Website review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2020

Additio

Flexible, feature-filled LMS facilitates focus on whole child

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Pros: By using its Groups feature and integrating with Google Classroom, it's easy for teachers to see student progress and keep families informed.

Cons: The number of features and the lack of design polish mean teachers will have to tinker a lot to get up and running.

Bottom Line: Being able to access lots of customizable data, group students beyond classes, and communicate easily with families gives teachers a clear picture of each student that they can share.

Additio lets you group students in ways that make sense for their needs and customize data so that you can effectively adjust lessons and keep families informed. Take advantage of the Google Classroom integration to share and assess assignments, and use the rubric feature to evaluate student portfolios. Create and view reports to keep for your records or share during in-person or virtual parent conferences. Or, if there's a concern that can't wait, you can communicate with students or parents via email from Additio or through the developer's Edvoice app. If you want to make sure all students are getting equal airtime, you can use the wand icon to randomly select a student for participation. And use the attachment feature to keep resources linked to classes, lessons, or individual students.

Teachers looking to differentiate or have kids team up may find the Group features helpful. Just be aware that creating too many groups may clutter up your dashboard, and it's best to store or hide groups once they're no longer needed. Learning all of the different features of Additio can be time-consuming, but once they get the hang of it, most teachers will appreciate the flexibility it offers.

 
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Additio is a learning management system (LMS) with built-in communication that makes it easy to customize groups of kids and adjust the data you want to see for each student. You can access it via the web or download the app. Beginning users might want to start with the basics since trying to do too much, too soon may be overwhelming. Along the way, you can find video tutorials for each feature and a Help Center. 

Using the teacher dashboard as a starting place, teachers can add students and groups, track attendance, create assignments with or without rubrics, and add specific SEL goals. The sidebar menu allows teachers to switch back and forth easily among tasks, meeting notes, student profiles, and other management tools. There are options for attaching standards to assignments and grading based on standards, which lets teachers see how well students are progressing in certain areas. Teachers can also take advantage of the Google Classroom integration, sharing resources with their students and colleagues as needed.

 

Teachers who want to approach students, parents, and administrators with data that shows that kids are more than just a GPA will appreciate the Additio platform. Putting in some work up front provides teachers with a picture of the whole child and can help pinpoint skills and instruction that will help students succeed. The Group feature allows teachers to differentiate assignments by interest or level of difficulty. And teachers can either keep notes for their reference or provide feedback directly to students or families. Do be aware that if you click into an email, you can't go back to the previous page without sending one. Additionally, educators who choose a standards-based grading approach will have an easier time determining which areas of the curriculum students have mastered as well as which ones need more attention. Those who use a portfolio system will appreciate the rubric feature, which highlights student progress well. 

While certain features may be time-consuming to keep up with, some teachers will find the time spent well worth what they get in return. For example, being able to see data about a student's attendance and behavior information on the same page as their academic progress may help show why a particular student is struggling or how a teacher might better challenge students overall. So, while it may not be the slickest LMS on the market, Additio offers options that enable teachers to see a student from several angles, track student progress, and keep families informed.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Teachers willing to put the time in will find that the variety of feedback they can generate about students is helpful far beyond a number or letter grade.

Pedagogy

There are tons of opportunities to differentiate content in order to make instruction meaningful and relevant to individual students, especially if teachers take advantage of rubrics and SEL tools.

Support

Written and video tutorials (though lacking polish) are helpful as teachers learn the different features. Supporting individual learners will require sustained effort on the teacher's part.


Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Instructional Technology Facilitator

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