How I Use It
Engrade is an online gradebook that combines lesson planning, the ability to check the Common Core standards that are being used, and also pull from outside resources to add to the lesson. It allows teachers to communicate with parents via the gradebook. Teachers can also use the "apps" to create quizzes that the students can take online; the quizzes are automatically graded and added into the gradebook. Engrade can also create flashcards that coincide with the quizzes, and wikis to collaborate and communicate with students. These are the tools that are free for individual teachers to use. The school district would need to purchase Engrade in order to use other apps such as Benchmark Tests. The district can create and upload district wide summative and formative assessments. This can be a really useful tool if it is the one that the District decides to use. It seems that Engrade would also work to show the entire districts assessment reports on their state testing as well as what is being done in the classroom.
I understand what Engrade is trying to accomplish and it is very similar to many other sites and programs out there. They are integrating the teacher's gradebook, lesson planning, Common Core tracking, displaying data from assessments and enhancing communication into one tool. Engrade describes this integration as the following four pieces: "Corebook (manage daily activities), Teach (integrate 3rd party curriculum content), Improve (view districtwide student assessment data), and Assessments (deploy and score custom assessments)." Unless my school district adopted Engrade, I would not use it. While there are many features that are free to individual teachers, the teacher would have to manually upload all of the students' names. They would also have to complete both this gradebook and the one their district uses. It would be double the work. My initial reaction to Engrade is that there are better options out there. It seems a little more complicated than others that I have previewed.