Parent Teacher Online (PTO) does just one thing – it provides an environment for booking and managing parent-teacher interviews. It does that one thing very well, if my experience booking interviews with my son’s teachers is anything to go by.
The booking process is extremely simple, just being a function of selecting times from drop-down boxes. The interface isn’t fancy, but then it doesn’t really need to be either. This is one of those simple, time-saving ideas that seem blindingly obvious once someone else has put them together. Every other time I’ve booked interviews I’ve had to select a series of times on paper and rely on the school to create a timetable for me. This year I just picked times and, in minutes, had a locked-in timetable available for downloading to my calendar.
There are probably other ways a school could achieve the same end. A Google calendar set-up perhaps? But there’s the danger of recreating the wheel and it all falling in a messy heap as you try to force a generic tool to do a specific thing. That’s what I like about this application – it focuses on solving a single problem.
There are probably other uses that a School could put the system to, but I’m not sure that wouldn’t defeat the purpose of having a tailored tool. From the other end, the company behind PTO is also using their software to create a system to organise volunteer rosters: Pick a Time.
There’s no public information on PTO pricing for schools. But it makes sense that this would save a lot of administrative time, and so money, for teachers and admin staff. And it certainly simplifies life for parents.
Full details are at Parent Teacher Online.
It’s interesting to contemplate a time when the actual parent teacher interviews will be online…