Effective teachers and good schools use tools to improve teaching and learning. Many teachers use Macs and we don’t have a shortage of effective teaching and management applications.
I’ve tried nearly every Mac app for the classroom in my nearly 20 years of teaching in public and private schools. My newest darling is Teacher Studio. If you teach a classroom, you will love what this app does for you.
Basic Teacher Tools Made Easy
For most teachers, our classroom is made up of components for teachers, components for students, and some for both. Teacher Studio starts with My Tools, a section for basic classroom management.
My Schedule is the management section that integrates with iCal, so you already know how to use it.
My Planner sets up plans specific to your curriculum. Attendance is a database of detail for each student’s attendance, including Student ID, name, notes and more, on a per class basis.
Grade Book is the section which holds details for homework, tests, quizzes, per class, and per student, including dates, assignments, scores. My Students is the database of your students.
Teacher Studio comes with a Seating Chart which pulls detail from the My Students section, including photos of each student. Seating is arranged by classroom. The Reports section pulls attendance and class information from the database using a date range and filters.
Documents And My Documents
Teacher Studio’s two other components are Documents and My Documents. Documents are for Homework, Tests, and Quizzes. Whatever form you create for each, PDF, Word, Text, etc., can be added to Homework Documents, Tests, and Quizzes.
My Documents includes Worksheets and Personal documents. Click the Plus + sign to add a document to the list. Click the document name to view the document in the Preview window.
Setting up Teacher Studio is almost self explanatory (detailed documentation is available, but not needed to get started). This is the first screen you see after installation (click the image for a larger, pop up view):
Clean, straightforward, not intimidating, and ready for use. Once you’ve entered students and set up the classroom, the detail begins to explain itself.
Step By Step
I have yet to use a full featured classroom application that is this robust yet simple enough to dive in and use right away.
Start by creating a class. Fill in the information as appropriate and click Save.
You’ll need name, start and end dates, times, and frequency. Advanced Settings will handle classes with different weekdays or times.
Each class comes with Grade Weights using Homework, Tests, Quizzes, and Participation elements. Adding a Student works in a similar manner and can include far more detail than name, age, address. Emergency contact information, Notes, Class List, and photograph, can be added to age and grade.
Each of the Teacher Studio components—My Schedule, My Planner, Attendance, Grade Book, My Students, Seating Chart, and Reports—work in a similar manner. The documentation makes set up and management by component a teacher’s dream.
What’s missing? Not much, but the components don’t allow for much customization, however the details for each are what most schools require for classroom teaching.