I’ve been trying various apps over the last few weeks for recording, collecting, collating and adding notes for feedback to the various pieces my students have done so far this term. One I looked at was Teacher’s Wire which enabled me to photograph a piece, add the E and Os (Experiences and Outcomes) or levels achieved. It also allowed me to email the result to parents, add notes, add audio, video or files as part of the evidence AND how much progress had been made or indeed if a level had been completed. Works well on iPhone and iPad but I wanted something I could export better and update on my school PC. I also wanted to be able to show example son screen during parents’ evenings.
Some screen shots: You can add the E and Os, class names and student records via csv file. It was a bit fiddly (you have to do it via Dropbox) but worked in the end and all my S1 were transferred.
You then look at records (email, phone nos etc) behaviour (Can add simple texts notes with dates – I prefer Classdojo for this as do my kids) and finally the main application – Teacher’s Records which show the student and the various assessment records you have added. As I said you can ue images, files, audio or videos straight from your iPhone.
I needed more especially in the way of notes. Enter Three Ring (after the famous American binder… ) It is a BETA that is trial software just now as they finalise the release version. Even so, the beta does things very well. You take a picture, add tags (which can be as simple as Writing, Reading, Talk or the E and Os required for that particular year groups ie Level 3 or 4 in English and Literacy) and then you can add notes. For example I can add notes about things to improve, (two ticks and a wish) or go into some detail on what the student needs to sort out.
If you click EDIT on the picture you get the various options below. You can tick off as many or as few E and Os as you wish. If you’re about to do a whole class worth of homework you can tick off the tags and they will appear on every piece so you don’t have to tag each time.So the only change would be the student’s name. IF they have co-operated on a piece you can tick two or more names to show that this piece was done by several students. You can rotate the piece if you’ve taken a landscape photo! By clicking on the piece it goes full-screen and you can see the written comments..
I liked the fact that you can either use the search box at the top on the website to find a particular example of a tag, name or class; or you can simply click the student’s name and get all his or her pieces only on screen. Click class to get all of S3, or Writing in the tags to get the writing pieces from all students and all classes.
As I said, this is a BETA but amongst improvements I’ve been promised are the ability to export to pdf format or Dropbox as well as share with others. A Parent and Student login is also promised so kids can log into their pieces and see feedback on-screen. Parents can also check their kids have done their homework and what the result was!
The guys behind Three Ring are really interested in what I’ve been doing, especially with regards to the tagging of E and Os.
I’ve asked them to start looking at perhaps adding categories for the likes of the capacities ie Writing, Reading and better tagging for the individual E and Os as well as perhaps an import facility (via csv or suchlike). I see so much potential here for other subjects as you will be able to add notes and feedback and this could be added to the annual reports perhaps. I see me being able to get the kids to choose their top five pieces from different genres which are sent home by email or whatever. An ePortfolio would be easier to create using this once the export facilities are sorted.
One to watch – I’ll be using it during the next session, adding the different facilities as each new version comes out and seeing where we go from here with ePortfolios and assessment.