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Homework Apps - transforming my life :-)

(59 Posts)
LunasSpectreSpecs Thu 07-Dec-17 16:56:24

I have two children at secondary school. First (a boy) is bright but chronically disorganised. Picking up demerits left, right and centre for forgetting homework - he's not actively avoiding doing it, but he forgets to write it in his diary, forgets to do it, ends up rushing it in the library at lunchtime - total nightmare.

Anyway, the school has just started using the Show My Homework app and it's changed my life. Kids each have the app on their phones and can access the website. App/Website shows what homework they have, links to resources they may need and shows when it's due. On my phone, I can log in and see what they both have for homework. No more forgetting. No more telling me they have nothing to do. No more shouting matches because DS has yet again got into trouble for not handing in homework I knew nothing about.

Isn't technology MARVELLOUS.

titchy Thu 07-Dec-17 18:58:09

Caveat - it only works when teachers actually add the homework to the website. Inevitably some will not and continue to tell students in class what homework to do..... <bitter experience of same app>

allinclusive Thu 07-Dec-17 19:11:06

Sounds great, but make sure you don't ending up reminding them all the time, part of homework is organising yourself to do it, on time, and hand it in. You won't be able to help them when they're grown, so the sooner they learn about deadlines and consequences, the better.

Badbadbunny Thu 07-Dec-17 19:25:51

it only works when teachers actually add the homework to the website

Yes, indeed. My son's school started using it a couple of years ago and it was good at first, but over time, some teachers have become erratic as to whether to bother or not (and some never even started), so it's very hit and miss now.

user1469682920 Thu 07-Dec-17 20:12:16

At DD s school if the homework is not in the system it’s not set 😀

user1469682920 Thu 07-Dec-17 20:14:13

Same at DS school - and yes it’s brilliant - made life so much easier for my disorganised dyslexic DS. Also good practise for UNI where absolutely everything is on line

user1487194234 Fri 08-Dec-17 22:38:39

Agree with all inclusive At secondary they need to be taking responsibility

Foxjar Sat 09-Dec-17 07:36:00

It takes time and training to take responsibility.

Some children can't help being disorganised but they can improve.

Sounds great.Wish our schools were using it.

SoupDragon Sat 09-Dec-17 07:39:11

DC's schools both use a website called Firefly which does the same thing I think. I'm not convinced all the homework is out knthere and it's useless from a parents point of view of the child doesn't mark the Work as completed. All school letters and other information are on there too.

SoupDragon Sat 09-Dec-17 07:40:13

My involvement in homework at secondary has always been just to ask them if they've done it in general. I don't look at it on a piece by piece basis.

Wh0KnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 09-Dec-17 07:44:31

Yes, I've got one DC who's school use it and one who's school don't, it really is brilliant. The DC who has it is dyslexic and before they started it used to struggle to write fast enough in the planner what the homework was, now she's totally on top of things. I have it on my phone too so I can keep an eye on things but she really doesn't need me to.

katcatkat Sat 09-Dec-17 07:53:34

My severely dyslexic dd often takes a picture with her phone of any homework on the board so she knows she has it copied correctly.
The online homework system is great too but there are occasions when it does not get added.

Eolian Sat 09-Dec-17 08:16:30

Sounds like a pain for teachers though, inputting every piece of homework!

MaisyPops Sat 09-Dec-17 08:30:45

Sounds like a pain for teachers though, inputting every piece of homework!
It is.
We have a similar setup.
It was sold to us as it will reduce how much time you spend chasing homework etc

Except I didn't have a homework issue in my classes so now I spend more time adding homework to the system.

Oh, and then you have students saying thru haven't done the homework because they had a 'problem logging in'. hmm (top tip for show my homework - students and parents can view homework on thr school calendar without logging in!)

For the first month I had students messaging on thr system at 10pm the day before homework was due to say they didn't get thr homework and then on deadline day say they couldn't do it because they were stuck. Detention given.

It meant that instead of being at 100% homework handins by 3-4 weeks in, it took me til half term to be there as students tried to work out which members of staff will buy the excuses.

My policy is:
You still write an overview in your planner (or at least that you have it so if there's an issue you can text someone and ask). If you don't and then have a problen with the platform it's not my problem and you get a detention.
Running out of data in your phone and other tech issues is no excuse unless our IT team confirm an issue with the platform.
Students can use any computer in school or mine on a lunch.
Do not expect a reply ob the system out of standard working hours (8-5)
Leave it to the last minute and have an issue then it's not my problem

I like a few of the features of the platform. It just created more issues for me at thr start of the year as students tested what they could get away with.

Orangeplastic Sat 09-Dec-17 08:31:01

Dcs school are very bloody annoying about this app.
Apparently I am supposed to check what homework they have on it, discuss it with them and then make sure it's all done and then sign their planner! I do not believe this is at all necessary - my dcs do their homework - they organise time to do it around activities and weekend trips, they take responsibility for their work and would get bloody annoyed at me interfering.

I trust them but the biggest challenge is learning to deal with the teachers do not deliver the goods. They say that they will post the homework and when they do it is often at the last minute and still expect it to be done. DD emailed her teacher twice this week requesting the homework be posted as her diary is very full from Friday to Monday and the work is due in on Tuesday and she needed to do the work before the weekend - still nothing has appeared and we will have to return home earlier than planned or cancel her activity on Monday - depending on when the homework comes through. The dcs often get around this by taking photos of the homework and pass it around WhatsApp because they can't trust the teacher to put the homework on the app on the day they set it.
It's all bit shit to be honest - the app has created its own problems.

MaisyPops Sat 09-Dec-17 08:53:51

They say that they will post the homework and when they do it is often at the last minute and still expect it to be done
I set my homework in class and the task is in their books.
Sometimes I'm busy doing all thr other things linked to teaching and post it up a couple of days later (always with the line 'as discussed in detail in class on Monday...')

It was set in class, explained in class and our students still have homework diaries.
The fact that an electronic version of a task i spent 10 mins explaining and setting (and the children have the material) is on a couple of days late isn't a reason not to do the homework. Hell, we managed perfectly well without having to upload duplicates kf homework for years.

Oh and the extra work on the platform is that schools expect staff to sign in and tick off that students have done the homework. Why not just let me keep my own record like i've done for years.

I do get that if the school have gone entirely paperless then late uploads is an issue, but I would question why any teacher isn't setting homework explicitly in class (tech or no tech, it's a basic to me).

LunasSpectreSpecs Sat 09-Dec-17 09:00:49

Maybe it's just that the app is new and novel, but there doesn't seem to be any problems with homework being put on, and links to resources. That might change over time.

DD is brilliant at remembering homework, and just getting on with it, I never ever have to prompt her to do it or even ask if she has any. DS is a totally different kettle of fish, he is exceptionally scatty - the absent minded professor type. Yes in an ideal world every child would be the same and homework would never be forgotten, but at this stage we're going to take any help we can with organising him.

Orangeplastic Sat 09-Dec-17 09:18:16

If it can be effectively used as tool to help disorganised kids that would be great but I have found it has done the opposite. Dcs do food tech - they cook every Monday...without SMH the teacher would have to give them the recipe for next week on the Monday - all would be well and we'd have plenty of time to get the ingredients but instead the ingredients are randomly uploaded on different days of the week, it's a pain in the butt and making it hard for us to get organised and develop any kind of routine for getting ingredients.

leccybill Sat 09-Dec-17 09:32:39

I always upload hwk onto SMH before I even tell the classes. Usually on a Sunday. Some conscientious kids see it, do it, print it off and hand it in the next day before over even had the chance to tell them about it! I love those kids grin
Pros for me - no 'I lost the sheet' excuses, if kid was absent they can still do it (I make them), they can post a comment to me if unsure on anything.
Cons - sadly quite a few of ours don't have Internet at home because it's been cut off due to parents struggling with bills, so it makes things a bit more awkward for them which isn't their fault. I let them in the computer room at lunch in this case.

My school does everything online. Parent evening appts online, seating plans, appraisal, the lot. Makes my head spin sometimes!

MaisyPops Sat 09-Dec-17 09:40:01

I've set my KS3 to auto set for the term but it auto goes on each Monday abd sometimes I don't see them til Tuesday abd some have done it. In one class there seems to be a growing game of beat mrs pops grin. I'm not complaining because it gets it done.

There are a lot of positives, just some elements of it annoy me until students work out that the same rules apply wth me as before we got the system

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 09-Dec-17 09:41:06

DS has just started secondary, they use SMH. Most teachers use it, a few put the hw on very late (tho of course at beginning of term the school made a big deal about there being no excuse not to do homework as 'it's all on the app!')

The school also has a policy of no phones out of bags during school hours, so they can't take photos of the board. DS is very anxious about getting to the next lesson in time and gets panicked about having time to write in hw diary.

MaisyPops Sat 09-Dec-17 09:45:08

The school also has a policy of no phones out of bags during school hours, so they can't take photos of the board
So jot it in their planner or diary?

I tell mine to do that anyway because everything is set in class.
I don't get this 'instructions and material were given in class but it being online later means it's difficult to do homework'. How do we think teachers and students have managed for years?

Wh0KnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 09-Dec-17 10:12:41

My DD's also has a no phones out of bags policy. Just jotting it down in a diary or planner isn't easy for her, she has slow processing speed and handwriting. She didn't know anyone when she started at this school so the first few weeks she didn't have anyone's phone numbers to text and ask for clarification. She also didn't want to admit to the teachers that she couldn't write it down fast enough as she gets embarrassed in front of the other pupils. So it was a real struggle for her before she got SMH, it has been a revelation for her and her confidence has really grown.

MaisyPops Sat 09-Dec-17 10:26:08

We put in place home/school books for this. Students would pop them out/guve to teacher whatever was agreed with home and teachers write in them.

I agree that SMH and other platforms can be great and work well.

user1469682920 Sat 09-Dec-17 10:38:22

Agree there were some issues at the start with inconsistency etc and some not using it but now its been running for a while and all teachers use it and it's used for any sort of communication/notifications' and is really helpful. And as I said before is good practise for Uni where absolutely everything is done in this way.

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