Wednesday, January 5, 2011

FileMaker Go and organizing my music room(s).

I have one of THOSE assignments.  During the week, I have 270 students in five different classes and 10 sections of small group sectionals in 4 different rooms that I share with other teachers.  At the middle school level.

To say organization is important would be an understatement.  You could get run over pretty quick if you are not ready for class and fiddling with paperwork.   I am always looking for tools to help with that.  If those tools fit in my pocket, Great! because I have so many places to be.

I think I have found a versatile little gem called FileMaker Go.  It is an iOS version of FileMaker.  I am currently running it on my iPod Touch (Generation 4.)

FM Go works with your computer-based FileMaker data base.  You create the data base in FileMaker and share it to your iOS device.  The synch feature works with either the cord or over Wi-Fi.  I am using the cord and storing the info on my iPod.  Sometimes, you need the information where you can't get at a wireless connection.

You do need to do the design of the data base in FileMaker, but it is one of the easiest data bases to learn and pretty versatile too.

I now have my class lists, a parent contact phone number, picture of each student, and an advisor name in my pocket for whenever I need it.  Pretty cool.  I did very little data entry with this project as well as most of this information is available from the office on .csv and tab-delimited files, which FileMaker can import.

I have used FMTouch for very similar things.  You do need access to the more expensive FMPro Advanced to do this and it takes more set-up to make it work.  It is a solid solution if those items aren't a problem for you  and you don't have an iOS device that meets system requirements for FM Go.  I think that FM Go runs faster, but I can't be sure because I updated my iPod at the same time and I don't have a fair comparison.  FMTouch is worth a look if it works better with your gear.

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