Cool App

TeacherKit

TeacherKit

Platform: iOS and Windows 8

Price: Free


TeacherKit is a fairly simple to use app that allows you to take attendance, create a seating chart, track behavior and grades all in one area.


TeacherKit is free for the iOS. Is also comes in Windows8 but as I don't have a Windows 8 computer/tablet I couldn't test to see how much it cost. For iOS it works on the iPad, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch. Once you download the free app you will be prompted to purchase a $2.99 reporting feature. I would advise using the app for an extended period of time before buying it. It seems to just put the information already available to you into a prettier format. This could be beneficial for K-12 teachers who meet with parents but not so much for Higher Ed instructors.


Visit http://www.teacherkit.net to learn more and download the app.

What can it do?

Attendance Tracker

The attendance portion of the app is pretty good. You can easily create a class manually, from your contacts or by importing a .csv file (the kind you get from OAKS or My Charleston). Once you have the class created you can then leave them in alpha order or create a seating chart for easier roll call (iPad/tablet).


You can create attendance schemes that are broader than just Absent and Present and can set an alert threshold that will flag the student when they are nearing a critical number of absences.


Taking roll is easy. Just tap each student until the appropriate roll status is displayed. You can even mark all students as present with the touch of one button, then go back and change the few that are absent. This is a real time saver.


One downside, it doesn't calculate a percentage of missed vs present. It only displays the number of each type and you have to calculate it yourself.

Behavior Tracker

The behavior portion allows you to indicate good or less than good behavior. This is where I think the app falls short. You cannot preload indicators such as participation, helpful, disruptive, etc. Each time you wish to add an indicator you tap the student, tap the add button, indicate whether the behavior warrants a thumbs-up or thumbs-down then type in a title for the behavior. This is way too many clicks to be effective in a classroom. At least it seems like it to me. It does track the date and time of each entered behavior so you can have a report of all of them but it is click intensive.

Grade Tracker

The app also allows you to track grades. This is a very basic grade book but pretty easy to use. You set up each column with a point value and a weight. These weights must add up to 100%. You can set a customized A,B,C grade scheme and set an alert indicator for anyone who drops below a certain percentage. There is no way to drop the lowest X number of grades or do anything complicated with your points and weights. The nice thing is that when you go to your My Class area you see the grade indicator as well as alerts for behavior and attendance. This allows you to know which students are struggling.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Before using this app to track grades be sure to check with your school principal or department chair as they may not allow the storage of grades on an iPad/tablet due to FERPA restrictions.



Other Features and Info

Overall the app is pretty nice, especially for free. Some other features of note:
  • Automatic backup to the device or Dropbox.com.
  • Additional password for the app itself for added protection of your grades.
  • Ability to export all the reports in excel format via email.
  • Can import a class list from a csv file for easy creation.


Some negatives:

  • Doesn't interface with OAKS attendance tool.
  • No attendance percentage calculation.
  • Can figure out how to import the student's pictures with the csv import. You would have to take their pictures the first few days of class directly into the app.
  • No email or notification of when a student has met a grade or attendance threshold except for the small exclamation point on their image.
  • No behavior presets.



Give this app a try. It's free so there's no harm.


Mendi Benigni

Instructional Technologist: School of Education, Health and Human Performance


College of Charleston