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In our school there is only DP. Every year about 35-40 students start Year 1 and 25-28 start Year 2. Unfortunately, we have to do CAS paperwork - print our description of activity with photos, collect signatures, bring them to CAS coordinator.It is really time and money consuming. Also, our only evidence can be photos(since we have to print the forms).

I was surfing IBSurvival when I found this program called ManageBac. I quickly glanced at it and it looked GREAT. I want to convince my CAS coordinator to use it, but before I try to do that I have to find strong arguments and make a research on it. I do not want to convince my school to use, when it turns out to be a piece of crap.

This brings me to the reason of writing - Anyone, who had experience with it, could you write it down here(as detailed as possible would be great). Every pro and con, every argument I could use, every detail, anything that comes into your mind.

My initial arguments:

Less messy paperwork

It would cost only 10$ per student, which they would gladly pay

It has a free 90-day trial

Another thing, I just do not understand is how do they transfer CAS diaries to IBO at the end of IBDP. Also, we have to collect signatures form unbiased supervisors - how do you do it or replace it in ManageBac?

Thanks in advance :)

Edited by MariusIBDP

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Via digital signatures. ManageBac IS easy to use, but for some reason my school is against it.

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I agree. It's insanely easy to use. If it comes to it, campaign for it, and demonstrate with the trial how it saves time, administration and is easier on the student. If they still don't budge, you're probably out of luck.

Pros

You can sumbit drafts of TOK and EE work.

It makes CAS easy.

You can get updates from your teachers.

It has a calendar of dates your teachers have entered.

Cons

Can be a bit clunky to use.

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I feel like you should contact IB schools and their CAS coordinator to get real support instead of asking us. I mean ManageBac was very useful and handy to use and cut down a lot of paperwork but it all really depends on your CAS coordinator.

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Since you asked!

Managebac is pretty great. It's very easy to use. Our school paid for it though, so I didn't even know about the cost :S

You can use it to organise EE and TOK and it helps to keep a very good record of meetings and interactions with an EE supervisor.

Managebac is also very paper-friendly... as there's NONE involved :P

It really is a great investment and such a great thing for the students, I can't imagine why other school wouldn't use it :)

Demonstrate to the school through the 90 day trial. If they're reasonable, they will off you that, at least :) It they like it, then you've won ;)

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My school uses Managebac, and it is such an easy way to keep track of everything! That being said, there were still a number of candidates who are still finishing it off, imagine how bad they would have been on physical paper! In regards to how you get it signed off, you enter in your supervisors contact details including email address, and when you 'submit' your activity when you have completed it it sends them an email, where they can write nice comments about you and say that yes you have met the learning objectives. They also have the power to change the amount of hours you get/say that no you didn't do it, which I suppose makes for the 'unbiased supervisors' like you mentioned.

You can enter as many activities as you need, and it keeps track of the number of journal entries you've done, be they in the form of documents, written statements, photos, youtube videos, etc. It was especially good for my school as everyone has laptops so the teacher was able to keep track of us really well - and there's little perks like being able to have an 'excellent' medal at the top of your page if you do well :D So you have lots of options for how you record your course, you can also link to websites and things like that. It has a progress bar so you know how many activities you have for each outcome, and how many hours you still have to complete.

I'm pretty well versed in the CAS side of Managebac, we didn't use it for EEs/TOK so I can't help you there. But if you have any other questions or need anything else cleared up I'm happy to help, just send me a message :)

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Maangebac makes was very very easy when it comes CAS especially. It has other functionality such as ToK Essay and EE submissions and corrections that the schools can set up, but Managebac helped the most with CAS. The system is very easy to use, and completely eliminates the need for paperwork (at least for students, probably for the CAS advisor as well). Here are the basic things that you can do when it comes to CAS:

  • It makes CAS projects much easier because you can collaborate with people in your group, plan events and calenders, and a lot of other stuff that i forget about because my cas project wasn't as well organized :D
  • It gives a nice visual of how far you are in your CAS completion, which CAS areas you have activities in, which activities are backed up with evidence, etc. It may not seem like much, but it actually helped me a lot, mostly in terms of how much more work I have to do since I was a bit lazy last year
  • Submitting evidence for your activities let you attach video, link, picture, etc.
  • Your advisor can comment on your activities directly on the activity page to make sure it is ready for approval

There's also a IB planning calender (even has the Middle years thing),and a few more goodies I can't remember right now.

Overall, I think if the advisor get overwhelmed with paperwork or if they have trouble getting students to turn in their paperwork then Managebac would be a great solution, it would remove all that stress and worry. I haven't done it without managebac so i don't really have a strong comparison between paperwork and managebac but i think your school could benefit greatly from it!

Hope this helped :)

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Guest azntastic

My school uses managebac!

Hands down the best CAS program simplifier thingy out there, it gives instant access for the CAS coordinator to all activities planned and undertaken by the students which is great.

Good luck on convincing the CAS coordinator!

you could show him/her this thread to convince her. This thread defos shows student enthusiasm for it.

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It is MUCH less trouble than keeping up with all the paperwork previously associated with the CAS hours. You log your activities online, upload any evidence you have (slurp pictures off your camera, write a journal throughout the activity with the journaling button, or scan and upload documents. You can also hang on to the physical copies of things to present with your presentation and things), write your reflections and it's done. Your supervisor can then be notified and emailed the CAS completion form, which they fill out online and it reports back to the website. All in all, it eliminates the trouble with tracking down your supervisor, giving them a form, and then bothering them to return it and sign it.

I like it a lot. It also keeps track of your hours and your outcomes, so it's easy to see what you still need to do. You should definitely try and get your school to do this! So much help.

I don't know exactly how the IB gets the CAS stuff, all I know is that it worked for our first graduating class last year. They all got their hours in to the IB, and almost all of them got their diplomas (You go guys!).

It's not just for CAS hours either. It has an Extended Essay tab, World Lit, ToK, and all your IB classes are on there. Your teacher can create a power point, upload it and you can all see it. Ooh! Also, your teacher can create assignments and due dates, and there's this dropbox thing where you can upload your document for the teacher to look over and even edit and make notes if necessary.

I'll edit my message if I get any epiphanies!

~EccentricPianist

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well, my school uses managebac but to be honest, i dont think it that good. first of you cant make folders to include under your activity so every time you upload something it counts as once and make no sense. so other than the fact there is less paperwork, i really dont see what so great about it, furthermore last week it crashed in my school. the year 13 or grades 12 were like freaking out cause all their reflections were gone, luckily they manage they retrive it. so maybe it just me or i have something against electronic but i think i would rather the paperwork.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I can promise you, we will be working harder to improve MB in 2012.

@ Wid: I apologize for the inconvenience about the maintenance. We had to take the system down in December on two Saturdays because of a server upgrade to double our memory capacity. For the record, our uptime since inception has exceeded 99.9%, which means that MB has been inaccessible for less than 8 hours cumulatively over the course of 365 days. You can monitor our server status at: http://status.managebac.com/59693 but we also post updates on Twitter when we are planning maintenance.

@ Alison: We will be redesigning the CAS reflections section. It's not something I am personally happy with, so I understand your frustration and the new version will look and function more like pinterest.com, which is a very smooth site.

@ Marius: The IB only reviews 3 moderated samples and they have secure access to these directly on MB (i.e. there is no more printing and mailing - it's all online). It's important to note that the 3 samples are randomly selected, so not everyone's CAS records are submitted to the IB for external moderation - in fact it's quite unlikely because only 10% of schools are moderated annually.

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