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Data Makes the School

MmsWith standards and assessments at the core of education today, Computer Resources’ MMS Student Information Platform puts data first. It can connect real-time data with standards, grades, absences and even the school’s lunch program so that every student gets the education they deserve. It just got Massachusetts certification for Schools Interoperability Framework, version 2.7 and you can try out a free trial of the software.

 

 

 

Freebee Friday: Taking the Class’s Pulse

Bing pulseEver want to take the pulse of your class’s reaction to the current lesson to see if everyone is getting it? Microsoft’s Bing Pulse lets you do that with students responding to the lesson on their phones with reactions that range from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. Pulse in the Classroom tracks how the class is absorbing the lesson, letting the teacher know on a class-wide basis with an easy to scan fever chart. It’s still in beta, but Pulse can help bring you and your students closer.

Progress at a Glance

Open ed masterySure, Open Ed has a huge library of assignments, assessments and lesson plans, but the group’s Mastery Chart approach brings it all together. In a simple, easy to read format, it can not only show how each student is doing at a glance but it displays who’re leading and who’re lagging. With the requirements listed on the left and the class list along the top, it sets up a matrix of results that can be compared to the class average for each task.

ISTE HIGHLIGHTS: Making Standards Standard

AlmaThe latest in tracking a school or district’s adherence to curriculum standards is Alma’s Standards Tracker. Built on a standards-based grading philosophy, the software fits into the company’s SIS/LMS platform and can track every part of a class’s curriculum, including each student’s proficiency at any level. The software should be ready by the fall term and can be previewed at booth 1602.

ISTE HIGHLIGHTS: Ready to Learn

EdrediNothing shuts down a digital lesson than one kid who’s checking in on Facebook or googling his name, but Education Resources has an Answer: EdRedi. The software not only works with off-the-shelf Android, iOS or PC but can control what kids are looking at online.

ISTE HIGHLIGHTS: Google Education Plus

Edsby & Google DriveIf Google’s Apps for Education just isn’t enough to sustain classroom activities, bring in Edsby’s newly revamped Learning Management System (LMS). Together, the two can breathe life into a classroom environment. In addition to creating, collaborating and storing classroom documents, the Edsby-Google combo can support everything from taking attendance, grade books and report cards to discussion forums and parental engagement. The two programs can now be set up with a single login, which means you and your kids can get right down to the work at hand. The best part is that students can store and grab assignments on GoogleDrive and then submit them securely via Edsby. See the two interact at booth 1808.

Freebee Friday: Log On in the Cloud

Edsby office 365Edsby’s LMS system can now be used without a separate login. Just log in to your Office 365 account via Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory server and all of Edsby’s resources – from the gradebook and attendance page to report card and planning tools – are available. It also opens up everything that’s stored in your OneDrive online storage account.

Freebee Friday: Sign-Up Time

Volunteer sign upGet rid of those ratty old signup sheets for activities, parent-teacher conferences and volunteers. In its place start using VolunteerSpot's My Sign-ups, an online equivalent that works better and is fairer. You can register on your own or with a Facebook account and then start creating online sign-up sheets. Just type in the name, date, and number of people needed as well as any special details the participants will need to know about. You can even include a school or club logo. At that point any student, teacher or parent can be sent an email or log in to see what’s available and sign up for what they want. The program will even remind you when your activities are taking place.

Freebee Friday: Book It

PlannerThe days of the bound calendar planner with scribbles everywhere are long gone, but nothing good enough has replaced it. That is, until now with PlanBook. The browser-based system can streamline planning a week, a month or the entire school year. It can handle everything from classes and meetings to sports and school activities. The free version works with just about any computer or phone and can rotate classes weekly or on a variety of other popular schedule formats and the software even integrates into Google’s Education apps. Upgrading to the Premium product adds the ability to attach files and put your planner online for others. It costs $25 a year, although that drops to $16 per user a year for schools with 250 teachers.

The New Classroom

Google classroomThe latest version of Google’s Classroom software is out and it updates the classroom management program with 20 different major changes. Many are very exciting, including the ability to create, edit, distribute and even grade assignments from your phone so you can catch up on work at home or even on the bus ride to school. Plus, grades are now automatically saved, so nothing gets lost and an entire year's worth of assignments can be archived for class for next year’s batch of kids.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.