Teaching With Gadgets

How Technology Can Help Today's Teacher

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Sad Day For Grade Books....

It is a sad day in the world of grade book software. Great Spirit Software is closing their doors. They are the creators of the excellent Tapro 4 software which is a complete solution for your classroom needs. You can store grades (with objectives or standards), discipline, anecdotal records, parent contacts, lesson plans, and the list goes on. While not a program that looks like a paper grade register, it is still powerful and not overly difficult to use.

The reporting features of this program are amazing! You can create simple reports yourself or rely on the built in reports. If you read the tutorials that come with the "help" section you can even program extremely sophisticated reports displaying any information that is stored in the database. Basically, the sky is the limit. I have created some amazing reports. Most grade book software leave you at themercy of the manufacturer for reports. Tapro gives the TEACHER the control.

All reports are generated in either text or HTML. This made it an excellent program for e-mailing grades or posting them to the web. In fact the program had a built in e-mailer so you wouldn't have to worry about e-mailing individual reports.

Perhaps the best part is that the program works with Pocket PCs and Palm OS devices (not sure how well it works with OS 5 devices but OS 4 and below is wonderfully supported). You create your assignments in Tapro and export them to the device. You grade on the device, create anecdotal records, and discipline. Sync the device again and all information can now be imported back into Tapro. This was one of the first programs to ever do this!

Now for the GOOD news....Great Spirit Software has posted Tapro 4 on their site for FREE. Yes, you read that right! According to their site the registration dialogue has been removed from Tapro. Chris Wallace, owner of Great Spirit Software and an all-around great guy, encourages teachers to download it and burn it to CD for future use.

Do yourself a favour and get this while you can! Sure, it's a bit of a learning curve but will do whatever you need it to.