Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding the Perfect Solution for Keeping Track of Student Progress

I currently use 4 systems for keeping track of student progress (Numbers, Class Dojo app, Infinote app and photos). What I am looking for is 1 app that can do all 4. I am playing around with 2 new apps, Teacher's Wire and Teacher's Assistant.

First, I use a Numbers spreadsheet for grades. I have the standards entered across the top and then grades for each activity that falls within that standard. The app Teacher's Wire is great for this because standards can be customized. However, it currently only accepts photos for demonstration of how a student is doing on a standard, not text. I am hoping this will change so I can not only enter photos but also rubric scores or percentages. Teacher's Assistant isn't really set-up to be a grade book. With a lot of fiddling it could probably be done, but I don't think it would be the easiest way of tracking grades.

Second, I use Class Dojo for behavior. I love the way they have quick buttons to push to note specific behaviors. Within seconds I can note that 3 students were off-task and 8 students participated. One thing I don’t like about Class Dojo is there is no way for me to comment. If a say a student is off-task, sometimes I wish I could add detail, such as “frequent bathroom breaks”.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Teacher's Wire allows me to record comments about student behavior, but it has to be typed in, no quick tabs to push. Teacher's Assistant has a similar section that can be pretty quick or can be expanded to have a comment attached as well as a photo. Like Class Dojo, Teacher's Assistant assigns colors and points to behaviors.

Third, I use Infinote to keep track of the comments I want to make in conjunction with Class Dojo since they don’t allow me the ability to make comments. Each student has a page and I use different colored post it notes for different subjects. For example, blue post it notes are for math and red post it notes are for reading comprehension...This is similar to what I can do in Teacher's Wire but without the color coding. Teacher's Assistant is a great app for this function. It allows for different quick records of positive or negative behavior and the colors and points can be customized.

Finally, I take and store photos of activities I want to remember, such as a student demonstrating a science concept like balance. This is in the photo app with a photo for each student. Teacher's Wire is a great app because it allows for easy upload of photos. Teacher's Assistant also allows for the upload of photos.

In addition I like that I can email parents directly from Teacher's Wire and Teacher's Assistant without having to cut and paste if I want to share comments or grades with them.

I like that Class Dojo and Infinote are both password protected--great for privacy especially on an iPad I share with students. I have not found a way to password protect Teacher's Wire but Teacher's Assistant is password protected.

So I don't think I can get down to 1 app, but I think I can combine Numbers with Teacher's Assistant and limit myself to 2.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for apps to monitor student progress?

1 comment:

  1. Hi there - Kalen from ClassDojo here. Thanks so much for mentioning us in your blog post - we really appreciate it! I'd love to connect sometime on phone or Skype and hear more of your ideas about how we can make our commenting system more effective for you. Do you have any time to chat this week or next? Let me know - :)

    If anyone who comes across this post has any questions about ClassDojo or needs any help getting set up, please don't hesitate to reach out -