Showing posts with label Grade book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grade book. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free Online Gradebook Learn Boost Goes Live

Last month I reported on a new free online gradebook program called Learn Boost. Today, Learn Boost went live to the public so I signed up and gave it a test drive this evening. The current version of Learn Boost doesn't have all of the promised features activated yet, but what is activated is quite good. The most outstanding feature of Learn Boost is its very intuitive user interface. At no point during the processes of setting-up my class roster, creating a seating chart, and entering gradebook assignments and grades did I have to guess or wonder what to do next. The one feature I do wish it had live right now (it appears to be in the works) is an option to import student lists from an external file. You do have to enter student names manually the first time you use Learn Boost. Overall, on a scale of one to ten for ease of use, Learn Boost gets a ten!

Aside from the ease of use, Learn Boost has some excellent features for day-to-day use. When taking attendance in Learn Boost you have the choice of recording in list view or in a seating chart view. The Learn Boost lesson plan function allows you to upload documents and files that you need in order to conduct your lessons. Coming soon, you'll be able to share lesson plans with other teachers through Learn Boost. Recording scores in your Learn Boost gradebook is very easy too. You control the scoring system and grading scale that you use in Learn Boost. You can export and or print your gradebook at anytime.

Applications for Education
I've worked with teachers using the expensive gradebook systems Infinite Campus and Power School. The biggest complaints that I hear from teachers about those system are about how steep the learning curve is for simple tasks like recording grades or updating class rosters. In fact, in my school we've had entire staff development days devoted to training teachers on how to use Infinite Campus. That is time that could definitely be better spent on any number of alternate activities. Learn Boost will make it easy for teachers to easily do their daily administrative tasks instead of struggling to navigate an difficult user interface. If your school is looking for a new gradebook system, consider giving Learn Boost a good long look.

And I almost forgot, I tested it and Learn Boost works equally well in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. I did not test it in IE because even on my Windows machine I've uninstalled IE.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Instructure Canvas a Free LMS for Teachers

Instructure Canvas is a free learning management system that teachers can use to record grades, post assignments, and interact with their students. Students can use Instructure Canvas to communicate with each other and collaborate on assignments. What caught my attention about Instructure Canvas is that it integrates Facebooks, Google Docs, and email systems outside of Instructure. Another neat feature of Instructure Canvas is that students can subscribe to RSS, email, and cell phone alerts to stay abreast of any new content their teachers post.

The video below provides an overview of Instructure Canvas. (The volume is low in the recording, so you should turn your computer's volume up to hear the narration).


Applications for Education
It should be noted that individual teacher accounts for Instructure Canvas are free but a school-wide deployment may require the purchase of a hosting package. If you're a teacher in a small school that doesn't have a school-wide LMS, Instructure Canvas could be a good system for keeping your students informed of grades and assignments.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Schoology - Online Course Management

Schoology is an online course management system for individual and school-wide use. Schoology offers an online place to create assignments, post assignments, collect assignments, converse with students, track attendance, and maintain a gradebook. Schoology also offers teachers a platform for creating a course blog. The premium features of Schoology, which include layered privacy settings and student account management, are currently being offered to teachers (individual license, not school-wide) for free. If you sign up now, Schoology says that you will always have access to the premium features at no cost.

Applications for Education
I have not used Schoology with my own classes (my district mandates the use of Infinite Campus), but it does look like it could be a good system for teachers whose schools do not offer an online course management system.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Free Student Management Tool - Engrade

Many schools are moving to student management systems that allow parents and students to view their grades and upcoming assignments online. These systems are generally expensive and time consuming to install and maintain, therefore there are still a lot of schools that don't have student management systems allowing parent and student access. For teachers working in school districts that don't have a student management system that parents and students can view online there are some free web-based options available to you. One of these options is Engrade.

Engrade is a very streamlined, easy-to-use, student management system. A teacher can establish a grade book and an attendance register in a matter of minutes on Engrade. The user interface is very intuitive, perhaps the most intuitive grade book interface that I've seen on any student management system. Students and their parents can view current grades, future due dates, and student attendance records. The only shortcoming of the Engrade service is that teachers have to manually input an identification number for each student. Students need a unique identification number in order to login to their accounts.

Click here to view the Engrade demonstration video.