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Taking Attendance on the iPad

Taking Attendance on the iPad, by Stephen Rotz
 
If you have large ensembles, you know that taking attendance is not always simple.  Inspired by Barbara Retzko’s article in ChorTeach, I have begun taking attendance using the iPhone/iPad app ‘Attendance2’ by David Reed. It is a fantastic tool that is worth much more than the $4.99 price tag. I highly recommend that you explore the app by reading Ms. Retzko’s article, exploring Dr. Reed’s Attendance2 website, and downloading the app itself.  A few minutes on each of these sites will show you how you can take attendance using app-generated QR codes for each student.
 
Each year I print a folder cover for each of my students.  It slides in the clear plastic sleeve on the exterior of their 3-ring chorus folder.  It has their name, lists which choir they are in and shows their folder number. This year, it also includes their QR code that corresponds with Attendance2! This means no scissors—no cutting out QR codes! I simply scan their folder as they enter the room. (You could also use an iPad document camera stand to have an attendance station.) Having figured out how to use Microsoft Office’s mail merge capabilities to incorporate the QR code onto their chorus folder, I have made a tutorial video sharing the QR/mail merge process. The process is not always intuitive, but I walk you through each step very carefully.
 
Happy scanning! 
on August 25, 2014 8:47am
Does this allow a way to input information for conflicts that will occur later? I receive notices from parents about conflicts months in advance. Currently I use a Google Doc to track attendance, and I reserve a column for notes where I can write, for example: "family vacation June 3". Does this app work for that? Thank you for all the information. Regards.
on August 25, 2014 1:35pm
Each student has a 'note' section where you can type whatever you wish, so you could add the conflict as a note to remind you later to mark the student as 'excused.'  Alternatively, you could add the date in question early, essentially taking attendance for that rehearsal weeks in advance and mark that student excused while leaving all others absent for the time being.  Then when that date rolls around that student would already be marked excused.