Common Sense Review
Updated January 2015

Skaffl - classroom workflow

Share, annotate, and grade with smart, simple document management tool
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • Skaffl is a tool that lets teachers and students share, complete, and grade class materials.
  • Every time a teacher creates an activity, helpful instructions guide the process.
  • Teachers and students can view past and in-progress activities through a calendar feature, where dates in bold indicate distributed activities.
  • Teachers and students can also view past and in-progress activities through a gallery view.
  • When working with different assignments, both teachers and students can use marker, highlighter, and text box tools to annotate, draw, and write.
Simple interface and powerful tools make this a great tool for teachers and students to share, complete, and grade materials, especially in 1-to-1 programs.
Handouts on their own don't offer much learning. Robust storage, document creation, and other features, including rich media, are available only with a paid subscription.
Bottom Line
A flexible, easy-to-use tool for going paperless and sharing materials in a 1-to-1 iPad classroom, with a good starter version for free and a versatile paid option.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/Non-Profit Member
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Students can easily keep track of assignments, due dates, and feedback from multiple classes. Responsive editing tools and intuitive navigation features make this an especially straightforward tool for student work.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

A lot of options for giving feedback and for distributing materials. Students can easily understand what they need to do and how to use the tool accordingly. Still, much is left up to lesson/assessment design to break the worksheet mold.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

With detailed intro videos, a support database, and clear on-screen how-to text, it's easy to get started with Skaffl. Expert users can set up complex filing systems and customize their feedback for students.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Use Skaffl as the primary tool for distributing handouts and assignments in your class. Upload pre-made worksheets and handouts from other apps into Skaffl and distribute them to your classes. Use Skaffl to distribute essay prompts, field trip permission slips, study guides, and daily homework. Encourage kids to use word-processing apps on their devices and submit their completed work via the dropbox feature. As with any paperless document/assignment management tool, you can use Skaffl as an opportunity to make assignments more iterative. Create regular cycles of feedback so students do multiple revisions of each assignment and see their work as a project. With a paid subscription, explore how photo, video, and audio can explode the notion of what an assignment or assessment can be.

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What's It Like?

Skaffl is a tool for distributing, completing, and grading work on the iPad. Teachers create classes and then share each class's unique access code with their students, who can then use that code to enroll in the class via their own Skaffl login. Teachers then create three types of activities: an in-app assignment, a student dropbox, or a handout. A handy workflow for these activities appears every time teachers create a new one. Teachers can distribute activities instantly (to some classes, some students, or all at once) or schedule them for a later date.

The Skaffl app is always free for students, and teachers can choose a free or paid version -- school and district pricing is also available. The free version allows up to 100 assignments, up to 10 MB of data, and PDF files. The premium version lets teachers create activities and handouts within the app, supports more file formats (including media like photo, video, and audio), and comes with unlimited assignments and a 100 MB data limit. These paid options will be highly attractive to teachers looking to use Skaffl more extensively and to approach assignment and assessment design more innovatively with a mixed media approach.

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Is It Good For Learning?

When teachers upload and distribute documents, there are clever customization options -- and a handy visual for different workflow options -- that point to the developer's thoughtful understanding of how materials can be assigned and turned in. Some worksheets can be assigned as simple handouts for annotation, others require students to complete an activity and turn in for feedback, and another assignment type creates a dropbox that lets students complete work outside of the app and turn it in through Skaffl. This last option usefully accounts for the fact that some activities (like those that require longer written responses) are best completed in other apps. The premium version definitely offers more features, but the developers have included enough workarounds that the free version can offer a great value for some teachers.

Using Skaffl has the same pitfalls as any other system that involves worksheets: Teachers should be sure to create assignments that are well-suited to digital creation and don't stray into the realm of busy work. While the app itself won't teach kids anything in particular, it could be a great tool for efficiently sharing materials, completing assignments, and giving feedback in the 1-to-1 classroom. 

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