Attendance and Gradebook Updates

We updated our Attendance and Gradebook Apps, and this should resolve any issues users had with the app not being able to find your Google Doc spreadsheets. Let us know if you have any problems.

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eSchool News Reader’s Choice Award!

We like mentions, especially honorable ones. So we were very excited to learn that we received on in the 2012 eSchool News Reader’s Choice Ed Tech Awards!

Thanks to all of our users. We really do love finding out that our apps are out there and helping make it easier for teachers to better serve their students. What a great way to start the new year!

Happy New Year, and stay tuned for some exciting new surprises from all of us here at Android for Academics.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Overview

We just finished watching the Google/Samsung Announcement. They announced the new Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

Simply put – Android 4.0 looks amazing! There are a ton of great new features. Here are some highlights that have us particularly excited.

Offline Gmail
You’ll be able to search Gmail by default offline for up to 30 days, and can set that to any length you want.

Notifications in the Lock Screen
Now when you get notifications you can pull down the bar from the lock screen

Virtual Buttons
The buttons have been hard coded into the OS…freeing up a lot of space for larger screens without increasing the size of the phone too much.

Data Usage Monitor/Cutoff
For those of you with limited data plans, you can monitor data usage and set the phone to cut off data when you hit a pre-defined limit

Screenshots
Finally! You can take screenshots without root (we see some enormous applications for education here)

Wicked Fast Camera
Camera shots are instantaneous! And you can do panorama shots.

Quick Response to Calls
Instead of ignoring calls in a meeting, you can swipe a few stock responses that fire a text message back to the person.

Beaming
With NFC technology, Android has come up with amazingly simple ways to share content with other Android users. If you’re using an app, touch phones and your friend is taken to the market. If you’re at a webpage, touch phones and your friend is taken there. Very cool possibilities here.

We see some very interesting applications to education that some of these might yield. Stay tuned, we may post something about that soon.

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Grade Chart

We just launched a new app – Grade Chart. (DOWNLOAD LINK)

Grade Chart is a simple grading tool for teachers and professors. Enter in the number of questions for the assignment you’re grading, and this will generate a quick reference chart to help you determine the grade percentage and letter grade for all possible numbers of missed questions.

Bonus Feature: Tap the rows as you grade your students and you can generate a graph that gives you a snapshot of how your class did on the assignment.

 

device-2011-10-05-180649

Check it out!

DOWNLOAD LINK

 

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7 Reasons to Grade Using a Rubric

With the release of the new version of our Grade Rubric app, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about why rubrics a such good idea. Here are seven reasons to grade using rubrics..

  1. It Keeps You Consistent
    It’s very easy to let irrelevant factors influence your grading over a long grading session, or if you’re just having a bad day. Breaking an assignment down into categories in a rubric helps keep you consistent and fair.
  2. Better Feedback for Students
    I remember receiving grades from professors with comments in the margins, but then having no idea which comment factored heavily into my overall grade. A rubric makes it very clear to the student what they need to work on.
  3. Distance Margin Comments from the Grade
    It’s not uncommon for students to think that they received a poor grade because the professor disagreed with them. I teach philosophy. It’s very argumentative discipline, and I like to engage my students in the margin comments. However, I don’t want them to think that they are being downgraded because I’ve written an argument against their position in the comments. With a rubric system, I can let my students know that any comments that engage their position are irrelevant to the grade, and since I given them a graded rubric – they can see that they were not downgraded for disagreement.  

  4. Receive Better Work
    If your students know what you’re looking for (from a rubric that you give them), then they’ll have more to think about when they work on an assignment. And you are likely to get better work from them.
  5. Eliminates Apparent Subjectivity
    A lot of students think that writing papers is a very subjective thing, especially in my field (philosophy). But take a look at the rubric I use for my short philosophy paper assignment. I ask them to present an argument, present it in numbered-premise form, define technical terms, present reasons for each premise, present a possible objection, and present a response. Notice that all of these are things that you can objectively fail to do.
  6. Makes the Post-Grade Conversations Easier
    You will always have students come to complain about grades, but when I started using rubrics – I noticed two things. First, I had fewer of those complaints. The reason for this is that students most likely get better feedback from a rubric. They know exactly why you took off the points you did. The second thing I noticed is that when students do come to talk about their grade, you have more information to go on. You can look at the rubric and you quickly get a snap shot of what they need to work on, and you’ll be in a much better position to defend your decision and advise your students so that they can do better on future assignments.
  7. It’s Quick!
    You’ll like save tons of time. Especially if you use Grade Rubric app that calculates the grade for you (take the hint).

If you grade using rubrics, or would like to give it a try – you should download our free Grade Rubric app. Our app makes rubric grading, even better. You can create and store Rubrics for all of your assignments or assessments, and use them over and over again. The app will automatically crunch the numbers (or letters) for you and calculate the final grade. The app will also auto-generate and email a grade report to your students.

Download Grade Rubric today!

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Grade Rubric Overview (VIDEO)

This video gives a brief overview of Grade Rubric. It shows you just how simple it is to create and save rubrics for exams, papers, or any other kind of assessment. These can be saved on your phone and used over and over again.

You can find out more about Grade Rubric here. Download it today. It’s free!

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Grade Rubric – Major Update Released!

We have released our major update of Grade Rubric. As we noted before it has tons of cool new features.
Grade Rubric

Download Here

  1. Customize the Number of Rubric Items
    Now you’ll be able to create Rubrics and create as many rubric categories that you want
  2. Assign a different weight to each Rubric Item
    Users were asking for a way to weight certain rubric categories so that they were worth more. Now you will be able to do that.
  3. Save multiple custom rubrics
    Now you’ll be able to create as many different rubrics as you want and keep them saved. If you have different rubrics for your quizzes, exams, and papers – now you’ll be able to have them all saved at the same time.
  4. Slider bar for Numeric Rubrics
    We’re getting rid of radio buttons for numeric rubrics and introducing a sliding scale. So if you have a rubric category that has a high maximum number, you’ll be able to use it with our app.

Also the free version is now a fully functioning version. It does everything the paid version does; it’s just ad supported. Grading according to rubrics is a remarkable time saver. It is also a great grading method because it keeps you fair and consistent, and it gives students great, detailed feedback.

Also, don’t forget. With Grade Rubric you can set the app up to generate a grade report for your student and email it to them.

Here’s some eye candy!

alpha numeric

Download Grade Rubric Today!

 

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Grade Rubric – Major Update Today

We’re very, very close to launching a major update to Grade Rubric today. The new app will have several cool new features. Here’s a small list.

  1. Customize the Number of Rubric Items
    Now you’ll be able to create Rubrics and create as many rubric categories that you want
  2. Assign a different weight to each Rubric Item
    Users were asking for a way to weight certain rubric categories so that they were worth more. Now you will be able to do that.
  3. Save multiple custom rubrics
    Now you’ll be able to create as many different rubrics as you want and keep them saved. If you have different rubrics for your quizzes, exams, and papers – now you’ll be able to have them all saved at the same time.
  4. Slider bar for Numeric Rubrics
    We’re getting rid of radio buttons for numeric rubrics and introducing a sliding scale. So if you have a rubric category that has a high maximum number, you’ll be able to use it with our app.

Stay tuned. We plan to release this later today.

 

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Gradebook Update – Quick Grade Entry Options

We just updated Gradebook for Professors. The really exciting new feature is that you can now set a “default” grade entry method that includes a Quick Alpha option and a Quick Numeric Option.

If you have the “Quick Alpha” option selected, whenever you tap on an option that allows you to enter a grade, it will bring up a dialogue box that let’s you easily select A-F (and any plus/minus variant). Tap the grade and it submits it and brings you back.

What this means: Massively quicker grading sessions!!!

Enjoy!

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Avoiding Malicious Apps on Your Android Device

You may have heard about DroidDream, a malicious app that Google recently removed from the Android Market and users phones. Malicious apps are something to be worried about. PC World has some good advice here.

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