Thursday, October 04, 2012

Skedula Sucks

In our school, we have a new system. It's new and very glitzy looking. And you can enter grades and attendance on it, if you dare. We used to have a system called Daedalus, with which we could look up student schedules, and phone numbers, and things like that. You can do that in Skedula too, with only a few more inconvenient steps.

Daedalus had a big calendar you could pull up and show to parents. All the cuts would show a sea of pink, if I recall correctly. It was a very dramatic thing to show a parent. Skedula does something, but not that. In my school, there are a lot of technophobic teachers. I expect them not to like new systems. This year, it's not them, but the young tech-oriented teachers who are complaining.

In Skedula, if you send a note, it is by default public. This is pretty inconvenient. Several people have written things they did not expect everyone in the building to have access to, but there you are. I like to send notes to guidance counselors. In Daedalus, you'd press a button, write a note, and it would go to the kid's counselor, whether or not you happened to know who the counselor was. That way, at the end of the year, when the principal asked me why the hell I failed that kid, I could point to this correspondence. In Skedula, you have to look up the counselor and do it yourself. You may as well use your email account.

After noting that, I found an option to send comments to Skedula. They don't seem to really want them, because a box that could not have been more than one square inch popped up. I dutifully wrote a complaint, but it didn't go through.

Skedula looks more professional than bare-bones Daedalus. But Daedalus was more simple, more intuitive, more user-friendly. I miss it. Teachers who've adopted their own online grading systems, like Engrade, swear they're better and easier, and lament being asked to swap.

We need not even mention ARIS here, a total waste of 80 million bucks, soon to be scrapped for a state system that will no doubt prove more costly and even worse.

Does your school have an online system? What is it? How do you like it? Is it free so we can use it instead of Skedula?
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