College has gone digital allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree and even online masters degrees. Now it’s time for primary and secondary education to join the digital fun, too. One such app, Three Ring, aims to help schools and students do just that.
With this app, students losing homework and blaming the dog for eating it could come to an end. Using Three Ring, teachers can easily create a digital portfolio for each student where they can organize, grade, and share all assignments. The app, in conjunction with Three Ring‘s website, allows teachers to take either a video recording or a picture of student’s work using a phone or other device and then upload quickly and easily onto the website. Basically, it’s like an online filing cabinet where a teacher can keep track of all student work. It eliminates the possibility of a teacher losing an assignment in the depths of the filing cabinet and keeps the students’ work front and center, where it belongs.
Using a digital portfolio would provide a more efficient grading system and help both teachers and parents track a student’s performance. Still in its beta stage, the app seeks more seed funding but that hasn’t stopped it from making a name for itself already in the world of education. Last week Three Ring earned the award for Best Education Startup at New York Tech Day. Launched only six weeks ago, nearly 2,000 educators in Maryland, New York, and Delaware are using the app. They hope to make it available for parents, teachers, and administrators in the near future. Students would be able to turn in homework assignments digitally and the teachers could send a student’s assignments with feedback straight to the parents.
The creators, Steve Silvius, Alec Turnbull, and Michael Lindsay, education reform enthusiasts, say their goal was creating an easier way to maintain and organize student portfolios since portfolios are powerful teaching tool but can be burdensome to manage.
How the app works is the teacher first snaps a picture or video of a student’s work, tags the work with the correct student name, assignment, type of assignment and how that assignment meets any of the common core standards. Then the teacher sends it to Three Ring‘s website and has access to it at any time from a computer or Internet-capable device.
The teacher has a choice of how they organize their students’ portfolios and can search the work either by class or by student name. They can group assignments together and label them however is easiest for the teacher to later search those assignments. They don’t have to sort through a mess of papers to find a specific assignment to grade and comment on, they simply have to search it on the website.
The creators hope to sell the app and website service to any schools who want to use the Three Ring system. However, Linsday made it a point to say that he and the fellow creators don’t mean for this app to replace handwritten assignments; it’s more meant to help teachers organize all those assignments and lessen their load they have to take home each night. It also is a digitized record of a student’s performance in the class making it very easy for other teachers, administrators and parents to track how a student is doing all around.
It can take hours to create your own filing system and then tons of effort to maintain that system. Three Ring makes filing and organizing student work easy and less time consuming, which, in the life of a busy teacher, would make a world of difference. Rating: 4/5 stars.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this quest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.