Is Xello Useful or Not?

Xellos title on their website.

Xello’s title on their website.

Adkins, Staff Writer

Preparing children for the future is a school’s number one job. In accordance with this, the state of Pennsylvania mandates that school districts provide some form of career planning lessons before students leave secondary school. The State College Area School District has implemented a career-planning site called Xello into their students’ education, but despite the district’s intentions, student opinions on Xello seem to be sply. 

All students have to work on Xello during the school year in their long homeroom, which takes up a period (45 minutes) of a student’s time. All their classes are cut short to dedicate a period to long homeroom. Something that takes an entire period out of a class once a month should probably be at least mildly helpful to people. According to freshman Lilian Stone, it is, to some extent,

“I would say it’s useful,” Stone said. “The information about jobs and their factors, salaries, and the education needed are interesting.” 

However, Stone also had some concerns.

“It kind of feels like busywork to tell Joe what summer job opportunities he should take,” she said. “But that sort of thing might be helpful to some. I am pretty sure that Xello isn’t something we need to work on for an hour in homeroom, and that I don’t really need to know if I’m a builder, creator, or thinker because I already know the things I like doing.”

Another student, Freshman Cecelia Corro, had a similar opinion.

I think Xello is useful in a limited way,” she said. “ It is helpful when it comes to some things but when it comes to other things it provides nothing unique. The activities they require us to complete on Xello are usually the most unhelpful. Things like asking simplistic questions and odd prompts that don’t help me think about a career, and more make me think about how specific the questions are.”

Corro also believed that Xello had some redeeming traits, though.

“…It also has a good search engine for looking at higher education opportunities and career options,” Corro said. “Overall, I think it’s helpful—it provides a look into careers and higher education opportunities that some students may not be aware of. “

To students, Xello seems to be a mixed blessing. It provides students with information they might not get anywhere else, and career opportunities they might not even have known they could pursue. However, there does seem to be some skepticism over whether some of the activities are actually useful.

For example, one of the activities lets students find out what their “learning style” is. However, the idea of learning styles has been repeatedly disproved by scientific studies. And yet, Xello puts kids into categories based on it.

Xello is neither good, nor bad, and is mainly helpful to students. However, certain aspects of it, such as the learning style and personality quizzes, might be more of a nuisance than anything, and could potentially be left out of what students are required to do.