Is Feedback Panda worth the $10 a month for VIPKID teachers?

I first heard about Feedback Panda on all the VIPKID Facebook pages that I am a member of. I wasn’t sure what it even was, but I assumed it had something to do with writing feedback faster and easier. When I started with VIPKID, I would write my own feedback, but never really felt like I was fast or even good at it. I’m the person that just writes “Have a great summer” in your yearbook because that is all I can think of.

Then I started getting some help from the VIPKID lesson plans that live on a google drive in the cyber world, I found those on Facebook too. I would look up each lesson and work from the suggested feedback on the lesson plan as a template, then Winter Camp happened and there was no suggested feedback because Winter Camp classes were all new lessons. I had to write my own feedback, so I used the lesson objectives and sentence frames to write my own feedback. The problem I was having was that if I taught the same Winter Camp lesson, which I did a lot, I would have to try and find the feedback that I wrote before and I was spending a lot of time going back to One Note where I was saving copies of my feedback. I was also teaching major courses that were the same but with different students. I couldn’t keep my feedback organized very well and I really wanted to be able to keep track of how many times that I had taught the same student, so I could identify who was becoming a regular and keep notes to myself about them. I was also spending more than thirty minutes a night getting feedback ready for the next day.

Then one day I realized that, I am not getting paid for that thirty minutes or more a night, so I needed to find a way to maximize my five minutes between each class that I actually do get paid to write my feedback. Feedback Panda offers a one month free trial, so I decided to try it out. It would cost me nothing to find out if I needed it in my VIPKID life.

So what is Feedback Panda? It is website designed to make writing class feedback quick and easy. They have something called the feedback panda cloud that lets you upload feedback that other teachers have written and then you have the ability to edit their feedback to your style. Don’t worry, if you enjoy writing your own feedback, you can still do this and you can share it with other teachers, or keep it to yourself if you like. The beauty of this system is that once you write feedback for a class, you never have to write it for that class again. Your feedback for that class will populate automatically for you to use for the next student and it already has a placeholder for their name and gender that is filled in automatically to each new student you have for that exact class. Then you can personalize it for each student.

The first thing you do is sign up for your free trial by clicking here. Set up your account in a few simple steps and then start writing feedback. First, you will go into your VIPKID classroom and now there will be a cute little Panda in the bottom right corner. Click on the Panda and a new tab will open on the Feedback Panda website. This window automatically links to the student from the classroom you opened.

At this point, I immediately go back to my VIPKID classroom and close the class, so that I am not being recorded the entire time that I am writing feedback in the other tab. When you are on the Feedback Panda tab, you have several options. The first step that I take is to set up the student, if they are new. I click on create student, click their gender, check the capitalization of their name and enter their birthday (which I get from the student info tab on my VIPKID classroom page). I also check to see if the student is new to VIPKID or if I have ever taught them before and I write that in my notes. If this is a repeat student that you have already set up, then this step is skipped and you go directly to the next step.

Now it is time to decide how you want to write your feedback. You have two options: write your own feedback and save it for this class or click on the feedback cloud. The feedback cloud is a place where other teachers have already written feedback for that exact class and they have allowed you to use their feedback as a template. You have the option of sharing the feedback that you personally write also. I am in love with the feedback cloud.

To use the cloud, you click on it and you can search through many different styles of feedback. Once you pick the template you like, you edit it to your style and populate it into your class. Your student’s name automatically fills into the feedback and you can add your signature line with one click. The signature must be added upon initial set up in your settings.

If you teach this same class to a different student, everything automatically fills in, you add your signature block and save. It takes less than 30 seconds to write feedback for a repeat class with a student that you have had before.

The other thing that I like about Feedback Panda is that it keeps track of my students for me. It tells you how many times you have taught them, with the dates and any notes that you would like to keep on the student, such as the rewards you used or information they have told you that you want to remember.

In my opinion, Feedback Panda is worth the $10 a month. It is a great program that does everything I need it to do for my VIPKID class. No matter what your style is: writing your own feedback or using a suggested template from another teacher, you will appreciate that Feedback Panda saves you time, resulting in more time to relax and not be on the computer writing feedback all night. Time is money, so spend a little money to save yourself a lot of time.

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