Some time ago a colleague and I were discussing some “what if apps”. By that, I mean we had a wish list of some apps that would make our job easier. We had been doing our round of observations of ITT students and class teachers and between us we used a mix of paper and pen or “typing it up in best”, along with various sheets listing Ofsted Criteria and Teaching Standards. My personal set up has been iPad with PDFs of Teaching Standards and the standard school observation form. Oh and a pen.
All this can get a bit fiddly and hence our “what ifs”, which ended with ” there was an app which let you just click on the Teaching Standards”. By which I think she meant something that allowed you to have everything you needed to do an observation in the same place/app.
This is why I Observed is such a useful app for a busy middle or senior leader. You have your observation form, which is adjustable and beats typing everything in notes or fiddling around trying to recreate the darn thing in Pages. You also get the Teaching Standards and OFSTED criteria to consult within the app itself.
I gave it a go, over the last two weeks and it is far from “requires improvement”. I also played with some other apps that have similar names or purport to do the same job. There are not many and all seem to require you to register with something or some one else first. Here is why I have begun to use I Observed in the style of lesson feedback:
Great to see:
Unlike other apps that do this job, you do not need to subscribe to an online service it is all in the app
Observations are exported as PDFs – most of my pen and paper reports, though great are hard to copy and paste into final reports.
Having the guidance at hand from OFSTED and the DFE Teaching Standards means you do not have to leave the app or ruffle through paper – it is all there for you.
The interface is simple and there is no learning curve with this app
The developer has also really listened to my feedback/suggestions and responded with updates and improvements. This attention to detail and attentive approach is rare and shows the team behind the app are about more than just the small charge at download stage.