Mr. Jon Butcher

Administrative Coordinator & Teacher


A super nice member!

I teach: Physics, Science

To ages: 14 to 18


November 17, 2014

All our students have pen-enabled tablet computers… so:
OneNote is our killer app.
t is:
– a student “binder” keeping all student notes (yes, including math! And it promotes good handwriting!)
– A “CourseBook” (combination notebook and course textbook – built by the course teacher and distributed to students. Fewer than half our courses now have paper textbook.)

We have set up a network share organized as TEACHER > CLASS > STUDENT containing the student’s OneNote notebook for that class. OneNote automatically syncs so that students and teachers can edit the notebook offline, and it syncs up when they come back on campus (or connect via VPN). Teachers can access all student notebooks any time!!

It can of course also be used for more traditional keeping of notes and records (Admin meetings, personal records etc) but there are many others out there that do that pedestrian stuff – the active share and ability to use a pen are the key features for us.

As I said: Every student and teacher in every course uses this. It is all the advantages of paper, but made better by technology. It is, by far, Microsoft’s best educational product.

November 17, 2014

Not useful.
The power of Wolfram Alpha in my mind is the ability to input almost any scenario and allow it to do the math for you… but you have to understand the scenario and be able to set up the physics and math.
In this App the scenarios are all fixed. The graphs produced (in a few scenarios) showing the solutions are possibly useful for some higher order thinking (i.e. “What does each line show?”), but otherwise it is too rigid / limited in the types of problems it will address.
Not good for teaching, perhaps good for checking answers to introductory questions? – but anyone who needs this to work out solutions has missed the point… they need to upgrade their math skills ASAP!

October 28, 2014

I take photos of our board notes on my Android phone, and upload them to our class dropbox.
Oh so easy!

October 28, 2014

Wow – really surprised to see the long and passionate negative reviews of Edsby. Perhaps it was poorly implemented at the beginning? I hope they gave it a second chance?
Our school has been using every feature of Edsby for 3 years now – it is quite simply the best of breed when it comes to LMS portals. There is nothing I have seen that comes close to its power, simplicity of use, and – most importantly – educational effectiveness.

It integrates with our Blackbaud SIS, so pulls all student, teacher and parents into the cloud.
We have 100% uptake by our teaching faculty and students, our data shows that 65% of parents have logged in, representing 100% of our families (we have an average of 3 parent accounts per student).

We do our report cards, data analysis, and all daily class work and educational communication on Edsby. Specifically:
– All teachers post a “Daybook” showing what was done in class, with links to web sources, attachments etc, plus a list of “homework” to be completed. This running record forms the backbone of what students see and do. Students and parents are presented with this as their homepage, so they always know what went on in class and what to do for homework.
– All assignments, events etc automatically post to student calendars. Students can submit work directly back to Edsby.
– The Gradebook is the best out there. Handles pretty much any grading system imaginable, is very flexible and customizable, and produces awesome graphs etc showing student performance to students, parents, teachers and administrators, flagging overdue assignments, custom notes and observations etc.
– The Student Report Zoom automatically flags at-risk students (great for Administration and Grade Teams). Advisors can get instant summaries of student performance.
– Messages get pushed out to whatever email the parent and student register on the system
– It integrates with Google Docs and OpenOffice
– Does attendance of course, including attendance resolution by the Office.
– The “Student Panorama” displays all of a student’s information including Medical Alerts entered by our Health Centre, observations by teachers (for other teachers to see and use), attendance information, Academic probation alerts…
– etc etc !!!

And we have built several custom Apps to track Community Service Hours, our own Diploma system which requires students to earn leadership points, engage in school groups, teams, and activities – all tracked through the Edsby report card system.

And all in a fast, friendly web browser.

We looked at all the other big names in LMS portals (I won’t name them here), but none held a candle to Edsby’s power or simplicity.
You really have to see it in action to believe it.
Please ask if you want more!

(Disclaimer – I am not a sales rep, but do love the product! :-)