The Attendance app has been an invaluable tool to track my students preparedness for class and keep track of attendance all at the same time. Its customization and multiple ways of reporting data for a class or a specific student have exceeded my expectations. But as mentioned previously there is much more…. It can be utilized as a means of keeping notes on each class or each student and communicate by keeping missing or all students up to date via email.
As I teach over 350 different students in 15 different classes, it can be challenging to keep all the facts straight all the time. Throughout my teaching career I've tried many different strategies to document behaviours and participation etc. I've used post it notes and attached them to a day plan, and later stuck them to a page in a binder for each student. I've kept a notebook and written things down there. These former practices were inefficient and eventually I would stop using them to the extent that I should.
An excellent feature within this app is that I can write a quick note about a student, perhaps a behaviour issue, or a commendation, that I don't want to forget. This information is then saved and linked to that student, in that class in which it occurred.
This feature is simple to use. After you've taken attendance you can select a student that you would like to document something about. Select them by tapping the blue arrow in their row.
As teachers we know how important documentation can be and this app is able to streamline much of that. Once notes have been entered I can then see all the documentation on a student by viewing it or emailing myself all of the notes for a student. In addition to taking notes on a student, I can also make a note for the entire class for that day/class in the task section and I can refer to these later as well.
A communication tool:
The Attendance app is also an effective communication tool. You can include an email address for each student in your .csv file when you set up your classes at first or you can enter email addresses manually later as well. Once each student has an email address entered you can communicate with ease. If you want to email a class, first select communicate to open the “Communicate” page.
On the “Communicate” page you have a variety of options. You can email your attendance report ect. But in my opinion, the greatest feature, is that with the touch of one button you can email all of the students who were missing. As this communication is directly linked to the attendance that you took for that class, it will populate the list of missing students for you. All you have to do is type a message and press send. You also have the option to email students who were in attendance that class. No need to cross reference lists and find addresses in an address book, it's all done for you.
By streamlining communication and note taking and integrating it with your attendance record this app can save any teacher a lot of time. But my favourite feature within Attendance for the PE classroom is still to come stay tuned for the final instalment of Attendance.
Attendance app ($4.99) can be purchased here.