GAMA App Underwhelms

Throughout the years, students have received their grades through different methods. In pre-K and elementary school children received their grades on paper. It has only been recently that online grades are more  prevalent. In middle school and high school, most students’ grades are published online, including individual assignment and class grades in addition to their cumulative grade point averages. 

For the past couple of years, many schools used the application Pupilpath. However,  after Pupilpath crashed, schools were left with no grading site. Pupilpath was hacked in January and  students’ information was exposed so it was not a surprise that the Department of Education decided to terminate the contract with this company. Pupilpath allowed students to access their individual assignments, their grades, their classes, and their teachers email addresses. It was also a main source of online messaging for schools to inform students  of  upcoming events and assignment due dates. The grading website was well liked  because of its exceptionally easy interface. Before the DOE built a centralized grading application teachers used Google Classroom to assign grades to students. The draw back on Google Classroom is that it did not give access to parents. The new grading system that the DOE is using is connected to TeachHub. It is called GAMA and stands for grading attendance and messaging. 

To view grades, students search “TeachHub” and press the first link then scroll down to click the blue box that says “TeachHub.” The app requires the user to sign in with a DOE account. Once in, the user will be transferred to the TeachHub homepage. The dashboard has a gradebook option where students can view their current assignments and grades. 

After asking current Curtis students if they preferred to use the TeachHub or Google Classroom, the majority  of them said Google Classroom. They said it was easier and involved less steps. In addition to easier access, they also agreed that it was preferred since they started using Google Classroom before TeachHub, so they were accustomed  to the system. Only recently did teachers actually start using TeachHub, so most students didn’t even know how to see their grades in this new platform. There was also confusion, as some teachers were using Google Classroom, while others were using TeachHub and some used both. Thus, a student would need to look in two different places to see  all their grades. In addition, three teachers’ Google Classrooms do not sync with GAMA grades so they cannot use the new system.

While students have their own resources for checking their grades, parents also have apps to check on their children. GAMA is also for parents to see how their children are doing in school. It allows parents to view their child’s grades, attendance, and receive messages from the DOE. The GAMA app is used by many parents of middle schoolers because they needed to use it to apply to high school. While in middle school, high school applications are made on GAMA. 

Although the initial confusion has subsided there are still many problems with the new GAMA application. During this school year the GAMA app has been updated several times, each new version making it easier to maneuver, but it still hasn’t reached the ease of Pupilpath.