Last updated: July 05. 2014 7:33PM - 2439 Views
By Rachel Lloyd rlloyd@civitasmedia.com

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ANNA — When the state of Ohio adopted the Common Core Standards for education, teachers found themselves having to try to keep track of multiple pupils’ progress in multiple standards in multiple subjects. They quickly found themselves drowning in a sea of paperwork and faced the real possibility of losing pupils in the rising tide.

Two Anna Elementary School teachers figured there had to be an easier way, and now there is. There’s an app for that. Because they invented it.

Aimee Dye, of Sidney, and Jody Schaefer, of New Bremen, actually created two apps for iPhone and iPad that will help teachers track pupil performance in the classroom.

“Basically we were using paper-and-pencil tracking on grid paper,” Schaefer said of the not-so-good old days earlier this year. Dye “came in one day — her son had broken his foot, and she’d been sitting in the hospital all day trying to grade papers — and she said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to do this electronically?’”

And Pupil Performance Portfolio was born.

“We first started kind of sketching out what we thought we would want it to look like, and from there, we were looking for companies that might be interested in developing it,” Schaefer said.

The pair instead found a developer on their own and worked with him to make the application to track Common Core progress, but then they realized it it could be used to track other things.

“There are schools and states not doing Common Core, and there are other things we’d like to keep track of,” Schaefer said.

Pupil Performance Portfolio is now available in two versions in the App Store. P³ Core is is an innovative, Web-based app and database that can be used for tracking individual pupil performance on the Common Core Standards. P³ Flex is a different version that can track Core performance or any other pupil data.

P³ Core allows teachers to track progress on any Common Core math or language arts standards by assigning a simple red, yellow or green “grade.” These grades are tracked week-by-week throughout the school year. Data collected can be displayed for individual pupils and for an entire class using a variety of graphs.

Class data can be filtered so teachers can quickly and easily identify small groups for intervention with struggling pupils or identifying pupils ready for more advanced work. P³ Flex uses the same tracking and reporting/graphing features, but it can be completely personalized to track anything.

In addition, both versions of P³ can be used to create digital portfolios for pupils. These apps allow teachers to post comments regarding pupil progress. Users can also access the device camera to take work sample photos as further documentation for a pupil’s portfolio.

P³ Core features:

•Common Core Standards for K-12 math and reading/language arts are already included in the app.

•Teachers can edit the Core standard names to better fit their needs.

•Teachers can post comments about pupil progress and post work sample photos.

•Teachers can view whole class data as well as individual pupil data with multiple graphs.

•The app also offers a week-by-week analysis of pupil performance in relation to all standards

•The app makes it easy to generate groups for intervention or enrichment needs.

P³ Flex features:

•Includes all the same features as P³ Core except the Common Core standards.

•Teachers have the benefit of being able to completely personalize the app to meet their needs.

To learn more about the app, visit http://pupilperformanceportfolio.com.

Schaefer said the pair “have a long to-do list” concerning the app — including additional features and offering an Android version — but they are financing the project entirely on their own.

“We’re doing this out of our own pocket,” Schaefer said. “A lot will depend on how it does down the road.”

They are hoping the tremendous reduction in paperwork and paper waste, coupled with the time-savings and efficiency, will appeal enough to teachers that word will get around.

P³ Core is available at the Apple App Store for $5.99 and P³ Flex is available for $3.99.

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