Sunday, December 4, 2016

12/4: Tech Review #7: MasteryConnect

Charge or free: free to start, but Premium option is required for many features. Obviously, an adopting district would pay. The small print on the pricing page says, “ Minimum $2,100 + Professional Development for School/District purchases”. It’s $7/student but pd is “call for pricing.”

I have first-hand experience with MasteryConnect, having attended several trainings with their professional staff at my school, and having been one of the early adopters with the Freshman Team at MDIHS three years ago. At that point we were not sharing info publicly, as we were still showing results through Powerschool, so we had a good deal of time to adjust and experiment.

Identify levels of understanding, target students for intervention,
and improve learning and instruction.   

MasteryConnect is a platform designed to work with teachers to “ effectively assess core standards, monitor student performance, and report student mastery to parents and administrators,” according to their “About” page. Designed to create a community of educators sharing resources, the site urges adopting teachers to share their work, while allowing district-level only or even personal setting for assessments. There is a Pinterest-like visual set up for a teacher’s individual page, and page access is organized through a “hamburger” drop-down menu.

MC is trying to expand its functionality, and under its “goodies” page, offers several apps for teachers and students. Like Kiddom, they also have come out with a pdf about PBE and about the Common Core.

As a young company (founded in October of 2009) , MC has been very responsive to our district’s needs and concerns, even having our Dean of Curriculum fly out to consult for a weekend! However, they also overstepped their promises a bit, saying that they would be able to interface with Powerteacher, which they couldn’t do with in the promised time frame (and can’t now, in 2016).

Entering assessment results can be awkward, with lots of buttons to click in order to move through a class; editing data (changing assessments you’ve already entered, for example) is difficult: you’re often better off just deleting and re-starting--a real drawback in a field where tweaking an assessment is pretty standard!

Observing my colleagues’ experiences as well as my own, I would not rate MC highly for convenience or functionality; its personalization level is good, but it’s hard to print or send reports that make a lot of sense to people who have not been trained, which further lowers its convenience score. I feel it’s too far on the “single function” aspect right now to reward the amount of effort it takes for teachers to learn to use it or for students and parents to come to understand its information.

No comments:

Post a Comment