Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.
What’s It Like?
It’s not often that teachers come across a technology tool that delivers as much as Otus, much less a free one. With many opportunities to manage grades, class content, and student data, the site can feel overwhelming at first; however, with some up-front investment, teachers will find it a valuable resource for managing instruction and pulling in valuable data points from third-party resources such as Khan Academy, PARCC, NWEA, and more. Use Otus to create and grade standards-based assessments, to get feedback from and about students, including video responses, document uploads, and quick polls, and to access detailed reports to disaggregate data and create more individualized assessments and targeted skill practice. Host topic discussions and cultivate writing skills via a class blog. Draw from the item bank to address specific skills, and then automatically assign an assessment to a group of students you’ve identified.
Price: Free, Paid
Pros: Extensive features and options for classroom management rival those of many paid systems.
Cons: Laborious data entry and high learning curve may intimidate some teachers.
Bottom line: This teacher-created site solves more problems than it causes, but it will take some up-front professional development to take full advantage.