Calculator Pad Teacher Subscriptions

What's the Big Idea?

For many Physics teachers, application of Physics concepts and Physics formulas take the form of a Physics word problem. In many instances, such word problems require careful reading of the physical scenario described in the word problem, the use of a developing physical model, and the relaiance upon algebraic skills for the manipulation of equations and the solving for an unknown. Our Calculator Pad is the go-to location on our website for students to practice such skills.  Numerical values in problems are randomized within a range of reasonable values. Students answers are immediately evaluated and feedback is given. Students are allowed multiple opportunities to correct their wrong answers. And we have a vast array of Physics (and Chemistry) problems that are highly organized by topic, objective, and difficulty. And it's all free. But for those teachers who would like to have the ability to customize an assignment, including the scoring rules, create their own assignments, and view student progress, we have Task Tracker subsciptions.


What's a Task Tracker Subscription?

Task Tracker is our system for tracking student progress on the activities found on our website. Concept Builders and Minds On Physics were among the first website resources to be Task Tracker compatible. But in the Fall of 2022, we released a revised Task Tracker version of The Calculator Pad. Teachers with Task Tracker accounts can create classes and add students to the classes using an emailed invitation or a class sign-up code. Website tasks can be turned into Task Tracker assignments that display on student assignment boards. Students click a link and do the assignment. As the assignment is being completed, students' progress is stored in our Task Tracker database. Teachers can view the scores of their students in real-time and can receive some analytical data regarding commonly missed problems. 

Besides offering teachers an automated-grading and assignment-delivery system, Task Tracker gives teachers control. They gain control over how assignments are scores, when they need to be submitted, whether late submissions are allowed and whether such lateness will be penalized. Teachers also have some limited control over the assignments. For Calculator Pad users, this control means that our ready-to-use assignments can be modified. They can be reduced in size, combined with other assignments, and even be re-used as review assignments. Using our (included) Problem Builder, Task Tracker teachers can even write their own CalcPad problems and include those problems on the assigned tasks that students will do. And for those teachers in Group subscription, all your creations can be shared among the teachers in the subscription. In the end, Task Tracker allows you to make a customized solution to your strategy for emphasizing algebraic problem-solving. And to help, we provide you access to more than 2500 problems to start from. 


Benefits of a Task Tracker Subscription

We always like to be clear - the Calculator Pad is a FREE option on our website.  Students can use the Calculator Pad as a learning tool without paying (or their teacher paying) a single cent. So why would one ever want to pay for a free tool? That's a fair question and one that we hope that you ponder. Taking the step of purchasing a Task Tracker subscription should only occur after you've conducted a cost-benefit analysis.

So here is a summary of what a teacher can do with a paid Teacher Account and access to our Task Tracker system.

  1. Create classes in our database and invite and add students to those classes.
  2. Turn Calculator Pad problem sets into assignments with due dates, point values, late penalty points, scoring rules for rewarding partial credit, etc.
  3. Shorten a pre-made problem set by removing one or more problems.
  4. Modify the wording of a problem or even turn a 4-part problem into a 3-part problem or a 6-part problem.
  5. Create your own problem sets by searching our bank of problems and identifying by keyword those problems that are perfect for what your students need to practice at the very moment. You can combine problems from across our large collection of problem sets. You can create Review Problem Sets for end-of-semester review. 
  6. Link problem sets to YouTube videos you have made or other resources that are available on the web. You can add your own Help comments to problems set and even to individual problems.
  7. Create your own problems. Inject your own personal style into a problem set by including a problem that reflects the personality that students have become fond of. Our built-in Problem Builder allows you to create problems of your own.
  8. When you have a teacher account, your students' progress (including previously-attempted answers) will be saved. If they exit out of a problem set and later return to the same problem set, their previous progress will be retrieved and displayed.
  9. Teachers can view students' time-stamped completion records, including student scores on each assigned problem set. They can also view problems were missed in part and in full for the entire class. And our informative Feedback View for a problem set displays whole-class statistical information that allows you to identify and address common issues that your students encountered.


How Much Does a Teacher Account Cost?

Now that you know the benefits, what about the costs? How much does a Task Tracker subscription cost? How can it be paid for? Do you offer group discounts?  Do you accept Purchase Orders?

These are all great questions. We are going to direct you to our Pricing For Schools page for answers to your cost and payment questions.


Student Privacy and Identifying Information

As you have likely noticed, privacy is a huge issue these days. And it should be! Teachers who have teacher accounts will need to invite students to join their classes. This means that students wil have accounts as well.  In order for teachers to identify those students on their class rosters, we will need to acquire some identifying information about those students.  For our system to work best for students and teachers, we suggest an email address, a first name, and either a last name or a last initial. An email addess is guaranteed to be a unique identifier and is used as a log-in username. The first and the last name (or last initial) are used in the roster to help teachers identify the student whose scores they are vewing. 

The information that we receive from students is kept private. We do not share, sell, or distribute the information to anyone. What you give us, stays with us until 30 days after the end of the subscription period. At that time, the information is permanently deleted from our system.

If you have additional questions regarding student privacy or need to have privacy agreements completed and signed, please contact Tom at ...

physicsclassroom [at] comcast [dot] net.