharing a wealth of information from grades to class rosters to personalized athletic schedules and school news.
Senior Ana Hanger said she loves Blackbaud’s team-first attitude and spirit, as it shows her group pages where “[she] can know the cross country workouts [ahead of time] and… see all the sporting events happening for the whole month” with one simple click. Meredith Mangum, a sophomore, appreciates Blackbaud’s organization, as its “calendar aspect, includ[ing] sports, classes and other school events,” helps her to stay on her A-game, both in and outside of the classroom.
Additionally, senior Ethan Moon finds value in Blackbaud’s positive energy, as he believes “[it] will not carry that horrible, horrible feeling of checking your grades in PowerSchool. It’s just where you go to get your assignments and get things done; it’s great!”
From its first few weeks in use, it appears that Blackbaud really does have everything Wesleyan could want in a significant other: organization, dependability, attractiveness and encouragement. As Williams puts it, “it’s a one stop-shop” for all of Wesleyan’s technological and relational needs.
Like any new relationship, both sides are working out their kinks, but unlike the couples emerging from “The Bachelorette” season finale, it seems that Blackbaud and Wesleyan’s honeymoon period may continue for years to come.