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I'm Not Sure If I Should Be Scared Or What

Product Description:
Conduct is a powerful software application for Mac and Windows that lets teachers and schools record, analyse and track incidents of positive and negative student behaviour. Conduct significantly reduces the administrative tasks for teachers and provides a solid foundation upon which whole school behaviour management can be developed. Make pupils aware of their behaviour and help them to think it through, reward or sanction them accordingly. Imagine having all the schools conducts/behavioural issues stored in one database. Conduct has the power to instantly show a parent their child's behaviour record over the past year or even throughout the students education. Conduct school behaviour software can let you click a button to see who is the best year group or class on that day or week and much more. Imagine seeing conducts being entered in real time and being able to instantly deal with the situation.

What's new in this version:
- Conduct now has the ability to work on a handheld PC, Palm etc meaning you can use a handheld then sync with your computer at a later date.
- Conduct can now create and send 'behaviour' letters (detentions, exclusions etc) with the click of a button, you can setup your own letter templates. A lettter log is also included allowing you to see any letters you have sent.

Is this really what schools have diluted themselves into? Teachers don't even know their students well enough that they need to carry a Palm around to write notes when they misbehave? What is next, student id numbers being tattooed to the back of necks so teachers don't even need to ask its name, just scan it with a barcode reader!?! Maybe I'm just jaded since middle and high school my entire grade was only like 60 kids with classes of around 12 and teachers that actually knew every single student.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
We had a system like that in high school. Everyone's "conduct grade" started out at 99, and whenever you did certain things, you'd get certain points deducted (a detention would be, like, 2 points, etc). Everyone knew who the problem kids were, yeah, but doing it this way meant that when you hit 80, you got a Letter sent home when you hit 70, something else happened, and so on. So it's more for tracking things exactly rather than tracking things in general, if that makes sense.
Mar. 5th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you're pretty much just coming from a different point of view, having been in a very small class.

Nowdays, class sizes just keep getting bigger and bigger and there are fewer teachers to handle all these kids. 35 kids per class isn't unusual. And without good tracking and good communication between teachers, how are schools supposed to keep track of when a kid is falling through the cracks? It only makes sense to keep good records of kids' behavior, especially since behavior tends to correlate with performance. Frustrated kids tend to act out. Keeping track of this and responding to it is smart. Just trusting that 5-6 teachers that each have outrageous class sizes is going to be able to juggle all their normal classwork, all the "special" needs (it's common in some areas for many kids to be ESL or not speak english at all, have learning disabilities, or other things that make teaching less than straightforward), past and future lesson plans, blah blah blah PLUS keeping track of all the behavioral pluses and minuses of different kids... all in their HEADS? For crying out loud, these people are definitely not paid enough to do this shit. I wouldn't want to be a teacher, and I certainly wouldn't want people believing I should just memorize every detail about every kid in order to punish or reward them appropriately in addition to all the rest of my job duties.

We should definitely be paying these people more. And getting more of them. But when it comes down to it. the country cares more about blowing shit up than teaching our kids. So, whatever. Behavior tracking software for the Palm it is.
Mar. 6th, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)
This give whole new meaning to the term "This will go down on your permanent record."

But classes sizes are an issue, and in poorer districts, there are a lot of kids with behavioral problems or are even just beginning down the slippery slope of truancy who do fall through the cracks. When I was a junior at Berkeley High, which is considered urban but not inner-city, the school had about 3500 students - my class was over 800 kids, with classes that were between 25 and 40 kids. No teacher can keep track of 40 kids per period, 7 periods a day. I had like 52 cuts in one class in one semester and the school never even called my mom.

With a centralized database they will be able to track trends in behavior, if they think ahead enough. Which could go a long way to identifying problems with specific schools, teachers, or programs, rahter than students.

I worked on some teacher training softeware a few years ago, that had to do with training teachers to teach in a way that will bring up elementary school kids test scores otherwise schools would lose funding (as mandated by the Bush regime). There were a lot of legal issues about trevealing info about test scores - they could aggregate date by school, disctrict and county, but it was illlegal for individual students performance data to go beyond the teachers, parents, principals and children. Exposing data about minors is highly regulated.

I imagine the same controls would have to be in place, so this isn't as scary as is might sound. Data isn't inherently evil, it's all about what they do with that data. I think this is meeting a serious need.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )