It’s a bit weird, when you think about it. It’s been twenty years since the policy of Laptops for Teachers was introduced, bringing the promise of saving time and improving efficiency.
Fast-forward to today, and what remains a prime cause of teacher dissatisfaction? That’s right, workload. Somehow, technology helped to generate even more work than it saved.
At least there’s something that’s trying to turn that tide: Sonar Tracker, the brand-new pupil assessment and progress software from Juniper.
Of course, we all understand that data can play a critical role in optimising outcomes for pupils. The trouble is, there is always that nagging resentment that the information can take too long to compile and is then too unwieldy to convert easily into intelligence you can actually use to benefit pupils.
Bearing that in mind, it is easy to see that Sonar Tracker has been designed by educators who completely empathise with the class teacher’s lot. Building on the rich heritage of the popular and successful Juniper tracker family, it seeks to claw back little pockets of time that could accumulate to make a big difference.
For a start, Sonar Tracker meshes with most Management Information Systems (MIS) already used by schools so you don’t have to set up classes and groups on the system.
Neat little features, such as the one that block-fills cells with unchanged assessment levels where helpful, reduce frustrating faffing time. It allows you to look at progress against particular national curriculum objectives and is very visual, meaning you can get a clear sense of attainment levels at a glance through colour-coded indicators.
As you well know, however, it’s what you do with your data that makes the difference. Sonar Tracker makes it easy to extract meaningful information that is tailored to the audience.
This might mean anything from forming intervention groups that address specific objectives, to compiling governor-friendly reports, all at the click of a button.
There’s far more to Sonar Tracker than can be covered here but you do get full training on implementation and there are helpful built-in support features should you need reminders.
However, it feels so intuitive that you’ll probably get the hang of it very soon, allowing you to take advantage of its great potential for improving outcomes for your pupils and quality of life for you. You never know, you might even learn to love your laptop once more.