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(FWD) Re: [seul-edu] What do teachers want in admin software?

----- Forwarded message from owner-seul-edu@seul.org -----

Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 23:04:03 -0400
Subject: Re: [seul-edu] What do teachers want in admin software?
From: Tom Hoffman <rid00654@ride.ri.net>
To: <seul-edu@seul.org>

Last year I used Filemaker Pro, particularly because I was able to use a
special conduit to sync with my Palm Pilot.  I don't think many other
teachers would actually use that feature.  I don't know what I am going to
use this year, as my Palm seems to have suddenly died.  Since I should soon
have Linux boxes in my classroom as well as my iMac at home w/LinuxPPC, I
don't have any excuse to not test out the open source tools.

One nice feature of Filemaker Pro is that you can easily configure the
database in a table that looks and feels like a spreadsheet when you enter
the data.  Most teachers have no conceptual understanding of a database, but
they can comprehend a spreadsheet.

One underlying design problem may be that grading systems are incredibly
ideosyncratic.  I did some research last year on grading, and it turns out
that there is basically no literature on the proper, standard way to create
grades.  In my few years of teaching, I've seen some truly bizarre
quasi-mathematical systems, apparently generated over years of thoughtless
inertia/entropy.  I'm not saying that we have to figure out how to
accomodate crazy math per se, just that there are no standard accounting
practices for grades.


----- End forwarded message -----