IT Room and Hardware booking
With 12 IT suites 8 of which have some open booking facility and dozens of pieces of bookable hardware the Twynham Learning Gateway allows efficient management of resources for IT support staff. The Room and hardware booking facility allows staff to identify and select a resource to use up to two weeks in advance. The process is automated so that staff simply click on the time and resources they wish to book and fill in the basic details.
Staff and student access to software away from school is always an issue especially when the software is subject specific and unlikely to be owned by individuals. The Twynham Learning Gateway overcomes this by making software available from the school servers. Staff and students simply need to go to the ‘My Programs’ section of the Gateway and open the relevant software.
The software is made available through terminal services.
One of the sub sites of the Staff Gateway is the Media Library. Over the course of three and a half years the Twynham Systems Team have digitised over 5,000 video and audio clips and these are made available to staff both within the school and at home via password protection. The use of the Media Library is now widespread with televisions and DVD players a thing of the past across the site. Teachers access the media simply by clicking on the asx files shown below which brings up a media player.
Video can also be directly embedded into pages on the Gateway so that these can be directly accessed by students through an in-house built SharePoint Media Player.
Staff Alerts- cover and lessons not registered
One of the key quick wins when launching the Staff Gateway was the ability for staff to gain access to crucial information. Every morning by 8.15 a.m. any cover requirements are entered into the MIS system and instantly appear on the Staff Gateway. If a member of staff has cover on the day this will be shown both within their timetable in the correct period and below this in a separate ‘Cover’ web part with full details.
In addition to this when teachers forget to complete lesson registers the ‘Lessons not registered’ web part will flag these up at the end of the lesson. Both cover and missed lessons are the only items that appear red on the Staff Gateway to signify urgency and ensure they are easily seen as alerts when they appear. A further element of the page which teachers find to very useful is the ability to search for any teacher or student through the ‘People Search’ web part.
In addition to the ‘Cover’ web part all staff can look at the ‘Full Cover Sheet’ sub site to see which colleagues are absent and who will be covering for them.
Accessing timetable and class data
Below the quick links, icon and data bars teachers are directly displayed their timetable which shows the current teaching day which can be expanded to show a two week view.
From here the teacher can access class data in one click and individual student data in two. Clicking on the class name instantly brings up the following page with core data about the students in the class. Again student names have been removed.
Individual Student Data
Clicking on the data link next to any individual student name brings up their key information. This includes: parent contact details; student timetable; attendance in both tutor time and lessons; achievement and attitude to learning grades across a key stage. The design of the page was created by both students, who can also access the information through their ‘My Progress’ page and parents, who get to the data through their ‘My Child’ link. Students particularly wanted all the key data to be viewable in one page with traffic lighting so that green shows positive progress and orange and red showing factors which might hinder progress.
The timetable, tutor time attendance and lesson by lesson attendance all show a collapsed view which can be expanded to show full view within one click.
For further details on how to license the Online Reporting Web Parts for SharePoint you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Staff Gateway is built with functionality and efficiency in mind. One of the key pieces of feedback from teachers is frustration at the time it takes to get access to data and confusion at the number of systems they have to use. As a result we have built a simple and intuitive interface where access to data and resources is always available within 3 clicks.
Where possible icons are used to create a more visual interface and the icon bar allows staff to get to their most used resources instantly. Above the icon bar are quick links to related sites where staff have free access dependant on permissions.
To the right of the icon bar is the ‘My Data’ toolbar. This contains four drop downs to data which teachers will use on a daily basis. The most frequent feedback we get from teachers about using data is if they could use one system less than the currently do (and ideally not at all) it is the MIS (Management Information System). ‘My data’ allows teachers to: check the latest attendance of students in their classes; identify and target for action students falling below 90% in their tutor groups; examine which students in their classes are under performing compared to their targets; look retrospectively at results data for performance management purposes. We will show examples of My Tracker/My Results later. Examples of My Registers and My Tutor Group are shown below with student names removed.