Students design apps to replace Edline Helper


A student uses a myMCPS Helper app. Multiple students created the myMCPS extension apps to replace the popular Edline Helper. Photo by Annabelle Gordon.

By Mira Dwyer

Several student developers have created myMCPS Classroom extension apps to allow students to calculate their grades, replacing the formerly popular Edline Helper app.

Junior Andrei Freund released his myMCPS helper app, “The Helper for myMCPS,” Sept. 25. Freund’s app addresses complaints from students about switching from Edline to myMCPS.

“I was pretty annoyed when I found out we were switching from Edline to myMCPS because my first thought was, ‘oh no, I can’t figure out my grades anymore,’” junior Ethan Gilman said.

Freund said he quickly noticed the stresses students expressed about switching platforms and wanted to make the transition easier.  

“I realized the school app wasn’t going to be like Edline Helper and I knew [my app] would be useful for me and everyone else who used Edline Helper,” Freund said.

Freund began working on the app in August but wasn’t able to release it until September due to myMCPS Classroom complications in schools. He worked quickly to release the first app that synced with the myMCPS Portal to let students input prospective grades , but it’s had its problems, he said.
“It’s better than nothing even though it’s a lot slower than Edline Helper was and it’s harder to put in your test scores,” junior Riley Kuehn said.

Freund has made multiple updates since the app’s release and said he plans to continue updating it throughout the year as issues surface.

Wootton graduate Solomon Sapiro created the app “myMCPS+” when his sister, a junior at Wootton, gave him the idea for an Edline Helper replacement. The app currently has over 900 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 4.4 star rating.

“Tons of people are using it and I’ve heard people say really great things about it,” Sapiro said. “My sister’s friends are all saying they love it, so everyone seems to be benefitting from it.”

MyMCPS+ is currently only available for iPhones, but Sapiro is working with Whitman graduate Joseph Tseytlin (‘17) to create an Android version. The two study Computer Science at the University of Maryland and are planning to work heavily on the project over winter break. There is no set release date, but they are hoping to finish it during or soon after break, Sapiro said.

“A lot of kids have Androids, but a lot of people learn how to program apps on iPhones first because iOS makes it really easy for you, so there is definitely a need for an Android app,” Tseytlin said.

Some teachers said they dislike the effect Edline Helper and other grade calculating programs have on student motivation.

“It makes students obsessed with the grade category and not with their comprehension of the material,” Spanish teacher Kathleen Bartels said. “I would much prefer that they focus on doing the best they can and not focus on the grade breakdown. However, I recognize that once a system is in place, students are going to do what they need to do to get what they need to get.”

There are a few similar grade calculating apps on the App Store in addition to The Helper for myMCPS and myMCPS+. Students are relieved that there are now multiple options for easily calculating grades

“I missed Edline Helper a lot because it just made my life a lot easier,” Gilman said. “It was really helpful for time and stress management, so it’s a good thing people have made their own apps to fill the gap.”

Download Freund’s app, The Helper for myMCPS, here.

Download Sapiro’s app, myMCPS+, here.