My school recently started using EduPage – the online class registration and management software. Like many schools in the state sector of education here in the Czech Republic, we previously had classic paper class registers. These were a real pain in the neck, especially for homeroom teachers, who had lots extra of paperwork to grapple with at the end of each month. It was an important official document so it really needed to be looked after properly. Losing a paper class register book was one of the worst nightmares we, homeroom teachers, used to have. I remember a colleague of mine spent days completing a new class register because the old one had got lost towards the end of the school year.
Apart from other cool stuff which I’m still busy exploring, the e-version includes a grade book as well as an attendance tracking tool. These make it easy for us teachers to take attendance or record grades in a matter of seconds. Students, as well as their parents, have instant access to everything the teacher uploads. I’ve also downloaded the app on my smartphone, which is an absolute treat. However, the best thing about this new software is that curriculum design and lesson planning are both a piece of cake (almost).
Before the academic year started, I uploaded detailed syllabi for each of my classes. This was quite a time-consuming phase but it’s definitely paying off now. I’m not going to need to do it next year because I can recycle or adjust the syllabi I already have. Also, I’ve made them freely accessible, so my colleagues can refer to or use the same plans if they want to. The software enables me to keep track of what I’ve covered so far and what needs to be covered in the near future. In other words, if you imagine each syllabus as a map with a route from point A to point B, at each point, I know where I stand and how much there is ahead of me (and my students). All I have to do during or prior to the lesson is to click a link and the corresponding unit/topic is automatically transferred to the class record book. I can elaborate on or tweak it if need be. I can do this easily from my home desk because I can go to EduPage anytime I like. Below is an example of a part of a syllabus – the topics which are highlighted in green have already been covered. The others have not yet been covered or are only partially covered.
Although this is just a pilot take, I already love it so much. It’s all very systematic and transparent. Somehow, it makes me feel well-organized and more productive. Obviously, you don’t need to slavishly follow the plan but it saves you a lot of time and energy once you set it up and get used to it, and thus more space opens up for you and your students to do what you think is important. And at the end of June, I’ll be able to sit down and see what needs to be adjusted or discarded based on the previous school year.