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A gradebook for your iPod
iGrade for Teachers is the first iPod app that I have seen that can call itself a true gradebook for teachers. As a teacher I have been looking for a standalone app for the iPod Touch, and I am glad to have stumbled on iGrade. It is developed by teachers for teachers, and it shows. It is packed with features that a teacher would want in a portable gradebook. As good as it is, there is some room for improvement (see below).
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As I mentioned iGrade is packed full of features.
You can enter your students, and assign them a class. If you teach more than one class you can have a list of classes and pick from that list. I have not found a way to assign a student to more than one class. I suppose you would have to enter the student twice with a slight variation in the name to distinguish it.
With each student you can enter contact information for parents, and keep track of lateness and tardiness. There is also a spot for notes on the student, should you need them.
When it comes to grading you grade assignments as "Tests." These "Tests" can fall into different categories, like homework or classwork, but all grade must be under the "Tests" category.
When you enter your grades you have several option of the type of grade. You can choose a numerical grade, a letter grade, and more. There is even pass and fail options. When entering you grade you also have the option of entering what percent of the grade the assignment is worth.
With iGrade calculating grades with a calculator becomes a thing of the past. Once your grades are entered you can choose a summary on the student and the final grade is calculated instantly for you! I love this!
As far as usability, the app has a slight learning curve when you get started and might seem a little confusing. However, once I used it for a good amount of time it became very easy and second nature to do what I wanted to.
Finally, the interface of iGrade is very nice and easy to understand. As an artist and art teacher, I love the icon for the app.
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While I like iGrade, there is room for improvement.
I mentioned about that all grade must fall into the "Tests" category. This bothers me the most about the app. I want to be able to call assignments "Classwork" or "Homework." You can put "Tests" into those categories, but calling them "Tests" as a generalization needs changing.
Also, when you assign the weight of an assignment, you cannot assign the category that weight. For example, classwork might be worth fifty percent in your class. Instead of stating all classwork should be fifty percent of the grade you have to go in and figure out what percent of one hundred each assignment is worth. For example, if you have 10 classwork assignments you can not say all of those assignments are worth fifty percent together You have to say each one is worth five percent. If you don't know how many assignments you are giving when you set up the gradebook you have to go back and complete this portion at the end of the marking period.
The developer is very open to suggestions, and I have discussed these issues that I have with the app and plans are in the works to make changes addressing these issues. Some of these will be changed in the next release, and others in the future.
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Summing it upRating
Overall, iGrade is a great first step in a gradebook for the iPod. It could use some enhancements, but I plan on using when school starts up in the Fall, and I still recommend it for those looking for a gradebook for your iPod (or iPhone). At a price of $7.99 it is worth the money. iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=314908075&mt=8 As a side note, there is a student version of the app called (appropriately enough) iGrade for Students. This app allows students to keep track of classes and grades. I did not receive a test version of this, but imagine it is worth getting for $1.99. Here's the link:http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=316664547&mt=8.