Having chosen to turn my back on the ipad for driving lesson use I’m left with the inevitable problem of a lack of suitable apps for driving instructors for android. Initially I created my own spreadsheet for pupil records but decided to trial the ADImin app for driving instructors. Obviously the market for these type of apps is relatively small. However, since more android based tablets are sold in the UK than ipads, you can’t help but feel that the developers are missing a trick by concentrating on ipads. One exception is ADImin by app-software.com which like most good apps is available from the Google Play store.
There is a free version with some functionality removed or the paid for option at just £10 per year. payment is made by recurring paypal subscription.
Just as different pupils have different learning styles, so do instructors. What works for one instructor won’t necessarily work for another. For this reason some of the features have not worked for me while others, due to their flexibility have been great. I’m a visual learner – I need to be able to see a broad view of things and how they relate. For this reason apps that require you to keep clicking from screen to screen don’t work so well for me – so having as much info one one screen as is possible definitely works best for me. So as you read this review – keep in mind that your evaluation of this software may be very different to mine!
The ADImin app enables you to manage your pupils, including scheduling lessons, managing payments, keeping their contact details and tracking progress. The great thing about this app is the ability to adapt the syllabus entirely to suit you. There is a default offered so you can use it straight away, but I would recommend setting it up just how you want it. So if you have a particularly tricky one way system in your area that you need to spend a lesson on to deal with lane procedures etc then you can create a module just for that.
Important for me is the need to be able to see at a glance what the pupil has covered on recent lessons. This is possible by using the “lessons” page under student info and entering what you have covered on the lesson. In addition as the pupil progresses you can rate the pupils progress with each module using an easy to use star system under the “progress” heading.
You can record payments within ADImin but I found this was a function that I didn’t really need. My own preference is to record payments using the Google calendar. Again this is a personal thing – it means I can see all payments by all pupils in a week on a single page.
If you add a pupil lesson to your diary through the app it gets automatically added to your android diary. this is ideal. I have had to train myself though to not enter pupil lessons straight into the android calendar as they will not automatically get put into the app’s pupil schedule.
An important function of any software needs to be the facility to save your records in case your tablet gets lost or damaged. This can be done by either saving to the cloud or saving to an sd card.
Overall my experience so far has been a positive one and there have been no bugs and crashes that have been associated with some ipad based instructor apps. There are some downsides for me. Mainly the fact that the app has been clearly designed for use with a smartphone. This means that when using a tablet there is a lot of wasted screen space – everything is located in the top corner of the screen. Linked with this is the fact that to accommodate small screen sizes a small font is used which in sunny conditions in the car can make it quite difficult to read.
VERDICT: A good and useful record keeping app with the important function of enabling you to create your own driving lesson syllabus.