The way that educators have managed behaviour has changed beyond recognition over recent decades. From the carefully applied lines of the cane just a generation ago, to the well scaffolded behaviour progression plan of today, the approach to behaviour certainly developed. Behaviour in schools, or lack of it, is rarely out of the headlines whilst constantly being debated in the corridors of power. Each school puts in place its own measures and expectations for the conduct of everyone within its gates. Many schools are turning to technology to aid their behaviour management routines and structures to provide students with a clear set of expectation for all and incentives for the behaving majority.
One such system has been developed by Ben Dunford, a teacher from Exeter. Ben saw that the students were not well motivated by the existing rewards system his school had in place and the older students in particular were very disengaged with it, a common problem that required an innovative solution. That solution was ePraise, a behaviour management and reporting system which allows teachers to reward great ideas and work and report any troublesome behaviour. The system allows educators to analyse demographic and contextual data from the school’s information management system alongside academic information for live data. The system can be accessed by any member of teaching staff and teachers and senior leaders can quickly see if any patterns develop to put in additional support or adapt their approach if needed. All of this can be done from inside the classroom and takes a moment of moments.
Interview with Ben Dunford, creator of ePraise
ePraise allows teachers to create seating plans of their classes so they can use the data at a glance. It may also localise problems and help ensure that there is the essential dynamics within a group and the class as a whole.
[pullquote] The interface is wonderfully simple to understand.[/pullquote]The ePraise system is also viewable by pupils and parents, making it a wonderful way to share achievement, allowing parents real time information about the progress and conduct of their children. The interface is wonderfully simple to understand, with coloured graphs and points lists making information easy to find. Yet this hides to complexity and the power which the system gives to educators to inform their own judgements and rounded picture of that student across the whole school.
The ePraise system is highly motivational for students, and easy to personalise for each school. Students can watch as their points race up for the good work they have completed or the right attitude shown. As well as celebrating to child’s achievement, schools may also wish to use the shop, a fully customisable online store which allows schools to add in any motivational items they wish. For example, a school may wish to give cinema tickets or a reward of going to the front of the lunch queue for a given number of points. ePraise also allows users to make donations to charity if they choose.
Lawrence Crilly, Head Teacher at a school in Merseyside said, “We’re delighted with the system, it has motivated children and staff alike. It seems the constant updating and streaming of information is a real motivator for the children.” Adding marbles to a jar has had its time and there is nothing like continual and visual feedback to motivate students.
ePraise continues to grow and develop, with the requests and feedback of its growing community. The system allows schools to adapt their teaching, learning and environment to encourage a more conductive atmosphere for learning – whatever that environment is deemed to be for a given class or learning opportunity. Celebrate the best of what each and every student can do and ePraise them when they do it.