Ironically enough, I debated on blogging about the use of the Ipad in the classroom for a long time. Although using such device on a regular basis will always be a work in progress, the months of research I’ve invested got me to feel confident using it in the classroom as a teacher. Accordingly, my reluctance to write about is wasn’t merely based on my competency, but more on the fact that this post could go endlessly, in very various directions, and I wouldn’t even be close to summarize the opportunities that such a great device holds.
Anyhow, for this post I intend to focus more of the various apps one could use to manage her classroom. When I first start as a teacher, I felt ready to go out there and teach. I felt like I had the teaching skills to popularize complex notions to my students and the strong will to captivate them. However I was terrified by all the logistics of the classroom. My head was already filled with mental notes as it was, I didn’t see how I could find more space to remember that I needed to verify Jimmy’s homework, to get Anna’s signature and to bring an extra copy of the homework for Sam who’s missing the next two classes. Although I eventually developed my own system, I must say that apps such as “Teacher Tool” and “Teacher Kit” helped my get everything together.
Both apps (available on Itune on full and demo version) offer a wide range of tools for teacher of every level. Firstly, they allow you to create a classroom in which every student has a profile with categories such as remarks, reminders, marks, comments, student’s email, parents’ email and even a profile picture. Once you’ve created your class with a profile for every of your students, you can then arrange them in a sitting plan. A very useful way of remembering everyone’s name before the term hasn’t even started yet!
A very useful functionality I quickly discovered was to take the attendance with it. To do so, you simply click on the students that are late or absent and once you’re finished it will automatically send an email with all of these informations to the secretary or even the parents. It also keeps tracks of the total of absence and stores it in the student’s profile.
When comes the end of the term, it’s always a hassle to get all the results from your grade-book to the school’s website. With any of these two apps, although “Teacher Tool” works better for this, it becomes much easier. For every competency you have to evaluate, you can create subcategories for every evaluation and give them the total and the weight you wish. It will also automatically calculate your average, transfer the grade to A,B,C,D or E, and highlights students with difficulties. There’s also a comment section for every evaluation.
In all honesty, even though both apps are great, “Teacher Tool” has much more to offer than “TeacherKit”. While in the grade book section “TeacherKit” doesn’t allow you to create distinct competencies in which you can enter the results of your evaluations, “Teacher Tool” does so amazingly well and offers great ramification of every grade you might have taken. Although I must admit “TeacherKit’s” user-friendliness keeps it nice and simple, one used to “Teacher Tool” functions will be able to gather all of his grade-books, comments, reminders and important messages in only one device. That makes me wonder how people managed before these apps came out!