Since Google Apps for Education began, it’s worked to produce a versatile set of tools for teachers to engage and evaluate the classroom using computers and tablets. Even with collaborative tools like Google Drive and Google Classroom, though, managing entire classes is a challenging affair, and Hapara intends to pass even more power to the teachers with their Teacher Dashboard application- enough to reduce prep time by 1 to 2 hours!
The Teacher Dashboard is a big piece of our Connected Classroom that we’ll be showing at MACUL 2015, and Angie from Hapara will be there with us, showing teachers how it works. To get a better idea of how Hapara is hoping to help teachers, we spoke to Angie about the benefits of the Teacher Dashboard.
The purpose of Hapara Teacher Dashboard is to provide teacher visibility into what students are doing in Google Play for Education, but we also want to save them time by helping to manage it in a way that really makes sense—Google Drive and other Google Applications can really become difficult to manage because they weren’t designed for the collaborative use of 20 or 150 people (typical teacher case-loads).
Full Visibility Drives Better Learning
With the Teacher Dashboard, we take something similar to what Google Classroom is doing, but we manage more than just the Google Drive, providing visibility through all Google Apps, including Blogger, Sites, Gmail and others. We’re also able to put students into multiple groups very easily, and then distribute documents to multiple students, multiple groups, multiple classes—all at the same time.
Say you just sent out a small assignment for students to complete in Google Docs—Teacher Dashboard allows you to keep an eye on which students are working on the assignment, and track their progress in real-time! This provides a window into students or groups who may be struggling, and it gives you the opportunity to address those rough areas.
Organized like a classroom, for the classroom
One desire we’ve heard from teachers using Google Apps is for a way to sort classwork by student, and Teacher Dashboard is designed specifically for that purpose. With the ability to sort your students’ work by grade, class, student, or other custom groups, Hapara hopes to put the control back in your hand by allowing you to organize the way you find best— this feature alone has saved teachers up to two hours of prep time every day!
Another time-saving benefit is the SmartShare feature, which greatly simplifies the process of sharing, copying, and sending files to students, and it can be adjusted to send multiple files to multiple students, classes, or groups all at once.
Helping you ‘hit the ground running’
A big issue with edtech today is sending proper training, from the lab all the way to an actual classroom—at all the events we’ve attended in 2015, we’ve seen that training and teacher comfort is becoming a huge focus. Hapara is fully aware of this, and to be sure that teachers are getting started on the right foot, we hold a live orientation every week. Hapara also offers a 30-day free trial of the software, so you can get in and experiment yourself.
Visit us at MACUL
So if you’re going to be attending the MACUL conference this March, be sure to swing by Newmind Group’s booth, and get a look at Hapara in person! I’ll be set up to provide a demo and if you reserve a slot it will put you in the running for a free Google Play for Education tablet!