Ordinarily, the fact that only 40 percent of teachers use Edline
would elicit a Saturday jeer.
Ordinarily, the fact that only 40 percent of teachers use Edline would elicit a Saturday jeer. However, the lack of use of the online tracking and reporting tool typifies the inconsistencies between teacher and administration efforts at Gilroy High School to improve communication with parents and improve student performance.
Edline, or a like program, is and has been working smoothly in many other high schools. Teachers can enter information on upcoming homework assignments and tests, and then enter resulting grades. Student and parents can see an up-to-date grade. The difference between other schools and GHS is that other schools mandate 100 percent teacher usage. At GHS, it seems to be optional. Parents report frustration at signing on, only to see two of their children’s six teachers providing information.
What’s the point of 400 parents signing up at back-to-school night if teachers don’t use the system.
What happens quickly is that parents drop out and the school district loses a golden opportunity.
Too bad. Edline is an efficient communications tool that puts parents on the same page as teachers, enables them to help teachers keep students accountable for their work, and can increase parental communication with teachers. Students, knowing that their parents can check in very easily and see what they have (or have not) submitted, tend to be more careful about ensuring that homework is turned in on time. Because of its short- and long-term benefits, the administration should make Edline use mandatory.
Some teachers complain it’s difficult to use. While we sympathize with the teachers who have not easily shifted from recording grades manually in a log to inputting them on the computer so that parents and students can access them more easily, clearly they should embrace the increasing and inevitable use of technology.
Some teachers complain it adds “one more thing” they are required to do. We reiterate that the benefits make the task worth doing. And, we’re sure there are other, less efficient, less beneficial tasks that could be taken off the teachers’ plates to make time for this.
Yes, a teacher’s main task is to teach. Immediate feedback to the student is also important. However, teachers and parents have both clamored for better communication with each other in a busy world – teachers wish parents would use their parental authority to help Johnny stay on task, and parents wish they could find out from teachers sooner, rather than later, that Johnny is struggling. Edline facilitates that communication by making information accessible.
Given the benefits, to not maximize its use is a terrible waste.