I know this post is not relevant to computer-assisted language teaching, but I thought this will help educators like me to manage their gradebooks easily and in a  secure environment.

I have heard of engrade a while before from many educators on my PLN like twitter, Classroom2.0 … . So now I decided to give it try as I was concerned about the continuity, sustainability, security, and privacy of engrade since it is free for educators ( we always have the feeling that free means insecure:)
The interface of engrade is great and it really engages the teacher, student, and parents in the ongoing student assessment. Teachers can have students and their parents see their grades on engrade by supplying them with student access only. In addition to its excellent computational assistance of grade averages, engrade enables teachers to :

  1. upload files for students and parents

  2. comment on a particular student’s academic progress for students and parents to see, as an ongoing evaluation. This makes parents more envolved in their children’s academic endeavours.

  3. Construct classes as much as they need

  4. send direct messages to parents/students

Here is another registration demo screen casted by  an educator.

OK Then, What about Security, Sustainability, and Privacy?
Website says that thousands of teachers have used it and not a single breach was reported. They claim that their servers are secure and that website will continue to be free. The people behind the website also claim that teachers’ classes and grades are absolutely private. How about that :) . You can access their security policy here and their privacy policy here.
Teachers and administrators should be cautious though as to keep their passwords secure and change them once in a while.
I was informed by my educators on my PLN that they have used engrade for quite a time now and that it is secure, safe, and engages parents and students in students’ assessment.
Try it and tell me what you think! If you had the chance to try engrade before, please do share your experience to inform us.
I will definitely go paperless this year and use engrade for a change from Excel and Microsoft’s free Classroomgradebook.

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