In the wake of recent “collective bargaining” talks in Wisconsin, educational reform is again a topic up for debate. No matter where you stand on the issue, everyone can agree that a great teacher can change your life. Drop the Chalk is an online software program that helps any teacher become that memorable influence in children’s lives.
Created by former Teach for America teacher, Jen Schnidman, Drop the Chalk’s initial product offering is an intuitive, web-based application that enables teachers and principals to measure student academic progress and ensure consistency in school culture.
The platform offers multiple methods for data entry so that daily tracking of progress to learning goals is an achievable reality for teachers. Data can then be analyzed to determine a student’s mastery of a skill over time, to compare the performance of different groups of students, and to flag students in need of additional academic support.
Drop the Chalk caters to the standards, culture and curriculum of each specific school—which means the program is individualized, instead of a cookie-cutter program for ever classroom across America.
Drop the Chalk’s latest offering is called Kickboard. Kickboard allows all sorts of data to be collected about students from progress in a classroom activity to individual daily mood readings. This can help teachers across subjects and classrooms keep up to date with all the children they work with. Instead of helping just one teacher, this program is for the entire school.
Can you imagine if your child’s math teacher knew they were having a challenging day and put in the extra effort to encourage him or her? That could keep kids from “falling through the cracks” more than any poorly developed governmental program.
Education has always been a very important issue to me. I loved school and now that I’m in college I work every day towards learning something new, instead of just working toward getting A’s, because I don’t think that’s the point. I learned that lesson from a very special teacher. Being a teacher is a tough job, and this program allows teachers to focus more on teaching and less on making spreadsheets.
This is another 2011 Echoing Green Semi-Finalist.
via Flickr by theother66
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