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Thursday, March 23, 2006

In search of the best online gradebook software



The Dream
Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream of automating our gradebook system.

We do many cutting edge things here, but alas we currently do report cards in Shakespearian longhand. Several of us have trialed and used online gradebook systems in the last year and we are convinced that doing this by hand is a waste of time that we do not have.

I'm a big believer in efficiency. I'm also a believer that when you select software you base it on what it is easy for teachers to use or IT WILL NOT BE USED!

I don't need bloatware that has more features than we want. We also don't have unlimited resources.

I've been perusing the Internet, lots of software, not much information from teachers about what they think.

Call for Help
Here are the requirements of what we need:

  • Online access to grades for parents and students.
  • Gradebook software for teachers that allows averaging on a weighted as well as a straight basis.
  • Appropriate for grades 3 - 12
  • Hosted off site (I teach 5 classes and maintain all computers and the server, no more databases I have to write, please!)
  • Will easily print report cards with all grades for each student.
  • Preferably accessed through an Internet browser for teachers and students
  • Affordable
  • Easy for teacher to use
I'm just trying to come up with a short list.

Would you post what you use and if you like it?


An opinionated sidenote
I don't really care to do an SIS and online system. I'm amazed at what waste and redundancy there seems to be with these multiple systems. Many of the SIS (Student Information Systems) systems are still talking about their upgrade from DOS on their website. Come on!

Web 2.0 and the gradebook.

What I'd really like is a class portal with gradebook information, etc. but also the ability to do RSS feeds into the portal which would include such things as the school calendar, school news blog, and other items.

With the advent of XHTML it seems there should be a better way but no one has invented it yet.

Please help me!

I'm trying to get the short list to our technology committee. I've been working on this for three weeks and resorting to my blog as a last resort. (I hope you will prove that it should have been my first resort!)

Some I'm considering putting on the short list:

Would you post what you use and if you like it?
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