Review by Veronica McDaniel
Assessment Tool Category: Course tracking tools
Assessment Tool Website: http://www.teacherease.com
Introduction and Description:
TeacherEase is web-based software designed to aid teachers in managing their classroom duties. There are two major features of TeacherEase—the grade-book component and the lesson planning and curriculum mapping component. The premise behind TeacherEase is to help teachers save time, communicate with parents and increase student performance. The big idea is to give teachers extra time, and allow teachers and parents to work as a team, together modifying student behavior and improve student performance. Features of TeacherEase include:
- Electronic grading is kept securely on a web-site.
- Teachers can share students’ grades with their parents on the web-site.
- The ability to email parents about student’s work, behavior, or other issues.
- The teacher has the ability to print out information for parents who DO NOT have on-line access.
- Parents have the ability to login and check their students’ progress (assignment, score, etc)
- Lastly TeacherEase is a web-based service, that can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet and there is no software to install or maintain.
TeacherEase also has online help, videos, email support and feedback as a standard resource for new and seasoned users. One especially special feature of TeacherEase is the ability to upload files (into a online locker system), such as newsletters, permission slips, worksheets, etc. and share those files with parents and students.
The second component of TeacherEase is the lesson plans & curriculum maps feature. TeacherEase lesson plans & curriculum maps assist teachers in providing an easy way to create lessons plans and curriculum maps, aligned to standards and the ability to share those lessons with team members. Some key components of the TeacherEase Lesson Plans & Curriculum Maps are that teachers have the opportunity to:
- Build an electronic repository of lesson plans and curriculum maps.
- Share lesson plans with other teachers and administrators.
- Easily find state standards.
- Identify gaps and overlaps to streamline curriculum.
- Generate reports to determine planning effectiveness.
Weaknesses and challenges of the assessment tool:
TeacherEase has several wonderful components to help teacher organize grades and design lessons attached to standards. But I noticed key features that I would find invaluable in a comprehensive grading and lesson planning resource missing from this web-based program. First, the teacher is creating an environment to share all of administrative duties that go along with being a teacher. There isn’t a platform for which students have the ability to upload their assignments thus creating the opportunity to build digital portfolios for future reflection on learning. TeacherEase also has an extensive lesson planning and curriculum mapping component, however there isn’t any state name connected to the standards and goals that accompany the program; thus forcing the teacher to search for and upload the standards for their particular state. Lastly, if the teacher decides to purchase this program outside of the school district, she or he would be responsible for entering student and parent information manually which could take several hours for the initial setup.
Example of application of the tool in an online classroom:
TeacherEase could be used as a training resource for middle school or high school teachers. Teachers could participate in workshops in their school library, where a computer lab may be available for larger groups. The tutorials would be self paced or asynchronous in nature. Upon completion of the workshop teachers would be required to set up their classrooms on the TeacherEase web-site.
Learning objective connected to the use of the assessment tool:
Teacher-Learners will at the end of the online tutorial complete the Basic Setup for one of their classes in TeacherEase including creating a class, organize a rosters, prepare a grading scale, formulate categories, construct seating charts, assemble class standards, and compose standard based-scales.