My word how school life has changed! At the risk of giving my age away I was at school in the days before even photocopiers were a widespread part of a teacher’s kit. I can still remember the smell of the duplicating ink on the History hand-outs. As for the excuses about why a particularly nasty piece of homework was missing well, leaving it on the bus was about as original as I got. It follows then that a site like Schoolrack would have seemed as far away as a manned expedition to Mars but educational software has now got one over the guys at NASA.
The tag line "our work begins when class ends" might have frightened some school kids of my era. In those days the bell signalled a few hours of freedom from the glare of a math teacher but I think this one would have even reeled them in.
A dedicated classroom website, hosted by Schoolrack and needing no technical know-how to drive, is a world away from the tatty noticeboard and endless pieces of paper spewing from the bags of schoolchildren.
The ease of use allows you to create a customizable site and add a heap of stuff such as a class calendar, text files and visual content. As for homework you can post assignments online, collect them in and then grade them.
Schooltrack is of course a collaborative system and you can not only include your students but their parents too. Mom and dad can log in and see if that homework really has been done before letting junior loose on the Xbox.
The issue of communication is streamlined to a great degree and the system will enable emails to be sent to multiple people based on the groups you create. There is also a discussion board feature giving students the opportunity to bounce ideas around when class is over, all moderated by teacher of course.
As an aid to education I like this one and there is only one grey area as far as I can see. The old "left my bag on the bus sir" scenario could I suppose be very quickly replaced with "my computer crashed sir!" With mom and dad only an email away though you’ll probably only hear it once.
As a teacher, setting one of these up is likely to make your life a lot easier and bring more organization to both your students and your own school day. The basic model is free and you can rest assured your site won’t come with a load of advertisements.