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May 21, 2013

Cool Product Alert: Bloomboard

Well, first I read about Bloomboard here. Then I talked to Jared at Great Oaks Charter School about his experience. And THEN, I became intrigued from a time management perspective.

Bloomboard is a nifty new software package that manages and synthesizes teacher feedback and support all in one place.

As someone who’s written teacher observations, juggled my laptop, notebook and multiple rubrics in my lap, re-named documents on-the-go while frantically typing in all caps, lost my changes, tried to schedule debriefs with busy teachers and tried to reschedule those same debriefs, I knew firsthand that a better solution was needed.

To learn more, I called the folks over at Bloomboard directly. It is a pretty darn cool new tool for any of you juggling teacher observations and feedback.

So, how can Bloomboard save you time?

  • Scheduling ease. Scheduling is the dreaded beast of classroom observations. Paul Bambrick-Santoyo has some great ideas in his book, Leverage Leadership, about permanently blocking time to conduct observations. Bloomboard takes it a step further by actually taking over some of the scheduling and to-do’s associated with classroom observations. Below is a screen shot of the near-term To-Do’s for a school leader. Teachers have a similar tool, and both teachers and leaders can also track longer-term items graphically. Best of all, EVERYTHING can be synced to Outlook, Google Cal or iCal through a simple email notification. Oooooooh, you know how we love synchronization!!!

Bloomboard #1

  • Everything in one place. Check out the screen shot below. It shows an evaluation that requires a pre-observation form, artifacts, and a lesson reflection sheet. All can be pre-uploaded for easy use. No more trying to remember if you saved it to Dropbox, Google Drive, My Documents, or your Desktop that you’ve been meaning to clear off for. . . three years (more on this in a coming post!). Everything located in a single platform online, backed up, and auto-saved. No time required to sift through papers, find different files, or recover lost data.

bloomboard #2

  • And…Best of All… YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUILD YOUR OWN SYSTEM. Think of the time saved by not starting from scratch and/or reinventing the wheel. The base platform is free and Bloomboard will customize for you! There are paid components, such as data analysis, PD modules, and content hosting.

Neat-o, eh? We look forward to hearing more from Bloomboard in the future and checking out the content and professional development build-outs!

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