It’s no secret that tech has arrived in the classroom – which is a wonderful thing for teachers, students and parents!
Classroom management software can help teachers facilitate group collaboration, monitor students’ computer activities, assess students’ learning progress, communicate with parents and much more.
As my children get older it’s interesting to see what types of software schools use. There are so many different tools and so many different platforms…how does one piece of software stand out (no really, if you know the answer to that let me know :)?
If your school is thinking about implementing a classroom management software solution, here are 7 things to look for:
1. Well-supported: Teachers should have access to as much training and support as they need, whether in the form of in-person demos, a helpline, on-demand videos, or any combination of the above. There is no such thing as bug-free software and technology fails from time to time, but if it’s backed by good people that answer the phone and genuinely care about serving you, you’ll be in good hands.
2. Easy-to-use: Did I really need to say that? Like anyone wants to use poor designed software. But seriously you know it when you’re looking at a product that seems intimidating and cumbersome to navigate. Sure you need to let the vendor demo the software but after the demo, if you’re not saying “Oh, that seems easy enough” then keep up the search. Well designed software won’t make you think.
3. Reliable: Yes there’s no such thing as 100% bug-free software, but there’s nothing more frustrating than unreliable software! Be sure to check the reviews and track record for any classroom management software solution you’re considering. Even better? See if they’ll let you speak with some real-life satisfied customers (like we do here at MemberHub). Better yet ask them to give you references and follow through on reaching out those folks. Ask about the software company’s support too!
4. The Right Cost: You should never pay for a bigger, more expensive classroom management software system than you need. Figure out what’s most important to your teachers, and what your budget is, and work within those constraints. And be fair about this with the software vendors. Classroom management software will save you plenty of time with increased communication and student engagement. So think through the value the software is providing and what you you expect it to do.
5. Mobile-friendly: Because learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, your classroom management software solution should be compatible with tablets and smartphones. Period.
6. Secure and password-protected: This goes without saying – any software you use in the classroom must use state-of-the art encryption to keep students’ and teachers’ work and identities secure. Make them prove to you that it’s safe and secure up front.
7. Helpful: This one should be obvious, but often isn’t. Does the classroom management software actually enhance the educational experience for the students? What about the parents? List out exactly how it’s helpful and who it’s helpful for. Does it match your goals that you set forth when you began you search for classroom management software? If not, don’t sign on the dotted line – step back and reassess what would truly be most helpful for the teachers and students at your school. Don’t jump in too quick.
What did we miss? What platform are you using to manage your classroom communications and experience? Will you share your feedback below?