Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

The 'Power' of a Student Information System: Neither Distance nor War Was Any Match for Technology in One Mother's Effort to Help Turn around Her Son's Sliding Math Performance

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

The 'Power' of a Student Information System: Neither Distance nor War Was Any Match for Technology in One Mother's Effort to Help Turn around Her Son's Sliding Math Performance

Article excerpt

DURING MY SIXTH-GRADE year at Hillside Elementary School in Omaha, NE, I was introduced to a student information system. My teachers explained that the new system, called PowerSchool (www.powerschool.com), would allow us to check our test and quiz scores, daily assignments, and other information such as class schedules over the internet. Then they mentioned that parents would have access to this information. Some of my classmates were surprised and even a little worried about how this "instant mom-and-dad access" would affect dinnertime conversation, but I wasn't really fazed by it. I thought it would be easier to check my test grades online rather than waiting for class the next day, but overall, I didn't see this new system as having much of an impact on my daily routine. It turned out I was wrong.

At first, I found myself logging on to the system every other day to check my most recent test scores. But as the school year went on, I found myself logging on every night to check my grades and to make sure I hadn't missed any homework assignments for that night. The system certainly helped keep me current on my assignments and grades.

Then my mom left for Iraq.

My mother is a staff sergeant in the US Army. When I was in sixth grade, she was deployed to Iraq for 16 months. It was hard not having my mom around every day to look after me and to talk to about life and schoolwork. She's the one I count on for help when I need it, and she's also the one to take me to task when I am not doing as well as she knows I could be.

It was during my mom's time overseas that my teacher, Mr. Folchert, introduced our class to fractions. Now, I have to admit, math wasn't really my favorite subject--at all. While my mom was away, my test and quiz grades started to slide a lot, and I was having trouble completing my math homework. My mom, who logs on to PowerSchool every day, was able to access the system while she was in Iraq. She noticed that my math grades were dropping and talked to me about it. We discussed ways I could get help, and she stressed the importance of completing homework assignments and helped motivate me to do better. …

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