A few weeks ago at SxSWedu, I made a new friend, Stew Stout. Stew works for an edtech startup based out of NOLA called Kickboard for Teachers. Kickboard is a lot of things but for the sake of brevity, I’ll call it a data management tool for teachers (made by teachers!) To be honest, I’ve always been a paper planbook and pencil kinda gal, but after Stew sent me a demo of Kickboard, I’m beginning to turn around.
Features I Love! The aspect I appreciate most about Kickboard is that it doesn’t look at data as a solely academic entity. So many people in education who are NOT teachers think that the term “data” refers only to standardized testing, when in fact teachers collect data on a wide span of areas including academic, social, behavioral, attendance, etc. Strong teachers collect a wealth of data each day. Kickboard is flexible and allows each teacher to collect and manage data on whatever he/she deems to be important. Here are some fun features of Kickboard:
- Kickboard has collaborative features built into its behavior/discipline tool which can help a school community develop a strong sense of school culture.
- Kickboard is heavy into teacher training and capacity building, meaning that you are never alone:)
- Kickboard has a variety of options for rewards and consequence systems in the behavior section which makes it adaptable to different learning environments.
- Kickboard allows you to see a snapshot of each student, which can be helpful when discussing student progress with parents
Here are some screen shots from my Kickboard demo:
When you use a paper planbook, you have all of your data in one place and that is great! What isn’t great is that you cannot share your data with other teachers who could benefit. With Kickboard, a school can grow through collaboration and building consistency from class to class and grade to grade. Kickboard is spreading rapidly. Currently, there are two ways to sign up. For all you innovative teachers out there on the front lines, you can sign up solo for beta testing and bring an awesome new tool to your school. You can also sign up as a school.
I’ll leave you with this…at one point in our conversation about behavior, Stew said, “What is great about Kickboard is that you can see that a student is having a bad day before he/she walks into your classroom so you can plan really proactive interventions.” That is a true teacher speaking. The fact that Kickboard places great value on teacher input & feedback, and that it has so many teachers on board makes it a unique edtech startup. I for one, am planning on keeping my eye on this “for teachers, by teachers” data management system. Can’t wait to see what they do next…