Saturday, December 26, 2015

WhatsDue App for Organizing Student Homework



I copied this post from Jeff Feinstein on my other blogs (see side bar).  I have written about Remind extensively and swear it is the best thing I have ever done (and yes it does put the burden on the educator and not the students - but hey they do the work which I like).

Remind creates a whole new communication stream with my students that transcends the 90 minutes we have face-to-face with each other every other day.  When I send them a text message I know that they received it on their phone instantly.

I use it sparingly, however.  I want my students to be responsible to check our class Assignment Calendar (a Google Calendar linked from our class Blackboard site) on their own initiative.  For that reason I use Remind only to announce that I've posted a new assignment, or have made changes to previously-posted assignment deadlines.

The consequence of my policy is completely foreseeable: Students forget (or neglect) to check the Calendar, and consequently forget that they have a project due at the end of the week or a quiz tomorrow.

The ideal solution would be to push to the students the obligation of monitoring their due dates using a more efficient and effective platform.  The WhatsDue app just might be that ideal solution.

WhatsDue is a free app for students (and their parents).  WhatsDue lets teachers create a to-do list of upcoming due dates that students can access from their devices.

Teachers register with WhatsDue and share a join-code for each class with their students and parents.  From the teacher dashboard, they then record each assignment and when it is due.

Registered users then get push notifications of upcoming due dates that are added to a clear display on their devices.  This picture shows an example of how that looks:





In this example, the student has six assignments due.  One (the Homework to "Do Assignment 3") is marked in red because it is due tomorrow.  The other assignments are listed in the order in which they are due.

I'll keep using Remind to alert my students to schedule changes.  But WhatsApp seems to go further in helping my students manage their assignments than simply using Remind alone, so I'm going to roll this out on the first day back from winter break.  Even better: Could you imagine how cool it would be if all teachers throughout your building used WhatsDue?  I'll work on promoting that as well.

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