KidGrid iPod app tracks local students’ progress

Gayle Worland:

To track how well Johnny could read last week — and the week before that — Gina Tortorice can now drag her finger across the front of an iPod Touch and watch her student’s progress.
The first-grade teacher is one of 11 educators at the adjacent Black Hawk Middle and Gompers Elementary schools using KidGrid, an experimental iPod application designed by UW-Madison researchers to make documenting student progress frequent, instantaneous and high-tech.
“It’s been very powerful for teachers, because they can keep track of data over time to see trends, and they can see specific growth in student learning,” said Anne Schoenemann, an instructional resource teacher at Gompers. “What we really need to be doing is moving into the technology age and supporting teachers with the tools they need to collect data in an efficient manner – and paper and pencil doesn’t always do it.”