Ages of learners
Edsby blends secure social networking with advanced class and student management to create the world's best education engagement platform and reduce the compartmentalization of learning.
Edsby is here to help
Whether you're a teacher who wants to communicate with your students, a parent who wants to help your kids plan their homework, a principal who wants to know how the school is running or a student who has to show their parent that they really are done their homework, Edsby is here to help you out.
Edsby gets people engaged
Edsby helps you engage the entire education community. By getting the whole community engaged, everyone can reach their true potential and the results will be amazing.
Edsby keeps you in the loop
Edsby helps you elevate the conversations that happen today to a new level. Edsby provides new tools to help conversations flow naturally and makes sure that you stay in the loop and don't feel left out. It's better for you, and it leads to better results.
Edsby knows what you need
Edsby understands the needs of students, teachers, administrators and parents and gives you the tools that you need. Finally, someone to make your day easier, not harder.
a teacher at Sirwa secondary school
Friday, August 31, 2012
The biggest problem with Edsby is that it doesn't work. Many teachers don't use it properly, so it's "magical" features don't work. Many of my teachers add material to a class, and then don't open it for students to view it. And the feature that disables students and parents from viewing a grade unless the teachers hits a button to share it? Many teachers forget to, resulting in hidden grades. Everyone's grades might suddenly drop for seemingly no reason, and we can't figure out what happened. Also, Edsby gives inaccurate percentages. Edsby doesn't tell you you have a 89.1%. Edsby tells you that you have an 89%. So when a grade gets put in, the percentage might not raise at all. I've had multiple classes where my grade percentage has not changed and new assignments have been put in. How can I know how I'm doing? Also, percentages are frequently wrong. In one class, my individual grades were an 80%, a 90%, and a 100%. My overall grade was a 80%. I'm pretty sure that no matter how my teacher set the weighting for the different categories, that shouldn't be possible. Which brings me to the point that Edsby doesn't tell you how it gets your overall grade. When we used Edline (how we miss it so), it showed all of the different categories and it showed what percentage you had in each one. It told you what the class average was for each assignment as well as your rank in the class. If you were unhappy with your grade, you could take the raw data on the page and calculate your own score ad see what points you would need to raise your grade. With Edsby, this is impossible. There isn't enough information given. While Edline operated under the attitude of, "here is your grade, here is how you got it, here is how you're doing, have a nice day", Edsby seems to say, "here is your grade, bye.
The most confusing reason for Edsby being used is that teachers don't like it. In fact, I haven't heard one teacher say that they like it, and I've heard nearly all of them complain about it. In fact, I've have a teacher that assigns projects to be turned in digitally over Edsby, and he waived all of our due dates for the first few weeks of school because so many students had problems turning assignments in over Edsby and he had so many problems collecting them. Many teachers don't know how to use Edsby, which makes all of it's great little "features" (i.e. complications) utterly worthless. Not only do they get dragged to seminars designed to teach them how to use the seemingly simple software, but most of them come back and complain to their classes that the seminars were pointless and didn't help them with any of the problems they had. Edsby frustrates my teachers to the point where they don't update their grades. One teacher didn't update our grades for 6 weeks. 6 weeks without grades in a 9 week grading period? It makes the whole program pretty pointless. And you know what? I don't blame her. I was asking her about my grades (because you know, I can't really see them) and she tried to pull up Edsby for me, but it took 6 minutes for the homepage to even load on the school computers. Honestly? That is ridiculous. I wouldn't update grades either. If it were easier for teachers and allowed them to update grades easier, then all of Edsby's bugs might have been worth it. But no. Not at all.
The final reason that Edsby is the bane of my existence is that students hate it. Because the grading period just ended, I don't know what my grades are. The old ones don't display, and my teachers aren't allowed to put in any new assignments. The grading period ended two weeks ago. So in a 9 week period, we only can view our grades for less than 7 of them? My parents usually pay me for grades, and because I'm not allowed to have a job of any sort, most of it goes towards paying for gas. Since my parents can't see my grades right now and they refuse to take my word for it, I can't drive. Thanks Edsby. We never had these problems with Edline. If the teacher had to put in new grades, it was simple for them to make a new spreadsheet. Because of all of the fancy features Edsby has, everything is more difficult.
If you weren't able to tell, I wholeheartedly believe that Edsby is an abomination. The only thing about Edsby that's really worked out for me is that it's made sports and clubs information easier. Well, sports: clubs are run by students, who can't create Edsby groups, and teachers are too occupied with trying to figure out this wretched software to have time to worry about updating club information. That being said, I think Edsby would work very well for elementary school teachers who only have about one class with 20 children. Or is it less than that? I remember when my brother was in elementary school the class sizes had gotten ridiculously small. But as for middle school and especially high school, it is impractical and infuriating. I mean, honestly, just look at the blue block creature thing with the little antenna. Is that supposed to be Edsby? Like a mascot? And another point, Edsby calls itself a "social networking tool". Doesn't that bring up some red flags for anyone? This should be a service for me to see my assignments and my grades. What teacher wants to be social with their students? That seems really off to me. If anyone wanted that, we could have just used Edmodo, that's far easier to use with better features. To wrap this up, Edsby is a worthless software with high expectations and claims, and very, very low results. I honestly believe that I would cry with joy if Hillsborough county switched back to using Edline. There would at least be some happy jumping. I think the decision to switch to Edsby was made by some high up members of the school board who aren't or have never been involved in teaching to know the impacts of the switch. I honestly hope it's cheaper, because it hasn't made any teachers, students, or parents happier, and it certainly hasn't raised anyone's grades.
How can Hillsborough County Public Schools select a product that is so incomplete and doesn't even work properly? They should have stick with Edline.
Then there is the program itself. It is by far and away the worst grading program I have ever seen. We used Easy Grade Pro previously and it allowed us to do SO many things for our students and parents. Edsby does NONE of those things. I could write a dozen pages on what its doesn't do but here is a partial list (we are discovering new things that it won't do every day it seems).
- Won't allow you to print out decent class rosters...only option is one that only has student names.
- Won't let you print student's missing assignments for just your class (only the whole school and that not very well).
- Has NO ability to customize anything. There is only ONE type of Progress report and it is ridiculously horrible and unprofessional in appearance. I had to HAND WRITE Progress reports for my students. Took me 2 hours. I haven't had to do that for 13 years!!! I guess they needed to help us use up all the 'spare time' week seem to have (sarcasm).
- Won't allow you to keep attendance within the program.
- When a student messages you about an assignment it shows up in a huge slide out bar that covers 1/4 of the gradebook screen. Nobody can tell me how to stop it from popping out every time I access that gradebook page.
- Has a very archaic system of designating assignments and no way to personalize it to your needs like ALL other gradebook programs seem to have.
- It takes 10 times as long and 5 times as many steps to add assignments (which they call assessments no matter what).
- It takes 5-10 times as long to put new grades in.
- Has a hugely annoying problem....then you input a grade and hit enter (or down key) instead of moving to the next box down it sometimes jumps 2 boxes down and as many as 4 making you click in each box to add the grade...aRRGGHHH!!)
- In order to print out a class grade sheet (for posting) you first have to dump the data into an Excel spreadsheet, then take out all of the extraneous columns and rows and THEN print it. Easy Grade Pro could print these customized for me in less than 3 minutes. It took me 45 minute to do a simple set!!!
- Somehow nobody at this company realized our county doesn't average 2nd quarter grades in with first.....we got to 2nd 9 weeks and it was simply adding the new grades to the 1st 9 weeks....I am still not that confident that it is averaging my grades correctly.
- I have had numerous complaints from parents that they HATE the parent portal as it doesn't give them enough information and in a rational format for them to use. Most have simply quit using it (so much for its networking abilities).
- It DOES allow students to post messages...but they simply say hi, or your stink....useless.
- It's little annoying tendencies are too many to even list.
I remember discovering Easy Grade Pro with my teaching team and we were frequently calling for each other to show something new and cool that it could do. With Edsby it is begging for anyone who has figured out how to do ANYTHING that we used to be able to do with ease. After 3 months of using it, I have NO feeling that they will EVER get this right and make it a decent program. It is crushing student and parent involvement in grade monitoring but nobody in the district wants to admit it.
Edsby is a DISASTER....stay FAR away from it or you will regret it. We seem to be stuck with it and I imagine they will blame the teachers for it eventually.