This past December was the end of the first semester at my school. Like most schools, endings of weeks, months, quarters, semesters usually mean reports are due for teachers. I was sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet, trying to comb through the random data I had been able to collect while teaching that quarter and I found myself wishing there was something I could use to easily organize, sort, store, and report on my data for me – ALL the data.
Any classroom teacher will tell you that reporting on data is about 75% of our job. Most teachers complain about it, but it isn’t laziness or the lack of accountability that makes us complain. It’s simply the process of reporting data that is frustrating. I teach over 130 kids any given year, 6 class periods a day, with up to 25 students in each class, all of varying learning levels and abilities. Practically speaking, just to TEACH them is a miracle. To TRACK them is just about impossible.
Most teachers I know track using spreadsheets. We have to track behaviors, discipline, parent contact, emails, academic progress, accommodations we provide – all for every student, every day. It is overwhelming at best and a giant mess at worst. When you hear teachers complaining about teaching, THIS is the part we are complaining about. It isn’t the lesson planning or the actual teaching of our students. It’s the process that goes along with all the teaching. And while I understand and value that process and the fact that all that data makes me a better teacher, it should be simpler. Much, much simpler. And when I couldn’t find a tool to make it simpler for me, I decided to make one.
For the past few months, Chris and I have put together a web development team of some of the most awesome, innovative, and creative people in the digital world and we are all working hard to create a web-based, digital classroom management system for teachers that tracks EVERYTHING with just a few clicks of a button. And the best part is that it generates customizable reports for teachers, so once they enter the data, there is no compiling anything. Click, submit, print!
(This is me and Chris, working on our business plan. Clearly, one of us is more responsible than the other.)
Every accommodation a student receives in your classroom? Click, submit, print!
Behaviors on a daily basis? Click, submit, print!
Progress monitoring by standard for each student? Click, submit, print!
Hall passes? Click, submit, print!
Attendance? Click, submit, print!
It’s everything I want and need in my own classroom! I couldn’t be more excited! Right now, there isn’t much to share yet, but I am posting this to ask a favor. I know my own needs in my classroom and we are building the system based around those, but I am looking for input from teachers all over the country. If you are a classroom teacher, would you kindly take my teacher technology survey? Or, if you know a teacher, would for forward either this post or the survey on to them? Or, if you’re REALLY feeling generous, maybe share this post on your own personal FB page to spread the word? The more teachers I hear from, the more versatile I can make the app.
Also, I will be looking for a team of teachers to beta test the app for me beginning in April. If you are interested in being part of team, will you please email me your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org?
SURVEY LINK: https://goo.gl/forms/HAvjlqt3q2LkRz9v2
THANKS, IMAGINARY FRIENDS! It’s always fun to share projects and ideas with you first! 🙂