Wanted - The Ultimate Online Teachers Tool!
Sunday 11 December 2011
There is a truly amazing array of tools out there for teachers and schools these days and between them they do everything I want them to do. Unfortunately none of them do it all. This is a wanted add for the the ultimately teachers planning and communication tool! The following is the list of requirements....
- It must be cross platform and either web based or very capable in the syncing department. I currently use a combination of moodle, google docs and iCal.
- For me to use for planning - I must be able to filter out days, weeks and months, but also classes. That way I can do long term planning by class and then see all of the different classes integrated. I currently achieve this with a google or excel spreadsheet because it is the only tool with all the filtering options. It takes a very long time to prepare this spreadsheet and it's not really what spreadsheets are intended for.
- For parents and students to follow the plans for the class, the tool needs to be able to publish parts but not all of my planning to different places. Some planning apps have this facility in a limited way but not the filtering mentioned above. Again, I can publish different worksheets from a google doc, but not different parts of a worksheet. (Imagine wanting to publish a filtered selection - and I have already said that I don't think this tool is designed for the diary purpose)
- For communication - it is great to be able to post regular updates, homework news and enter in to discussion with students. I have been using facebook to communicate with students in this way and really like it because of the way it gets in to their daily news feed.
- Sharing important dates - Date sharing needs to be wrapped up in to any planning tool. If I schedule an event in my planning I want it to appear in the diaries of all concerned. Currently this can be done in Outlook, iCal and other calendar apps. It can be done through moodle and facebook as well.
- Keeping records - We have a student information management system that records attendance and assessment data, but it is yet another location and only teachers can input. I would like students and parents to be able to input as well.
- Feeding back on records and assessments - I am currently puzzling how to create a system for communication between teacher, student and parent that allows all of us to input in to the record of an individual student that all parties can view, but which is obviously private to the student, teacher and parent concerned. It must also allow me to see an overview.
I can do all of these things using different tools except possibly the last one. Call me demanding, but I want a single tool that does all of these things. If I was a software developer or programmer I would see this as a huge hole in the market! I often wonder if developers are looking at what all the tools are doing and thinking - 'hold on! If our tool does all of these things then we will be on to winner!' So if you are reading developers, I m just one teacher, but please think about building such a tool or making your do everything.