Note: more up-to-date info on Teacher Dashboard for Google Apps
The cat's out of the bag :) … it's fantastic to see our early adopting classroom teachers and partners talking about Teacher Dashboard. It's hugely rewarding to see the interest (and the look of relief on teachers' faces!) when we demo the tools. If you haven't seen it yet, Maria from Watchdog will include Teacher Dashboard during her Google session on Friday morning.
Teacher Dashboard is an add-on to Google Apps Education Edition that makes it easier for teachers to deal with their classroom Google Docs, Sites, Gmail and Blogger content.
Teacher Dashboard eliminates the confusion and massive time drain involved in managing classroom online content. Just keeping track of Google Docs for 30 kids is a real killer, involving hours of effort and tears just navigating individual student folders, not to mention cajoling students to get their content in the right place. – Russell Burt, Principal, Pt. England School
Teacher Dashboard gives teachers a bird's-eye view of the entire classroom:
The screen above shows the teacher the last few documents worked on by a each student, broken down by subject, along with some additional information:
In the example above, it's clear that Sandy has started her Marco Polo presentation, but hasn't touched the Volcano Report for a week. The teacher can also readily see that Sandy is a Year 6 student (indicated by the number next to her name), and is nearly 11 years old. As this is a mixed-year class, Patrick is a Year 5 student and is nearly a year younger – information that will probably affect how their work is evaluated.
The tabs above reflect the subject areas being worked on in Room 20, as defined by the school or the teacher. Beyond Google Docs, Teacher Dashboard can provide a similar view across:
- Student's personal Google Sites (a personal e-portfolio site maintained by each student)
- Contributions to a classroom site
- Individual student's blogs (on Blogger)
- Classroom blog (on Blogger)
- Student's Gmail inbox and sent mail
- Where the underlying Student Management System provides access to the information, we are able to make even more functionality available:
In the example above, Teacher Dashboard displays subject-specific assessment information for each student ((Reading Age in this instance), and provides one-click access to each student's SMS record.
To allow all this happen, Teacher Dashboard requires the Google Apps environment to be set up consistently – and while this is easy to do for a small group of students, it becomes a significant problem when dealing with multiple classrooms or a school. We address this problem through other tools our larger Managed Learning Environment for Google Apps, of which Teacher Dashboard is just one component.
Our Managed Learning Environment for Google Apps provides the ability to automatically synchronize your Google Apps student accounts and class groups with your Student Management System, to ensure that your students can use a single account and password to access all school resources (online and in-school), and that the classroom and student environment is consistent and set up automatically.
Once students have their individual accounts created, the tools can configure each student's environment to suit the classroom requirements. This can include set up of personal or shared folders, creation of personal Google Sites or access rights to the class site, etc.
The student view of Google Docs show above illustrates the automatic sharing of student content (with the teacher, and the school admin accounts), and the folders that have been created for the student as part of account setup. The shared subject folders are configured at a per-classroom level and cannot be deleted by students.
The MLE/GA can also provide policy enforcement to ensure that student content is shared appropriately, or that teachers (and admins) are automatically notified if inappropriate content is found.
Teacher's Dashboard and the MLE/GA are fully cloud-based solutions powered by Google. There is no hardware or software for you to install or manage, and once in-place, there is no specific maintenance required on your part.
Are you interested in the Teacher Dashboard and the Managed Learning Environment for Google Apps at your school? Let us know and we will put you in touch with a local implementation partner. It usually takes only a few days to get going and give your teachers some relief.
Teacher Dashboard was developed in partnership with and based on the Google Apps experiences of teachers at the Pt. England school in Auckland. If you're interested in how the tools fit into a broader pedagogy and a community-wide urban development programme please see www.manaiakalani.org and manaiakalani.blogspot.com.