iDoceo 4: What’s new for elementary music educators?

appiconRecently, one of my favorite apps, iDoceo, updated to version 4. Since my iPad updates automatically, this new look took me by surprise. I found out that I was in good company as during that day, I read other music educators commenting the same thing on social media.

What is new in iDoceo 4?

  • The look. It will take a few days to get used to this new look.
  • Price: The price is now $9.99 for the app. If you are debating on whether or not you should purchase the app, I would suggest paying the $9.99 for the app. It is worth every penny.
  • Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.42.20 PMNavigation between classes: You no longer have to go back to the home screen in order to change to another class. You can now click on the class name at the top left-hand corner of the screen and scroll down to the class you would like to appear on the screen.
  • Change the theme for each class: In the older version, the background defaulted to one color or pattern. In the “Gradebook” tab, you can click on the “…” (in the upper right-hand corner) and you can Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.45.20 PMchange such items as header, students’ thumbnails, and the background. Tip: I am changing the background for each class as well as having the students’ pictures now appear in the Gradebook as well as the Seating plan.
  • Attendance Column: When you click the + button atScreen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.52.49 PM the right of the columns (so that you can create a new column, an attendance column, add calculation, add favorite columns, or move, copy, or freeze columns), and click on Attendance, it will default to an “Extra Quick Attendance Check.” This means that you can quickly click a check for those who are present, a red x for those who are absent, and a sand timer for those who are late.
  • Backing Up: You can now backup to iCloud Drive and iCloud iOS7 and iOS8. Plus, you can now backup “to other locations.”
  • Tabs: At the top of the Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.44.14 PMscreen, new tabs appear.
    •  “Summary” gives you an overlook of the class attendance, resources, a stopwatch, the random picker, and grade distributions. Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.00.14 AMClick on the “Widgets” button and you can add more widgets to your summary such as, timer, passing students, upcoming birthdays, famous birthdays, today and tomorrow’s events, and pending notes.
    • Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.56.30 PM“Gradebook” is the screen you would normally see in the older versions where it shows each student’s name, columns, and information. Tip: Random picker has been added to the Gradebook screen. Click and hold students’ roster header and the dice for the random picker appears at the end of the row.
    • “Diary” is your planbook which can coordinate with your online calendars.
    • “Notes” for you to write or type notes.
    • “Seating plan” is the seating charts from the older versions. The seating plan allows you to create five seating charts for one class.
    • “Pinboard” is where you can pin items like resources, notes,andurls.
      • Tips:
        • In the seating plan tab, click on the student’s name and a new menu will appear. Click on “Take picture” and your iPad’s camera will activate. Take a picture of the student and save the picture.
        • To create seating charts, click and hold on a student’s picture and move it around the screen.
        • To change the background of the seating plan (my background is my music carpet), use your iPad’s camera to take a picture of your music carpet. Then in iDoceo, click on the seating plan tab, click the … at the top right-hand corner of the screen and scroll down to background image. Click the camera and find the image you took and click on that image. It will now be placed in iDoceo
        • Use “Random picker” to randomly choose students.
        • If you want iDoceo to randomly seat your studentsScreen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.48.27 PM, go to the seating plan, click on the tools icon, and scroll down to “Group automatically.” You can then choose how many students you would like to group, the formation of your group, and click “Group automatically.”
  • Email in bulk: If you click on the tools icon, scroll down to the email icon and click on it, Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.43.55 PMyou will see options for email. One option is to email to students that were absent today. Tip: If you have email addresses in the students’ or parents’ data, you can easily email them with an activity description on the days that they are absent.
  • Group your students: In the Gradebook view, click on the tools
    icon, scroll down to Students, click on Group, click the students you would like to group together, label the group, and click OK.
  • Some of my favorite items in iDoceo:
    • Recording audio and video into each student’s file
    • Seating plans
    • Random picker
    • Create a note about how a student behaved in class and easily emailing the note to the student’s teacher
    • Exporting student’s file via email, the cloud, or opening in another app
    • Exporting the seating plan via email, then printing them out and leaving them for my sub
    • Still works on my iPad 2 so I can use it for this app only and can record a lot of audio and video assessments since I am not using the iPad for other items. The audio and video files can take up a lot of space.
    • Great for organizing 18 classes and over 200 students
    • Great for organizing data and assessments for all of those classes and students
    • Great for easily backing up and exporting the data and assessments to supervisors
    • They have a manual listed here

Wish list: That iDoceo and Planbook.com joined together to make an app that has a planner that can handle rotating schedule, standards, lesson plans, assessments, etc, all in one app that can be shared with admin easily and quickly.

iDoceo can do so much more, especially with specific grading systems, calculating averages, etc. If you are using iDoceo, how do you like the new look? If you have not used iDoceo and would like to know more about it, check out their website, http://www.idoceo.net/.

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Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award and the 2016 NJMEA Master Music Teacher Award. TI:ME . You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com
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