Google Classroom has played a large role in the continuity of learning throughout the pandemic. As more schools move from a virtual setting to a hybrid or in-person model, Google for Education apps are still being used as staples of student learning. However, even though Google Classroom has become a vital academic component for many, administrators do not have the ability to easily observe or monitor classrooms, and remain out of the loop with what teachers and students are experiencing. Amplified IT’s Little SIS for Classroom tool mitigates that issue.
Little SIS for Google Classroom
Sean Dallas is the vice principal of a middle school in the Buena Regional School District (BRSD), located in Buena, New Jersey. In addition to his administrative role, he also helps with programming the district’s IT. After programming BRSD’s Clever pages with apps for the COVID-forced transition into virtual learning, he realized that he was unable to see what was going on in the teacher’s Classroom pages. “I wanted the ability to observe them on a macro level,” he said.
He was aware that his only option was to join each class as a co-teacher and get flooded with emails, which he wanted to avoid. During his search for a solution, Sean found Little SIS for Classroom. “After digging into it a bit more, I saw that it was exactly the product I was looking for. It allows me to view any and all teacher’s Google Classroom pages from a very simple spreadsheet,” he recalls.
Sean shared Little SIS with the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction and was able to work with Amplified IT to get it implemented not long after the 2020-21 school year had started.
Rostering made easy
Little SIS became essential to the success of BRSD’s teachers and students. “We relied tremendously on Google Classroom,” detailed Sean. On a hybrid model, the district had some students coming to class who retrieved work through Google Classroom, and students who weren’t coming to class who also watched the pre-recorded lessons on the app. Little SIS ensured that students were easily rostered into the correct classes, without having to add a teacher’s class and use a password to access it.
Sean added that school leadership also created a Classroom page to distribute important information and updates to students at the beginning of the year. “We were able to roster every student in the district into that class. Without Little SIS, we would have had to send out an all-call [email][/email] to everyone and say ‘please add yourself to this class.’ It would have been a disaster,” he said. “That’s what sold our district on the power of Little SIS.”
Nothing is more frustrating than a new EdTech product that is difficult to figure out. One thing that is often highlighted about Little SIS is that it is intuitive. Sean’s definition of a user-friendly program is one that someone can click through for a few minutes and get the idea of how it works. He said, “It’s so easy. I mean, anyone can learn how to use it. I love that part about Little SIS as well.” BRSD was able to train their administrators, district-wide, on how to use it.
When asked to quantify the savings in resources or time Little SIS provided, like many Amplified IT customers, Sean found it to be indescribable. “It’s very, very fairly priced for what it does. The time it saves is enormous. I can’t put a number on how smoothly we are able to roster students in classes, observe teachers without having to be co-teachers, and sync transfer information,” he elaborated.
Applications like Google Classroom will continue to play important roles in education, even as administrators, teachers, and students return to school buildings full-time. Amplified IT is dedicated to empowering districts to operate efficiently and effectively with tools like Little SIS. Sean shared, “I don’t know how we functioned without it. I was so upset that I didn’t know about Little SIS last year. I found out about it late in the game. I’m happy to be using it this year, and I’m so excited to use it next year.” His goal for next year is for every teacher to return from summer break with every student rostered in classrooms.
Also, the district is planning to expand its work with Amplified IT, and start using Gopher Tools to enable their IT department to do more on the backend. Sean added, “We’re probably going to expand even more than that.”
To learn more about Little SIS, and Amplified IT’s suite of other products and services, contact our experts.
About the Author:
Jada joined Amplified IT in 2021 after 4 years of working as a high school English teacher in a Maryland public school system, and 7 years as a freelance copywriter, content writer, and editor. As the Marketing Copywriter, she is passionate about strategically using words to reach our clients and connect them to the benefit of our services for their classrooms and communities. When she is not writing or managing content, Jada can be found painting her next masterpiece, brushing up on her French language skills, traveling with her family, and teaching Sunday school at her church. She is an avid bubble tea drinker, and loves french fries.