A. Efficiency - 8.8
B. Functionality - 7.7
C. Design - 9
PowerSchool: A Tool for Digitalizing the Classroom
Summary : A LMS You Can Use!
PowerSchool (formerly Haiku Learning) provides teachers with a learning management system they can use with their students. To begin, teachers will need to register with the website and then create their first class by clicking the “My Classes” tab and choosing the “New Class” option. Teachers are then prompted to add information about their class including its name (and PowerSchool uses it to create a unique URL for the class) and a brief class description. Teachers can also choose email settings and if they wish to enable the calendar, discussion, and inbox features. Next, teachers must choose if they wish to use an existing class schedule, create a new schedule, or to not use one at all. At this point, the class webpage is loaded. Using the Pages, Calendar, Message, Activities, and Grades options on the menu, teachers can begin adding content. By clicking the “Pages” tab and choosing the “Add Page” option, teachers can insert new subsections to their website that they can fashion to function as blogs, resource repositories, general class information, and more! Once they created a new page, teachers can click the “Add Content Block” button to insert text, files, images, videos, web links, audio, and more. Once the type of content has been selected, PowerSchool guides teachers through the process of inserting it onto their website. The “Calendar” option shows a snapshot of a month and teachers can click the “Add Assignment,” “Add Event,” or “Quick Add” option to insert content onto the calendar. The “Messages” option allows teachers to post announcements to the class, creating assignments that students can submit via the “Dropbox” feature, and send and receive emails with students and parents using the “Messages” feature. The “Activities” feature lets teachers design and add assignments, assessments, discussions, polls, and wiki projects to their class. For each type of activity, teachers must click it from the dropdown menu, choose the “Add” option, and then PowerSchool guides teachers in the processing of creating it. Finally, the “Grades” option provides teachers with tools through keeping a grade book and attendance record. Teachers must choose the type of grade book they wish to use, either mastery or standard, and then PowerSchool guides them in creating it. When ready to add entries to the grade book, teachers must click the “Add Grade Book Entry” button, choose the item they wish to add (e.g., assignment, discussion, assessment, wiki project, miscellaneous) and enter in the key information. Once complete, teachers will see the entry reflected in the grade book. After teachers have created their class, they can click the “Manage Class” menu on the far right of the screen so they can add students, standards, themes, and badges to their course among other options. When ready, teachers can make their course live by clicking the “Make Active” option on the bottom of the “Manage Class” menu. (Teachers must activate their course before being able to add students via the “Edit Roster” option.)
Please Note: PowerSchool is a robust tool teachers can use in their classroom. With all its features and options, the extent to how it can be used exceeds the scope of this review. We recommend teachers begin using it with the classroom applications listed below and then develop their own ideas!
- Teachers can use this website to create and manage their course, which can complement a face-to-face course or be used as an online learning classroom.
- During an open house or parent-teacher conference, teachers can give parents and other stakeholders a tour of their website and help them join it by inviting them to do so by sending them an email with an access code, which can be obtained using the “Edit Roster” feature in this website.
- Teachers can create a page on this website for each unit they taught over the course of a semester or school year. On it, teachers can include the titles of the lessons along with their plans, links to resources, and other general information about the unit. That way, students will have direct access to those materials when they are reviewing for upcoming assessments and exams.
- Teachers can use the “Grade Book” and “Attendance Record” to track student learning and attendance. In addition, if parents are invited to the website, they will be able to track their own student’s progress in the class.
Teachers can instruct students how to use the website’s “Dropbox” feature. That way, students will be able to digitally read assignments, complete them, and submit them. By doing so, teachers and students will be able to eliminate paper from the classroom.
|B2. Collaboration & Communication|
|B3. Ability to Save Progress|
|B5. Platform Integration|
|C2. Ease of Use|
|C5. Screen Design|
|C6. Information Presentation|
|C7. Media Integration|
|C8. Free of Distractors|