The Education World Tech Team shares its picks of the best software programs for classroom use. In this article, our experts reveal their choices for classroom-management software. Don't miss the rest of this multi-part Ed World series: Load 'Em Up: The Best Software in the Education World!
Teachers can use classroom-management tools for a variety of tasks, including grade keeping, lesson planning, and attendance taking. Most of the programs in this category are fairly new, however, and none received more than a single recommendation. Excel, probably because it's available free with Microsoft Office, appeared to be the most widely used program. We awarded Thinkwave the "gold star" because of the ease with which teachers can post student grades online.
All the recommended software except Microsoft Excel (Windows only) is available in both Windows and Macintosh. ClarisWorks has been replaced by AppleWorks, although software bearing the ClarisWorks name still may be available in your school media center or from Web sites specializing in pre-owned software.
|Gradekeeper (no ratings provided)|
|Thinkwave* Â Â Â|
The Gold Star rating was determined by considering each program's total score along with the number of recommendations submitted for the program and the tenor of reviewers' comments about it.
* based on results from a single evaluator
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The reviews and recommendations in this article represent the opinions of only our Tech Team experts. If you would like to add your rating to theirs, or if you want to rate and review another productivity program's suitability for classroom use, e-mail me at [email protected].
"We've used Grade Quick for several years," Betty Kistler told Education World. "This year, we are trying out Gradekeeper -- which seems to be great so far. We're still in the 30-day trial period, but we will probably purchase it."
According to Madeline Decker, Thinkwave is also a great tool for posting student grades online. "It's as easy to use as Grade Quick and, with the click of a button, student grades are online. Students and parents use an ID and password to access their accounts. Parents say they love it! Report card day holds no surprises!
"I can post messages to my students and their parents, create seating charts, and generate more than 20 different kinds of reports, including mid-term and final grade reports for each child," Decker added. "On Fridays, all I have to do is print a missing assignments report, cut it into strips, and hand them out! Students know on a daily basis where they need to put in more effort. Grades can be weighted and entered either as letter grades, percentages, or points. I can even get e-mail! The program costs about $80, but site licenses are available."
Article by Linda Starr
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