I came to teaching from another work world where if I worked really hard, worked extra hours and knew my stuff, I was always on top of my game. I found out in teaching it’s very different. You can put in all the available hours in the week and you’re never on top of it.
The aspect of teaching that really threw me over the edge was the massive amount of paperwork I had to log and record in my gradebook. I don’t think most people know how many pieces of paper teachers have to handle and process day after day.
If you just figure a teacher logs homework for 30 students, four nights a week, that’s already 120 pieces of just homework for an elementary class. For a secondary class, there are teachers who have six classes with 30 students. That’s a 180 pieces of paper per day in homework, 720 pieces if assigned four nights per week. These stats only consider homework alone, not counting regular work. That’s a lot of paperwork!
How much time can it really take to grade and transfer assignments to a gradebook by hand?
GradeCam was developed to solve the massive paperwork problem. It was initially devised as a way to scan grades into any teacher’s gradebook, eliminating the tedious data entry. Then, we went one better and GradeCam evolved to actually grade those papers. And, it’s even come a long way since then!
Let me tell you what else GradeCam did for me while in the classroom. I didn’t have to wait until I graded those papers to find out whether or not my students understood the lesson. Once I was able to scan the assignments right there, we didn’t waste any valuable time in the classroom either.
Getting instant feedback on what my students knew was so powerful. The data told me who needed extra help right there in that two-hour window when reteaching was most important; it told me whether or not what I was doing as a teacher was working. I could consistently and confidently give students feedback on what they needed to work on.
GradeCam turned out to be a tremendous formative assessment tool AND timesaver. We are thrilled that thousands and thousands of teachers are now using it for those purposes.
Tami Porter is the co-founder of GradeCam. Tami began her teaching career in 1998 where she quickly found herself buried in paperwork with not enough time for lesson planning. When scanning groceries at a grocery store, she wished grading papers could be just as easy. She took her idea of scannable assessments to her entrepreneurial family – sons Rich, Rob, and husband Rick – and the family business was born.