The very title of this blog may lead you to believe that I am an out and out technophile. To a certain extent, this is true; I love to make the most of technology in my classroom and redefine what I am able to do with my students. Increasingly, I explore technology options for managing my own day to day planning. I can see and understand the benefits of google drive and documents for me when communicating and collaborating with colleagues and friends. A shared document is easy to work on and I appreciate the way I can link in photos and so on. This being the case when I was introduced to iDoceo I could see so much potential. It was clear to me that I could do away with my traditional mark book and use this new option.
Firstly, I was easily able to import the class spreadsheet from our school information system along with all sorts of details that I wanted to use.
Once my mark book was in place it did not take me long to sort out my calendar linking it to my school outlook calendar so that at a glance I could see my timetable and all my other meetings. The planner is completely adaptable so it can show as many or as few days in a working week as you wish. In addition, the planner allows you to input the exact number of lessons a day you need. Initially I did not find it completely intuitive but there are some excellent help sheets on the web page and one tweet to @idoceo sorted out any problems I had. Now, I find that I am away and flying and I am much more in tune with the system working out how to achieve just what I need through trial and error.
As you can see from the image above it is also possible to use idoceo as the place to put your plans. I am not so taken with this at the moment largely because I need to be able to put my iPad to use for other activities in class which means I can not always have my plans open in front of me. So, for now, I will have to stick to pen and paper for lessons plans but I do get a certain amount of pleasure from using 20th century techniques...
Once, your class list is in, then there are a number of options available. Very usefully, there is a class seating plan tab that has certainly come in handy for me, firstly for seating plans and thereafter for group work. A simple click on the appropriate tab and you can have seating in pairs or in groups of three or you can work out your own groupings. There is also a dice tool that will randomly select the next person to answer your question.
Entering grades is easy too and there are all sorts of tools to help you work out averages for a piece of work by class or averages over a period of time for each student. iDoceo is really everything and more than you could ask for in an iPad mark book app. Your marks can be exported and printed out in a format that suits you ready for parents' evenings and tutor meetings. I have only begun to list the features here. Consider, for a moment, all those icons that can be annotated with your own notes (I use mine to highlight individual learning needs), or the ability to write a note about each student and the areas they need to work on next time to ensure progress.
There really is so much to praise and I have only just got started. I have not told you about storing a photo of your student's work and sending them a message about it, or recording a message for them. Nor, have I mentioned the resources board - another excellent feature. The picture below gives you a good idea what that might be about.
iDoceo is certainly an app that I will continue to use for managing my classes.
What are your thoughts on classroom management tools? Do you use iDoceo? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.