When we first reported about Studyo, last month the concept of the digital student planner was clear as day, at least for our team. Studyo has developed a digital student planner to effectively replace the spiral bound planners that we’ve all become so accustomed to.
The spiral bound planner, that most school’s require parents to purchase at the beginning of the year, is far more than an assignment calendar. When the student planner was originally introduced, if it was just a calendar, we would fare much better at Walmart plucking down $3 for a spiral calendar. Teachers, administrators, parents and students realized early on that the “analog” planner (as we’ve been calling it here), was part communication tool, part homework planner, part tip guide and more.
The communication factor worked like this (and still does in classrooms using analog planners today):
- Teachers collect planners at the beginning of the day
- Teachers sign off that goals and assignments were completed
- Teachers add feedback to the planner
- Teachers re-distribute the planners to their students
- Students jot down homework assignments and due dates
- Students add any supporting information for each assignment
Now when they get home they can show their parents or families what work they have to do and what work they have completed. They also have an outline, clear as day, as to what needs to be done.
The fundamentals of the planner are far more reaching than just homework assignments. Students use the planners to start developing systems and organizational skills that will stick with them for life.
This makes complete sense to us. As it should to you as well.
That’s why when we spent some time speaking with Renaud Boisjoly, the founder and creator of Studyo, we were a little shocked to find out that one of the biggest hurdles to wide adoption of digital student planners is getting over a “calendar’ stigma. Many schools and districts feel that the calendar program found in their LMS is “good enough”, but when have we ever just gone “good enough” for students?
The fact of the matter is that a calendar program isn’t good enough at all. You’re losing the communication piece and in most calendar programs you lose the way students and teachers keep up with assignments.
Boisjoly knows what he’s talking about, the edtech entrepreneur spent more than a decade with Apple education. That’s where ideas for Studyo started forming. You see in a digital calendar if your students had a five page paper on the civil war due on March 22nd, that’s when the assignment would be noted. It doesn’t matter that the teacher introduced the assignment and it’s due date on March 1st. So in class March 1st the teacher says that the civil war paper is due on March 22nd, that’s the date added to the digital calendar. Then, it’s forgotten about. Most students will remember it on March 21st.
Studyo helps students and teachers track assignments as assignments or tasks. The same civil war paper would be added on March 1st when introduced, with a due date of March 22nd. The assignment (task) remains open until it’s due. Students can add to the assignment note in Studyo as they complete it. If Melissa worked on the first 3 pages the first weekend of March she can set her own date for the remaining two pages and so on and so forth.
While this may same trivial to some, it’s not just better for students working on assignments, it’s teaching them the fundamentals of project management and that many things, assignments included, can be done in parts, whatever way works best for them. Using systems like Studyo prevents assignment bottle necking. Students can add their extra-curricular activities, jobs and other things to their own planner so they know where they are going to need more time for balance.
The key difference is that in calendar programs the systems are all controlled by the teacher. With digital student planners, like Studyo, students have control over their tasks. Once a teacher pushes an assignment to them, students have a lot of flexibility in how they organize that assignment and task.
Studyo is more of a school and life management system than anything else. Everything is organized as tasks and Studyo knows the schedule of the student along with the schedule of all the students.
You can find out how Studyo is helping teachers and students manage their time more effectively at FETC 2018 in Orlando Florida, January 23-26th, booth #1853 and at studyo.co.