Thursday 17 August 2017

Dodging homework looks set to end with new online check system in our schools

A Dublin company has launched Schoolbag.ie to 20 schools around the country as part of a pilot project (Stock picture)
A Dublin company has launched Schoolbag.ie to 20 schools around the country as part of a pilot project (Stock picture)

Greg Harkin

Dogs may still eat homework, but there will be no more excuses for not knowing what homework students were given thanks to a new online system being introduced in schools here.

A Dublin company has launched Schoolbag.ie to 20 schools around the country as part of a pilot project.

Philip O'Callaghan, who taught for 10 years in Naas CBS and St David's CBS, Artane, is managing director at Examcraft which has come up with the idea. "This is the next generation school diary," said Philip.

"Teachers input all homework to schoolbag.ie and this generates emails to parents and pupils. It's particularly good for students who have missed a class due to extra-curricular activities.

"And it will certainly save parents having to ask other parents about homework."

Corran College in Ballymote, Co Sligo, is among the first schools to try the new system which also allows teachers to upload videos. They decided to implement the solution after receiving an in-school demonstration of the product, having initially seen it at the NAPD conference in October 2015.

Deputy principal Aoife Mulrennan said the school decided to implement Schoolbag.ie to deal with the particular problem of homework completion rates at Junior Certificate level.

Problem

She said teachers were attracted to Schoolbag.ie by the ability to automatically communicate homework to parents and students through an automatic nightly email.

"We had noted a recurring problem with junior students in relation to homework completion rates in September," she said.

She said parents were enthusiastic about the new system.

"We collected data in relation to homework prior to the introduction of this initiative. Parents identified a real area of concern around the failure of students to recall their homework when they went home, despite using the homework journal," she said.

She was happy with the way Schoolbag.ie communicates homework to parents and students through a nightly email, adding: "Parents have direct access to their child's homework and can also see feedback from teachers relating to homework."

Irish Independent

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