Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Thursday, August 16, 2018 4:03 am
Dec. 17, 2005

Blair will eventually replace BEN with countywide program

by Devon Madison, Online Entertainment Editor
Blair administration will eventually replace the Blair Education Network (BEN) with a new countywide program, "Edline," that will allow parents and students to check students' grades online, according to the MCPS website.

According to an Edline help page found on the MCPS website, Edline is "a web-based tool that allows parents/guardians to monitor student's class-based performance online, check for large projects or assignments and communicate with teachers." It also provides private, individualized student reports that detail facts about a student's performance, like missing homework assignments, grades and attendance.

Edline has other features as well. Using Edline, students and staff can post team and club-specific material and general school announcements, such as future lunch menus or school cancellations and events. The program will also send out reminders to students and staff when important information is available at the school's website, such as attendance information.

In compliance with the new program, teachers and staff are expected to update the grades on Edline every two weeks, so that the updates available will be accurate. Edline also makes it a priority to make posting information and grades as easy as possible, so that teachers will actually be able use the program with little trouble.

Eileen Steinkraus, who is head of the Magnet Program at Blair and also administering the switch from First Class mail to Outlook mail, said that very little is known about the change from BEN or when the program will be implemented. "Eventually, something called Edline will be instituted at Blair. With Edline, parents and students can look up grades. I don't know enough about the program to say more," Steinkraus said.

Steinkraus says that Edline will not be instituted immediately, but may be instituted anytime between second semester and next school year. The implementation of this change, like the change to Outlook Mail, will be staggered throughout the county, meaning that other schools may see the implementation of this program before Blair does. "It may not this semester, or even this year," says Steinkraus.

Montgomery County high schools that have already instituted Edline include Watkins Mill, Winston Churchill, Northwest and Damascus.

The program has many similar aspects to BEN, but may not have as many Blair-related features like being able to run chats online. "Edline may not be as useful to students," Steinkraus says. Edline does, however, have many of the same features as BEN.

Although the actual intent of the implementation is unclear, Steinkraus guesses that the program is being instituted out of convenience. "It's easier for [the county] if things are standardized," she says. Edline also highly emphasizes the ability to allow students to check grades. Another possible reason for the institution of Edline is the fact that other schools in the county may not have their own independent programs, like Blair does.

More information will follow when Blair-specific information is available. In the meantime, general information about Edline can be found at the Edline web site.

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  • DO NOT POST on December 17, 2005 at 10:04 PM
    You need to interview Dan Green and Mr. Hammond for this. Dan is a part of the county committee on Edline, and knows more details about the program's implementation. Mr. Hammond is the staff member in charge of BEN.

    Edline is more of an online grades system than a communication tool like BEN is. There's almost no chance we'll be running it exclusively (without BEN) and very little chance for next year either.

    Eric Hysen
  • Stellar Cave Dweller on December 17, 2005 at 10:06 PM
    Hmm, sounds like fun.

    The idea of being able to check your grades and keep tabs on missing assignments from home seems useful.
    Hope chats aren't eliminated, though.
  • Chao on December 17, 2005 at 11:22 PM
    does Edline give student personal emails?
  • jason on December 18, 2005 at 2:51 AM
    BEN was great but I guess this program will be great if you describled as it is....but....I love to see my grades weekly so I can see what I can improve. Great job...Blair....continue on improving the life of the student and communicating with the teacher by getting his program. BYE....BEN.....WELCOME EDLINE....
  • aww on December 18, 2005 at 10:24 AM
    I don't want to change BEN.. =(
  • wow on December 18, 2005 at 10:32 AM
    what a weird policy. Edline shouldn't replace BEN. BEN is much better than Edline.
  • - on December 18, 2005 at 10:36 AM
    That's the most disgusting thing I've heard all year.
    just one more way of parents getting 'involved' with our lives.
    yea, way to let us be responsible and all that
    interims weren't enough for you?
  • o.O on December 18, 2005 at 11:09 AM
    edline? what was wrong with BEN? i liked the fact that we could email ppl through the network...
    and will we lose all the stuff we have uploaded onto BEN when they make the switch?
  • Will Shepherdson (View Email) on December 18, 2005 at 11:57 AM
    Is this really a good decision for MCPS? Remember when they got a subscription to Blackboard? Does anyone still use Blackboard?
  • anon on December 18, 2005 at 12:29 PM
    This article is based entirely on speculation. How do you know the BEN service will be stopped with the implementation of Edline? Were any BEN Administrators contacted?
  • Antony (View Email) on December 18, 2005 at 2:06 PM
    This would be really great for students, teachers as well as parents.
    There should be feedback on grades, attendance so the parents can know what the child is doing in school, instead of wishing their child will do well.
    Some kids skip class, and their parents need to know so they can correct this habit before its too late and the child fails.
    This is solely for the welfare of the students.

    My hats off to the Blair Admin!!
  • no on December 18, 2005 at 2:53 PM
    nooo i like BEN!
  • Corrie Myers on December 18, 2005 at 3:29 PM
    This would be disappointing for me, because I love going on BEN. However, "Edline" may be better because I get to look up my grades whenever I want to.
  • E student on December 18, 2005 at 5:05 PM
    Wow, this sounds like it'll be really helpful....
  • oh noo on December 18, 2005 at 5:10 PM
    goodbye, beloved BEN
  • ew on December 18, 2005 at 6:07 PM
    I <3 BEN! =) And there's nothing wrong with it, so why switch? and for parents..aren't interims the whole point of checking grades? we don't need this Edline thing!
  • lua primas magnet 06 on December 18, 2005 at 6:13 PM
    Hm, I bet Edline is based of off BEN... since Blair is cool like that.
  • NOOOOOO!!! on December 18, 2005 at 6:14 PM
    SAVE BEN!!!
  • random magnet student on December 18, 2005 at 7:03 PM
    5{ better than Edline. I've personally seen how Edline works and itís not that great. If students want to check their grades, they can just ask their teachers. This new system adds a new hassle to the incredibility busy schedule of teachers.
  • Will Shepherdson (View Email) on December 18, 2005 at 8:36 PM
    No. Edline is hosted on Edline's servers. So binx would have to be seperate from Edline, different from how BEN currently is. In other words, no emails unless the binx sysops decide to do something else.
  • 08 on December 18, 2005 at 9:30 PM
    nooo i like ben, though the grade thing sounds cool
  • Keep BEN on December 18, 2005 at 9:39 PM
    I think we should just add this thing. I like BEN...
  • heya on December 18, 2005 at 10:30 PM
    I agree with jason, it would be great to see grade updates for yourself. There have been so many times when I think I'm doing well and then the grades are posted and HWHOA WHAT?
    BEN isn't used that often anyway
  • . on December 18, 2005 at 10:46 PM
    i dont want my parents seeing everything. that really sucks when you think about it
  • s.t. on December 19, 2005 at 12:34 AM
    I do not think that it is a good idea to let parents see students' grades at any time. Parents will be constantly bothering their kids about assignments that weren't turned in, which is NOT necessarily helpful to the students. This is just another example of the kind of "useful" things people can do with the internet to make sure that students have no excuse for late work, just like
  • nippy on December 19, 2005 at 10:32 AM
    i love ben! but it would b great if i get to check my grades once in while.
  • Anonymous on December 19, 2005 at 10:57 AM
    Sorry, this is simply not true. Maybe you should interview Mr. Hammond.
  • (View Email) on November 12, 2006 at 9:48 PM
    I don't like how everyone thinks BEN is perfect. The only thing people care about it grades and BEN doesn't have them/
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