Need some answers about cyberbullying and how to prevent it at your school? CallerSmart has a nice site that is chock full of facts, definitions, interpretations of current laws and current surveys to help get a handle on cyberbullying. The best part is an extensive section about how to stop cyberbullies in their digital tracks, which can be the start of a district- or school-wide program to put an end to it.
Flipgrid makes a classroom discussion as easy as ask a question (or five) and wait for the videoed responses to flow in. The software works on iOS and Android systems and lets the teacher (or a student) start the discussion with a provocative typed question or just a video. The key is that rather than a one-to-one relationship, everyone in the group can see everyone’s video and comment on them, opening a face-to-face-to-face discussion. It costs $65 per teacher and nothing for students.
Every classroom has to squeeze a lot of activities into the school day before the final bell rings and the best way to do it is to set a timer for each. Time Timers has a variety of physical and software timers that all have a red disk that gets smaller as – well – time marches on. There are wristwatches and handheld timers that range from $30 to $80 as well as apps for iOS, Android and PCs.
Apple added a slew of new educationally-oriented features to the iPad’s iOS operating system with version 9.3, but it may take some time to figure them out and work them into a school’s routine. Not the case with TabPilot, which can work with things like Apple’s School Manager. The top new items range from customizing screen layouts and locking lost or stolen pads to blacklisting undesirable apps and sharing the devices among students and teachers. It’s Mobile Device Management scheme lets you use Apple’s Classroom App to manage and document the class.
560 Degree Solutions’ School Management System can cover a school with 360-degrees of technology with everything from automating admission and registration of new students to payroll and human resources. In addition to tracking student progress, 560 Degree can integrate transportation and create a variety of reports for state officials and parents.
Foradian’s Fedena changes the School Management Software dynamic by not charging based on the number of students. Created in India, the app has modules for everything from courses, scheduling and attendance to grades and admissions with a common Web-based interface. There’s a customizable dashboard, the software can create a variety of reports and you can integrate Moodle and Google Docs into the framework. The Pro version costs $600 a year and includes 33 module and Web-based training, while the $1,000 Pro Plus version adds 13 extra modules and comes with personal training.
A report card can never include the subtleties that modern education seeks to provide, from collaboration to creativity, but FreshGrade can consolidate it all for free. Available only for iPads (sorry Android users), there are apps for Students (to compile assignments), Teachers (to provide feedback) and parents (to view progress). The program can capture everything from plain old written material to videos, sound clips and images. There’s also a blog for sharing ideas and a new gradebook that lets teachers use a variety of assessment methods.
Disappointed with Apple’s support, management software and security? JAMF Software’s Casper Suite now supports the new educational features of iOS 9.3. The software can help set up iPads for multiple accounts, use the Classroom app work with Apple School Manager and Managed Apple IDs for schools. There’s even a new Lost Mode that allows an administrator lock a lost or stolen system, rendering it useless while allowing it to be tracked.
If separate gradebooks, student information and analytic reports are too scattered, Jupiter iO puts it all together in one place. The program is cloud based and its common interface covers it all, from testing to billing. It can not only can keep track of every student’s progress and send it along to teachers and parents, but has its own store for buying texts. Jupiter iO costs $8 a student with volume pricing available.
ThinkWave Educator 3.0’s cloud-based gradebook puts all the right grades in the right places, regardless of whether it’s a single class or a day’s worth of teacher. In addition to numerical grades, the gradebook can use letter, check marks or just about any scheme you can think of and generate a variety of reports for administrators or parents. The program’s powerful dashboard lets you choose among Students, Teachers, Classes, Grades, Attendance, Reports and Setup. It can even be used to distribute and collect assignments and the program includes 25MB of online storage space for free. The $50 premium service ups that to 100MB.