While I was teaching internationally, none of my schools ever had their own software to help teachers with their record keeping (for things like grades and attendance), but there are a number of free sites that help teachers do just that. From what I’ve found, it seems like Engrade, Edmodo, and Schoology are three of the best/most popular.
I have the most experience with Engrade, which was recommended to me by a former coworker. I mentioned this site briefly in an earlier post when talking about AllThink.
Sadly, AllThink now has this message on their site “Thank you for your interest in AllThink. Unfortunately, we closed our doors on June 30th. Please feel free to visit Engrade.com for classroom management tools, including Wikis, which contain much of the functionality of AllThink.” Despite losing AllThink, Engrade does have quizzes, wikis, and flashcards, which are great teaching/learning tools, plus all the standard attendance and grading features. I find the site to be very intuitive, so although its design is not super modern, I think the lack of clutter makes it easy for teachers and students to use.
I have accounts with Edmodo and Schoology, but am still in the discovery phase for both sites. Edmodo has a Facebook look about it. I would say it is the most modern of the three sites in terms of appearance and it has a ton of features. Besides polls and quizzes, Edmodo has communities that focus on different topics, such as professional development, and virtual student badges which may be replacing those gold star stickers of my youth. Schoology seems to have combined all the features of Engrade and Edmodo, which makes it absolutely jam packed with tools—but remember, you might not need all of them. I actually find Schoology a bit easier to use than Edmodo, but that might just be me. Both sites have stores where you can buy apps, whereas Engrade provides a set of apps you can use so that is another thing to consider.
These three sites are all somewhat similar and pretty awesome if your school does not have its own record keeping software, and great for extra activities even if it does. Personal preferences will probably determine which one works best for you so I recommend testing them out when you have time and reading some reviews online to get a better idea of how they’re different from one another. If you already have a preference, I’d love to hear about it, so post in the comments section! Honestly, I am still deciding which to use but because I am at a school that provides such software, D2L, I’ll have to learn to navigate that first.