Goalbook

5/30/2014 By: Kyle Shack

goalbookapp.com • Retail Price: $395 -$705 per teacher/per year

Goalbook Toolkit is designed to help special education teachers design unit and lesson plans for diverse students. The platform provides instructional resources for teachers, categorized by standard, age, skill set, and a variety of other criteria. Goalbook offers customization of state and Common Core standards, the creation of individual education plans, and the development of UDL (Universal Design for Learning) instructional strategies.

Quality and Effectiveness: The platform has an impressive library of standards, strategies, and lessons. Goalbook provides a very simple user experience for designing personalized plans. First, teachers can select the standard a student needs to improve upon. Next, they gain access to a tremendous amount of information, such as prior skills the student needs and UDL strategies. From there, teachers have the ability to edit and personalize the standard.

Ease of Use: The platform is very easy to navigate and provides easy access to the user’s account. The software loads smoothly and users can easily save or distribute content to various features inside the application. The application also includes an interactive wizard at various points of entry into the software. These guides provide the user with necessary help in accomplishing specific goals, something that is very useful in the classroom or office, given the workload of case managers.

Creative Use of Technology: The “wizard” is a great example of the designers’ thought process about the end user, as it gives novice users a chance to walk through the software without feeling like a tutorial. The application also provides instructions throughout the browse functions to keep the user focused on the task at hand. The use of “cards” to display information related to the standards simplifies the experience while still giving the user all the needed information. With the cards, the site is able to convey four levels of organizational information without the user being overwhelmed.

TOP FEATURES

• Goalbook is easy to use and simple to learn. The interface is self-explanatory, and the application includes built-in checks to ensure the user stays on task. The information is presented cleanly, and the screen always provides the features needed when organizing information.
• This application allows users to identify learning objectives for the student, and the application matches the appropriate skills, standards, strategies, and resources for the teacher.
• The information is well organized and easy to manage between multiple students and colleagues. The “card” system keeps the interface very clean, but does not require extra work to access the information needed.

OVERALL RATING: Overall, Goalbook provides case managers and teachers with a library of strategies and lessons that connect Common Core, UDL, and learning objectives for individual students. The resources are extensive, provide a unique level of tracking, and allow any user to identify past skills, current goals, and future needs for any student and any standard.

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