Thursday, December 12, 2013

Great App for Conducting Teacher Observations

I know you love your iPad.

I also know that you have trouble finding ways to make work productively.  Let's face it, the call of Angry Birds is often hard to resist.  That's why we need to share when we find an app that can make our lives easier.

Though not designed for this purpose, inClass is an app that can make it easier for administrators to conduct classroom observations.  inClass is a management tool for students that enables students to take notes, record classes, take pictures, create tasks lists and calendars for the iPad.  The app also allows the user to set up course notebooks so all data is stored in one place.   I told my middle-schoolers to add the app to their iPod touches.

Here's how I use the app to conduct classroom obeservations.

1) Open a notebook and create a new note page (I don't organize the data into notebooks because I generally don't store it on the iPad.)   Type a header with the teachers name and date.

2) Begin recording the class using the buitl in recorder.  The app will save this as an MP3 file.

3) Use a bluetooth keyboard to script the class. I use the built in camera to take pictures of activities, presentations, or documents used during the lesson.

4) Using Apple File Share, I move the script (which is saved as a PDF) and the MP3 file to my desktop.  The neat thing is that the app creates a file and keeps the notes and the recording in one place.  From there I can cut and paste onto district approved forms.

Two drawbacks that I've discovered so far ... 1) If you're recording you can't go back and read notes on other pages without stopping the recording.  2) The in-app calendar does not sync with the general calendar.

You can pick up inClass for free in the App Store.

What apps are you using to be more productive?  I'd love to hear from you.

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