Trying to keep up with your kids’ education can feel like a losing battle. But there are digital tools that can help in the fight to stay aware.
Parents evenings come around fast, don’t they? You blink, and then all of a sudden, it’s time for a progress update. No matter how chatty your child is, you may still find yourself caught off guard as the teacher tells you of missing homework or performance changes. But chances are your school already has the tools to help you keep track of your children’s progress.
The following apps are used by schools up and down the country. If you’re not aware of them it’s worth checking with your school’s office, as their emails may have ended up in the dreaded junk folder, or become lost in your vast sea of ‘stuff to look at’.
Once you’ve downloaded the apps, communicating with the school and keeping track of your kids’ progress become much easier. Here’s four educational apps to check out:
Used for: Revision and homework
What it’s great for: Breaking down revision into bite-sized chunks
Billed as ‘The fastest-growing homework and revision platform in the UK’, Seneca has over 3.5 million students using it.
For students, Seneca is a really engaging way to do homework, breaking down topics down into bite-sized revision notes alongside short video tutorials. Students are then tested with ‘fill the blank’ or multiple-choice questions to check they’ve absorbed the information.
The software has over 1000 courses based on current KS2, KS3, GCSE & A Level exams. Teachers can create and customise bespoke assignments for students to fit any unique syllabus.
Meanwhile, parents can receive weekly progress reports straight to your inbox, giving you the opportunity to see learning achievements and provide positive reinforcement.
2. Class Charts
Used for: Seating plans, behaviour tracking and homework setting
What it’s great for: The ability to add rewards for positive behaviours
Class Charts was set up by a former teacher who recognised the impact that seating charts has on achievement and behaviour in the classroom. Its clever tech is used by teachers to create the best seating layouts to improve attainment by their pupils.
In order to do this, the teacher logs positive and negative behaviours on student profiles before Class Charts’ unique algorithm does its thing, optimising the layout of the classroom to improve performance. The behaviour log can be shared with parents so that you can see what’s happening in the classroom as well as at home.
There’s also an integrated homework module which allows teachers to assign homework to individuals or whole classes. This is presented as a to-do list on the app and a calendar on the school website, making it easy to keep track of deadlines. It also has a rewards store to reward positive behaviour with treats selected by the school: hot chocolate from the canteen, for example.
3. Show My Homework
Used for: Homework
What it’s great for: Visibility of homework requirements and achievements
Show My Homework is another fantastic homework tool that provides an interactive and fun format for kids while keeping parents in the loop. Its ability to personalise homework tasks based on ability, preference and learning style means that students’ individual needs are met. And its to-do list format makes it easy to see what needs to be done at a glance by both parent and student. Tick, tick, tick.
Used for: Primary School communication and assignments
What it’s great for: Getting the whole community involved in children’s education
For parents of younger children, ClassDojo is a great way to introduce kids to the world of technology.
Teachers can set assignments which are then performed on the app using swipe controls, taking videos, pictures or by typing. These tasks are kept in students’ portfolios and available for parents to view. Students have their own fun monster avatars and can be awarded digital stickers for any skill or value, from working hard to being kind.
With parents able to view these successes, the positive reinforcement can continue at home too.
Its instant messenger service and the ability for parents, teachers and students to upload videos or pictures from the classroom or home make ClassDojo an excellent communication tool for families and schools.
If you’d like to know more about how to engage better with technology better, we offer Adult IT classes to help boost your IT confidence.