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online organizers

I actually wasn’t that impressed with Edmodo and Schoolbinder. I do think they bring some good organizational tools to the table, however, I find that most school already have these systems of posting assignments online, having teacher portals for grades, and allowing teachers to have class sites in place already. As some people have said, schoolbinder doesn’t seem to be incredibly useful without paying. And Edmodo, while more interactive, is just a school version of facebook. I think a kid would say, “Why do I need this when I already have facebook? Just make a fan page if you want to post stuff.” While I agree it is good to use media to tap into what the kids are already doing, and I especially like the technology of videos and certain math programs (ie geometer sketchpad), I know from talking to kids, facebook is already a big distraction to them when they are trying to sit down and study. The advice I have heard given to them has been, “When you are trying to study, turn off your phone and turn off your computer. You need no distractions.” I can’t say that I disagree with this.

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Comments on: "online organizers" (4)

  1. I agree. I didn’t find either website all that useful. I don’t know how I would incorporate them into class. For grades and posting assignments and things like that I already use engrade (www.engrade.com) and find that much simpler to use. Plus, it serves a purpose that is clearly separate from the purpose of Facebook, so I feel like that alone makes students more likely to use it. It gives it more of a purpose than I felt like edmodo and schoolbinder had. Plus, unlike schoolbinder, engrade is entirely free.

    • efc382@gmail.com said:

      I didn’t know about engrade. I’ll have to check it out. Where do you teach?
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  2. Definitely check out engrade! I’m student teaching at the Facing History School.

  3. Hey guys,

    I appreciate the mentions and the feedback. I am one of the founders of Schoolbinder. Schoolbinder is free. The only PRO feature right now should be Common Core Student Goal Setting which is mainly used by school accounts and not individual teacher accounts.

    I totally agree that Engrade is awesome. It is a little awkward to set up at first but it gives you assignments and grades. If that is all you are looking for then Engrade might be the perfect solution.

    We built Schoolbinder around collaboration. We added grade books and attendance but we have also added many other features:

    Discussions allow you to have private discussions within groups. You can create as many classes/sub-groups as you need and have discussions within them. You can also embed YouTube videos and discuss them privately too.

    File Manager: We have DROPBOX integration with our File Manager. You can upload files for students to download. You can also have student upload files directly into any assignment space. (We are working on an online reader to keep you from having to download the actual files which can transfer viruses).

    Reminders: We have SMS Text reminders which allow you to remind yourself of anything within Schoolbinder. We have class reminders which will let every see a red box when the enter your class space.

    Calendars: When students sign in they will see ONE calendar with ALL of their assignments, exams, etc. Parents can also download the iCal file and import it into their Outlook, iPhone, or any other calendar device.

    Bookmarks: You can bookmark anything within Schoolbinder (including student work). This is great for meetings, etc.

    The only PRO feature: Common Core Student Goals:
    You can use the Common Core goals as a template to set goals and milestones for your students. Students can add milestones to show how they plan to achieve the goal. You can also associate a goal to an assignment. eg: “If you pass Friday’s Math exam you will have achieved the Fractions Goal”

    We are integrating Facebook and Twitter to allow teachers and students to invite their “friends” into discussions. We are adding public profiles for both teachers and students to make it feel more social.

    http://myschoolbinder.com/benefits

    Yes, it is like Facebook but a lot safer. No need to share emails or cell phone number to message anyone. Parents can soon sign in and read Schoolbinder messages to their students. Knowing this, students will keep non-school related conversations on Facebook and school only conversations on Schoolbinder.

    WE ARE ALWAYS LISTENING FOR NEW IDEAS AND FEATURES. You guys know best what you need on a daily basis. I’m always available. Just email me: roderick at myschoolbinder dot com

    Thanks again!

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