The new academic year starts on Monday (pupils start back on Tuesday), so I have been doing some of the little admin tasks that I need to do to be ready to teach my new classes. I am sure that my way of doing things is not the most time efficient, but I haven’t worked out an easier way of doing it yet.
So I thought I would show you the process I go through. Some things I can’t show due to data protection, but I will describe the stages I go through.
I like to have the photos of my pupils in my register as it helps me to learn lots of new names quickly. Also my pupils use email as their main communication tools with me, so I need to know who is sending me the email, hence my slightly long winded process.
It all starts at school, where I use our pupil management software to download my class lists with photos of pupils. We use iSams, but many other school use Sims.net which can do the same thing. I then right click on each of my pupil photographs and ‘save picture as’ to save into my documents (I file these by year group).
Then I open my school outlook and I add each pupil to my contacts (this is not as many as it seems, as many of them are already there!). I add the pupil photograph to each ‘contact card’. I also have a similar structure in place for all the teachers in my school as well.
Now that all of my pupils are in my outlook contacts (which is useful when they email me as their picture comes up!), I can start setting up my register.
I have mentioned before that I have been trying out Teacher Kit, as I have enjoyed using it for the past few terms I have decided to keep using it (at least until the promised Teachers Attaché update happens). But before I could start setting up my classes for this year, I needed to archive the data from the previous academic year. So this is how you do it:
When you open each class you have some buttons to tap in the top right corner, one of them is the export button. When you tap this you can decide what data you would like to export for this class, and how you wish to export it. I chose everything and exported via email. This meant that the data was emailed using CSV format to my school email, so I could save it.
I then deleted each class (after checking that the data had arrived).
This left me with an empty Teacher Kit. So now I could start adding my classes.
When you add a new class you have a variety of ways of adding the students. One of them is to add from contacts, which is useful when I have my school outlook synced to my iPad. So I can quickly search for a pupil from my contacts and they are added to the class with their picture already attached.
It took me about 1/2 hour at school adding pupils to my outlook with their pictures and another 1/2 hour at home to add my classes into my iPad. Although I did leave a full 24 hours for the data to sync between my school outlook and my iPad.
Some other features that Teacher Kit has that I find very useful are:
Being able to have customisable student fields.
Customisable attendance fields (the music lesson one is very useful). But most importantly
being able to set up my own grading fields (my school as an unusual method of grading work!).
So I am ready to greet my new classes on Tuesday, and hopefully the photographs will help me to distinguish between the various Oliver’s and James’ that seems to be ‘the’ name of the year (almost all of my classes have at least 2 of each!).
Next week I hoping to feed back on how easy it is to set up Edmodo with my senior school classes. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly…..