One of the changes this year is that the BCPSS has adopted Power Teacher Gradebook, a new program that allows us teachers to record student grades online.
I believe the goal was for all teachers to be using it by October 15th, but I was going to let someone hold my feet to the flame in order to start using it. I had heard it was probably someone at North Avenue's pet projecs, and that it wasn't as user friendly as the grade program most of us use -- Easy Grade Pro. Most annoyingly, the program could not be used at home, so I couldn't use it at all how I wanted to. That recently changed, though, and we began being allowed to use the program at home (it was on the internet instead of the intranet, or something like that).
Once we were allowed to use it at home, I've shaken off my cynicism and jumped right in -- and I kind of like it. The program seems as easy to use as Easy Grade Pro (except for the lack of seating charts) and I've been busily taking all my grades from Easy Grade Pro and entering them into PTG. It's so nice not to have to deal with saving my current version of Easy Grade Pro and e-mailing it to myself, so I could work on it at home and at school. Instead, it's right online for me at either place.
The only annoyance right now is that the students cannot access these grades and, as of now, neither can parents (or, at least, I have no idea how parents can access them, and no one I've spoken to in the school knows either... I think this is coming).
For this program to be as useful as it should be, students will need to be able to access their grades at any time, as well as parents. That doesn't seem like it'd be hard to do, so hopefully it happens soon. As of now, though, I'm excited, and am hopeful it can make the monitoring of progress a little more in the hands of the student and parent, and make overall grades a little more transparent. All of this would be good for the student, so hopefully BCPSS does as the tech guy at my school says they need to do (just "check a box", he says) and allow student access to their own grades as well as parents.
I'm liking what I've seen of it so far, though.
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