Show My Homework is an innovative digital platform that facilitates a much closer monitoring of homework and promotes a deeper engagement with tasks across all school levels. The multi-platform nature of Show My Homework has proven to be a huge advantage as all audiences (Pupils, Teachers, Parents) can choose any personal device to access both the website or app. This convenient and responsive approach means that a smooth and consistent user journey is ensured and helps to seamlessly integrate its use into everyday life.
For Teachers, Show My Homework is an invaluable tool, primarily due to the numerous strategies it has considered to reduce teacher workload, improve time management and strengthen opportunities for effective feedback. As a teacher who uses Show My Homework, I have found that it has enabled me to stay on top of deadlines, receiving email reminders of when to collect homework. It has ensured that I am not overloading pupils with their own personal workload as it offers the facility to observe how much homework I have issued within a specified timeframe but also how much homework has been issued by other teachers across the school. This function aids future planning of homework to minimise stress on the learner.
Homework can be set in a variety of ways with further options such as Quizzes, Spelling Tests and Class Tests. Quizzes are a fantastic Assessment for Learning (AfL) tool, permitting up to three attempts at a series of questions. Questions can be randomised for each attempt to ensure learning is taking place and teachers can see either progression of learning with each attempt or any gaps of understanding, making the identification of individual needs much clearer. The great advantage of quizzes for teachers is that they can be set up to mark themselves, an amazing help in reducing workload. Spelling Tests can be used to raise literacy standards, help dyslexic pupils progress and help newcomer pupils with English. Any word can be typed in by the teacher and the system says the word back to the pupil giving them three attempts to spell it. Again, teachers can closely monitor who is struggling with certain words to ensure further help is given. Class Tests are excellent for preparing pupils for an upcoming exam, attaching revision notes, useful links and advice on what equipment is needed. It is a brilliant area to provide practice questions and help increase pupils’ confidence in a topic.
One of the most striking advantages with Show My Homework is the ability to differentiate tasks for mixed ability groups, offering a more personalised homework experience. Multiple tasks for a class can be set with customised Easy, Medium, Difficult options and teachers can closely monitor which pupils are challenging themselves or perhaps not pushing themselves to their potential. This option to differentiate ensures that no pupil is alienated, feeling a homework is either too easy or too difficult, thus avoiding disengagement of the learner.
The fact that homework can be reused at the click of a button for another class or another year group means that time and workload are essentially decreased. Departments can also increase their ‘sharing of good practice’ by sharing any homework they personally set with their fellow colleagues – this promotes high levels of consistency across all classes and yet again, reduces workload.
One of the most useful features that I have found with Show My Homework is the Online Grade Book. I am able to set up a homework so that pupils can send me their work online, attached in any format, and instantly mark this accompanied with feedback. Show My Homework collates all of these marks into class spreadsheets for easy printing and reporting. It is very clear from this spreadsheet who has handed work in on time, who has handed it in late, who was absent or who has not submitted a homework at all. This all creates a very useful evidence trail for teachers.
For pupils there is nowhere to hide; traditional excuses of not writing homework into planners, forgetting the deadline or losing homework sheets cannot be utilised when Show My Homework is involved. The push notification feature sends reminders to their phone of what work is due – a homework text! The personal calendar on Show My Homework clearly displays what work has been set on each day and pupils can tick these off as they complete them. In essence, it promotes a greater sense of self-management and self-discipline regarding homework, both key skills for life after school.
Show My Homework is superb for allowing parents to get much more involved in the array of homework tasks that schools naturally distribute on a daily basis – seeing what homework has been issued, reading instructions as to what exactly is involved and required in the task and most importantly, being aware of when a piece of work is due. Parents can also see results of homework and read the feedback provided by the teacher, thus encouraging praise and further help at home in any areas for improvement.
For both Senior Management and Teaching Staff in school, Show My Homework provides easy access to multiple reports on usage. A clear school overview is visible of how much homework is set per year group, by subject and by teacher. You can also monitor how many parents are logging on and using Show My Homework and what homework tasks they have looked at in depth. This reporting feature is of particular use to both Board of Governors and Inspectors.
In summary, Show My Homework is a fantastic tool for schools which I would highly recommend. I have noticed a reduction of workload, less time is spent on marking and I am able to address individual needs much better to ensure progression of all pupils. It helps me to really focus on what is at the core of the profession, learning and development.