Apps That Help Busy Teachers Stay Organized.
Busy teachers need to:
- Get to know students as individuals, learn their names and track their progress
- Email people as individuals or in groups
- Track important meetings, events and things to do.
- Record the learning outcomes that have been met, and the remedial work that needs doing.
- Store important documents in an easily retrievable place.
App: iDoceo 2.0 Meets needs 1/2/4
Cost: $ 4.99
Website : www.idoceo.net
iDoceo is a gradebook, diary and register for the iPad.
The Broken Window Approach to Classroom Management.
The Broken Window Theory ( James Wilson & George Kelling ) states that people are more likely to follow rules and procedures if they feel they are being monitored. In classroom management terms, this means that if a teacher adheres to the classroom routines she establishes, and demonstrates to students that she is tracking how they are followed, students are more likely to comply. Classroom procedures may include bringing in headphones, submitting homework, completing graded reader reports etc. When implementing this approach in class, iDoceo enables me to keep a coloured tab record of who has done what and share this information with students through Apple TV or email. The results have been remarkable as many of my students are for the main extrinsically motivated. One day last week only, only 2/21 students had headphones at the beginning of the day, despite being informed the previous day that they would carry out independent listening work. On explaining that green recorded which students had headphone, and red indicted who had not, students asked if red could be changed to green if they brought their headphones from the car during the break, or if they purchased them. After the break, the student headphone count stood at 19/21.
Images and audio recordings can be added to any cell in this chart and so it is possible to store student grades, images of students working during the class etc. I showed one student several photo shots of him playing games and then asked him a set of William Glasser (developer of the Reality Theory and Choice Theory) questions on how his behavior was helping or hindering him learn English. Being able to show the student several sets of photos taken over three days, meant that he had to address the issue. iDoceo enables you to filter the information students see on screen, and so you can keep notes on individual students without compromising them.
Learning and Using Student Names
Learning student names at the beginning of a semester can be a great challenge and I have always traditionally used paper based seating plans. iDoceo enables teachers to add a photograph to movable student name cards which can be re-arranged as often as necessary. I use this at the beginning of the class to register where students are sitting, and also to show students which groups I wish them to work in if I have a priori groupings based on targeted learning. The chart double functions as a register. A gaming element can be added to open class question and answer sessions by using the two dice on this board which randomly select which student will answer a question etc.
I save the seating plan during class quizzes in case I wish to check who was sitting where. If several students have very similar incorrect answers, I need to know if these students have co-operated with each other or come to the same independent error. If it is the latter case, then a greater degree of remedial classroom teaching is necessary.
Record the Learning Outcomes in the Diary
Each class has a build in iDoceo Diary making it is very easy to summarize what has been covered in class and what went onto the whiteboard, as images and audio recordings can be added to each diary cell. Separate class diaries avoids confusion and the need for extensive labeling of which class did what. Individual days or sets of days can be saved as PDF to be shared with either students or colleagues. This is a great time saver as things only need to be written down once.
App Infinote Pinboard for Tasks and Notes. Meets need 5
Cost: $ 3.99
Website : www.jeybee.con/infinote
A colourful, mindmapping type approach to ‘To Do’ lists. You can have multiple pinboards: one for every main ‘compartment’ of your working life. Notes are very flexible and mobile, and can be categorized by colour. Alarms, deadlines and to do checklists can be added to them. For a teacher, their great advantage is that they can be printed from the iPad, exported as PDF or JPG and emailed. I email weekly aims to the students who can store them in Skitch and tick off what they have accomplished.
App: MailShot Pro. Meets need 2
Cost: $ 4.99
Website : www.solubleapps.com/mailshot-support
At present it is not possible to create group emailing lists directly from your iPad. As busy teachers we often send emails to preset groups of people and it is not time effective to have to recall who is in the group or select and old email from the group to ‘reply all’ to. This app alleviates the problem and is very straight forward to use in tandem with your iPad Contacts Book.
Website: Google Creative Book Builder to view the many tutorials and instructional documents available on the web.
For me, the greatest problem I am facing as I end week five of the iPad Initiative is overload: information overload, storage possibilities overload, and question overload. I need to manage a wide range of documents about institutional procedures, staff meetings, training, student administration etc. In order to work with efficacy, I need to establish an overriding organizational framework that I adhere to and access easily and a combination of Creative Book Builder and iBooks is one of the best solutions I have found. Firstly, I wrote an inventory of the hard copy files I would have kept, pre iPad days: Level 1 General Administration, Level 1 Assessment Information etc and created a template for each book in Creative Book Builder. The template includes chapter titles and a cover page. Henceforth, when I receive a document as an attachment via email, I save it as a PDF in Dropbox and if the information to be saved comes in the body of the email, I save it as a screen shot. Both types of saved documents are easily embedded into a CBB chapter. CBB automatically generates a page of contents for fast access to specific pages. Books are published opened in iBooks. New material is added to the iBook via Creative Book Builder, which stores them as work in progress. New editions are re-generated, and published so that they will appear on your iBook shelves. I immediately delete the outdated book, relying on the latest edition to keep me informed.