TeachBoost Sketch is our most exciting product update for the 2013-14 school year, and it will transform and enhance how you conduct teacher observations.
We took your feedback, both the good and the bad, about the observation tools provided in TeachBoost, and we learned that our current offering was a bit backwards. Observing a lesson doesn't happen the way a template is designed; that is, you won't necessarily see a question followed by student engagement and then assessment. Nor is it easy to jump between different areas of a template and capture the meaningful points of a lesson, and then rate it at the same time! While you're in the classroom, the core focus is capturing what's happening through low inference notes, a script, running record, or whatever your school might call it; the framework and ratings shouldn't be the focus at all.
Sketch solves all of these problems. TeachBoost Sketch allows you to be in the moment in the classroom, quickly recording your notes to capture what's happening in the lesson. We remove the distractions - including automatically timestamping your notes!
Once you've left the room, Sketch provides you with the opportunity to tag those notes to whatever framework you use, while showing you the framework language and rubrics directly on the screen and filtered to the competencies that matter for that evidence.
Leveraging that language (and using it as the basis of feedback to the teacher), you then decide on a rating for that part of the lesson and repeat until you've identified all areas that you want to tag to your teaching framework. The teacher receives the final report, clearly understanding what areas of the lesson you provided support and defined next steps. Additionally, resources from throughout the web, from great places like Teaching Channel or LearnZillion, can be linked to help teachers improve their practice.
The current version of Sketch is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more powerful functionality, including the ability to differentiate between teacher and student actions, as well as artifact attachments. Sketch will streamline your feedback process like never before, and your teachers will be thrilled with the results.