Managing Student Management Software

Submitted By:
William Forteith, Ed.M. candidate, Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY

Why Online Gradebooks are Changing Education by Laura McKenna
The Atlantic, March 10, 2016

As technology continues its rapid expansion and evolution, incorporating and integrating the latest and greatest hardware and software innovations into schools is increasingly an expectation, not just an aspiration. At the same time, schools must balance the educational benefits of these online tools - such as their ability to foster increased collaboration, creativity and communication - with the potential pitfalls - such as their capability to distract attention, to lead to unhealthy online behavior and to detract from meaningful "offline" interactions. An increasingly powerful tool is student-management software or the educational management system. As Laura McKenna discusses, these programs increase student and parent accessibility to all manner of school-related information, but their biggest influence has been in the realm of real-time and rapid access to grades online. As new developments emerge, these systems have the potential to provide new feedback on additional facets of student performance. At the same time, constant measurement and continuous communication inhibits meaningful assessment, discourages growth mindsets and promotes e-hovering. As schools continue to look strategically at their use of technology and their systems of communication, they must develop guidelines that align with their institutional missions and the best interests of their communities.

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