Should we depend on an App to manage our classes?

Today, after visiting a website filled with ipad tools for teachers, I decided to give the app ranked first in the category of grade managing a try. Unfortunately, TeacherKit is only available on Apple’s appstore and with windows so I had to borrow my parents’ ipad since I use one of Google’s device.

A few minutes after downloading the free app (in which a 5,99$ in-app purchase is available for a better experience) I was already feeling comfortable with it. It is extremely easy to use as I do not think a huge amount of technological abilities are required in order to master it. The app allows the user to create classrooms in which he can add the students and form a seating plan with their pictures. After a new classroom is created, the teacher can use the app to take attendance, take notes on students’ behavior and manage grades. Grade managing is definitely a strenght of this app as it allows teachers to list every test that is done and to enter every students’ grade quite rapidly. The app then gives a few statistics such as the average, the highest and lowest grades as well as the proportion of students in every grade category.

I think this app can be extremely useful to manage different classrooms as it can be used quickly to enter some information such as attendance during the class. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to change from one classroom to another and to have an overall view of all the classes. The opportunity to access a student’s information such as his parents’ names and phone number gives the app a very practical aspect as it avoids overcrowding your desk with information sheets that you never find! As mentionned here, even if the danger of seeing the app crash and losing all datas exists. TeacherKit found a way to avoid this problem as it is connected with DropBox so you always have a backup of your information.

However, after trying different things on the app, I was disappointed to see a problem that could easily be avoided; when taking attendance, you click on students to make them appear as present or absent but when clicking the confirmation button, the last change you did to a student is cancelled.

I think it is worth to give this app a try as it is free and can definitely improve the quality of classroom management. After trying it, you may end up depending on this app for your classroom management as all reviews I have read so far are extremely positive except for some minor technical issues that can be solved in future updates.

Here’s a quick video about the fundamentals of TeacherKit.

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