Bento for Teachers
I've been a Bento fan since its 1.0 release a few years ago. Back then I was using Bento to help sort through massive mailing lists and record user contact data. I was one of the lead facilitators of the Iditaproject run by the Bering Strait School District. Bento really helped me stay organized in a sea of data. One of the other things that I used Bento for was as a backend to iCal. About three years ago Apple gutted a lot of the power user functionality out of iCal. Myself and several others were left wondering how we were going to keep functioning. It was almost a disaster until we found that Bento had iCal integration. Large notes in iCal events are easily editable in Bento.
However, with this latest update of iCal Apple has returned some of the power user functionality, and in the last year or so I really haven't had much use for Bento.... until now [play dramatic music]. There's nothing really dramatic or revolutionary about it, I guess I just am really happy that Bento is still out there and thriving. With all the buzz about cloud based apps (they are really cool, don't get me wrong), it's easy to forget about the dynamic power that only a client side app can provide.
I just recently started teaching a University class with about thirty students in it. With Bento it's been a breeze to manage all my grading, but I'm also able to load pictures of my student so that I can learn their names faster. If I choose to, down the road I'll be able to add functionality to actually keep their finished assignments within Bento.
I guess what makes me excited is that Bento is just so darn easy to use, that I'm in total control, it's blazingly fast, and that I don't need a big internet connection to handle the large file transfers of presentations, pictures, and documents. In a nutshell, I make the software work for me. I don't need to squeeze my way of thinking or working into a predesigned software application, or be limited by a web based application that doesn't really want to have to handle images Teachers everywhere should be using this software.