Using Private Areas

Published: May 4, 2017

Storing information securely is a key concern for schools. For that reason, we you might find it useful to have a private area on your school website for governors, teachers or OFSTED.
School Jotter makes it easy to add and customise access to your own private area, requiring a login for users to access it.

1 – Firstly, make sure you have a user login set up. You can do this by going to the ‘admin’ section on your jotter site and clicking ‘add user’.
Fill out the details there with whatever you want the user to log in with. Check their application roles have ‘Site’ set to ‘Viewer’ or above.

2 – Then, return to the site. Click ‘Manage’ and ‘Pages’ and then find the page you want to make private in the left hand side. Click ‘access’.

3 – Check ‘private page’ and then enter the name of the user you want to be able to access the page. Set their access to ‘view only’. This will be automatically saved.

Log out of School Jotter and when viewing the page as a non administrator you will be asked for your login credentials.

You can use your new private area to upload confidential documents and share meeting dates, improving communication between staff, governors or your PTA.

Newsletters as file downloads

Category: Customer Training

Published: May 5, 2016

While School Jotter does offer Newsletter capabilities, we appreciate that, for those who want a more rich and designed experience, you can’t beat PDF downloads. Often these are created to send home with pupils, with digital copies uploaded to your school website. The latest release of School Jotter makes it easy to present these in a sensible and attractive way, rather than just a string of links!
To start with, go to where you want the newsletters to be embedded (we recommend a dedicated page for this but you can do it anywhere) and enter Edit mode, then click Insert Item > File list.

You’ll be given a page similar to ones used to update slideshows or any other situation where multiple documents are called for.

Press Select to add an item to the file list. You can add as many as you like and change orders with the arrows to the right in the bottom panel. When you’re satisfied, click Choose. You’ll now have a nicely formatted file list ready for people to download from:

To add files in future, click the box in Edit mode, then click Update from the dropdown grey bar at the top of the screen. Looks a lot nice than a series of bullet points, right?

Using timed content to create a term’s worth of homework in an evening

Category: Customer Training

Published: April 21, 2016

Coming soon

Last week we showed you how to use Exercises in Learn to create and manage homework assignments and more. These are a great tool, and using some basic built-in Jotter functionality, we’ll soon be able to extend it to make it even better. Note that, while you can set this system up now, it won’t be enabled fully until an update in a couple of weeks, which we’ll make you aware of!
First of all, for this to work best we recommend setting up a dedicated Learn page for homework and assignments – if all the objects are on the same page it’ll be easier overall to find and manage them. So, following the advice from last week, fill up a page with assignments.
Make sure the due dates are properly filled out!

Once you’ve filled out your page, it’ll look something like the above image. It’s a bit busy, and there’s the problem of students being able to submit homework before it’s even been properly set! We’re going to need to hide these, which Jotter can do automatically for us!
In Edit mode, click on the Exercise (this also works for any other object in Learn, Site or ePortfolio) and you’ll see three icons pop up in the top right. You’ll probably be familiar with these, as they let you move or delete objects.

Click on the cog in the middle to bring up the Advanced Settings – don’t worry, there’s nothing that advanced here! Choose the date you’d like the homework to be set and enter it into the “Date visible from” box. You can also set an expiry date if you want, but note that after this time students will no longer be able to see their feedback.
And that’s literally all there is to it! As the term goes on, the new items will appear for students to submit homework and exercises to, without you having to lift a finger.
Please note – this is a preview of an upcoming feature (time-sensitive content) not yet available in Jotter Learn.
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Exercises and homework-setting in School Jotter Learn

Category: Customer Training

Published: April 14, 2016

This week we’re going to discuss one of the most powerful parts of the Learn VLE, and one which can reduce your workload and bring a lot more things online. Everything I’ll be doing today will cover setting up and administrating the homework – next week we’ll be showing you how to “set and forget” a whole term’s worth of it!
To start with, go to the Learnsite you want to embed the homework on – whether this is a dedicated page or part of another one is up to you. Enter Edit mode and click Insert > Exercise.

Once you’ve chosen where to put it, the following dialog will pop up:

Give it a descriptive title and explain the exercise in the two free-text boxes. The checkboxes below let you customise how you’d like it to present. The due date will stop accepting responses after a set time and date, while enabling feedback will let you give more detailed responses to students’ work.
Now you can save and publish the page, because as far as the editing is concerned, you’re all done – School Jotter will take care of the rest. Here’s what an exercise will look like – your students’ version will be identical but without the “See the results” link in the top right.

When your students access the page they’ll be invited to upload and submit files – alternatively, if you have Office 365 integration, they can be imported directly from OneDrive, and once done will see this page:

Now let’s go back to you as a teacher/administrator. Clicking on “See the results” at the top of your document will bring you here:

I’ve already graded the submissions of pupils 1 and 2, so let’s take a look at pupil 3 and grade their work. Click a student’s username and you’ll see this screen:

Through the boxes at the bottom you can assign a grade and score (make sure to click the “Save grade” and “Save score” buttons!). Additionally, the “Add new feedback” button will bring up a free text box, allowing you to give more detailed feedback. Once this is all filled out, the student will receive a notification when visiting their version of the page informing them that they have feedback – they can also respond to this as a comment, and so can you.

As you saw earlier on the results screen, you’re able to view the grades of the whole class as a handy list, as well as seeing who’s submitted their work! Even after the time has expired, pupils (and teachers) can of course go back in and see results.
Want to try this out for yourself? Check out the Learn app in the app store, you can get a 30-day trial for free!
Don’t miss next week’s tip, where I’ll be showing you how to use timed content objects to let you create an entire term’s worth of homework in one go!
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Adding a sitemap to School Jotter

Category: Customer Training

Published: March 31, 2016

Before we start, don’t forget to check out our new helpsite and knowledgebase at
It’s running our custom-built Promatum software for distributed training, meaning it’s easy to use, lean and you can get it on any device you like. Give it a spin and let us know what you think – the same resources are there, they’re just now in a much easier, more accessible format!
Today we’re looking at sitemaps. Before we begin though, a bit of background on what a sitemap is. First of all, it’s a tool for search engines to use, not for end-users! It tells Google and others how your site is laid out so it can assign you the proper relative rankings in its results pages.

Luckily, they’re really easy to make in School Jotter. First of all, we recommend creating a dedicated page for it. Start by creating a new page by clicking Manage then Pages when in the Site. Click Add Page at the top of the box, then set up the page like this:

Make sure “Show in menu” is not checked, then click Add Page. Navigate to your new page (it should be located at Enter Edit mode and remove the “Coming soon…” text from the text box. Now Insert Item > Sitemap.

Put it below the text box, but it doesn’t really matter. This will automatically generate a list of pages on your website in a hierarchical format. It’ll look something like this.

Now just save and publish your page and you’re all done! Note that if you add more pages to your website, you might have to update the sitemap – to do this, click on it in Edit mode then click on the Update button that will appear at the top of the page.

Our new helpsite is here!

Category: Customer Training

Published: March 23, 2016

If you’ve been using School Jotter for any length of time, you might have come across our help site at We built this in School Jotter to provide a knowledge-base for our customers looking to know more about the system. As helpful as it is, we’ve always found (and heard) that it’s a bit hard to navigate and find your way around though, and we think we’ve come up with a solution.


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Embedding a readable document in School Jotter

Category: Customer Training

Published: March 17, 2016

Ofsted requires that you include certain documents on your school website, and all this means at its minimum is that they must be provided as downloads. But, for accessibility, wouldn’t it be nicer to have them readable and embedded on your website? You can probably see where this is going – yes, School Jotter lets you do that! First of all, take a look at this page for an example of what I’m talking about.
Setting this up is easy – first of all we’re going to go into Edit mode, click Insert Item, then choose Document.

You’ll be asked where you want to put it, as usual with these things. Then it’ll bring up the File Upload dialog box – we’ve gone over this before, but for everyone’s benefit here’s how that works again. Navigate to the folder you want to put the file in (or create a new folder using the Add Folder button at the top), then click Upload File.

You’ll get the following dialog box and can add your own documents here:

Note that not every filetype is supported (unsupported types will still be downloadable but will only display as a download link) – the full list of supported types is txt, text, rtf, htm, html, xhtml, pdf, doc, docx, xl, xla, xlc, xlm, xls, xlt, xlsx, ppt, pptx, pps, pot, ppsx, odt, ods, odp, odg, wp5, wpd, and pub. Click Add File or drag your file into the box, then click Start Upload, followed by OK. It should work its magic and leave you with this:

You can customise the width and height of the box through the grey bar that appears at the top of the page when clicking on the element. The controls along the top of the document will let you navigate it, and will work across devices (including mobiles).
Now save and publish the page and you’re done!

Create a self-marking quiz with Resources

Category: Customer Training

Published: March 3, 2016

You might have heard a lot of talk about School Jotter’s function as a VLE. While a repository to store learning materials is all well and good, a VLE really needs a way to actually assess students’ learning – it’s a good thing, then, that Resources and Learn (bundled together) offer this capability!
First of all, you’re going to need to go to the Resources app from your School Jotter dashboard (you can also create Quizzes from within Learn itself, but we’ll do it this way as it’s much the same method). Click Create Resource at the top of the page, then choose Quiz from the dropdown.

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School Jotter now features pictographic logins

Category: Customer Training

Published: February 25, 2016

Not everyone is proficient when it comes to using the keyboard, and this is especially true when talking about students – certainly in the early years, even spelling their own names and passwords can be tricky for some.
That’s why, in the latest version of School Jotter, we’ve added Picture Logins as a feature. Rather than entering names and passwords using a keyboard, pupils (or teachers – we’re not here to judge) can log into their Jotter account by entering the correct series of icons from a grid. Setting it up is easy too!

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The new accordion feature in School Jotter

Category: Customer Training

Published: February 18, 2016

We released an update to School Jotter last week, and it’s added a few new things which I’ll be covering in the coming weeks.
The first new object we’ll be looking at is the (rather strangely-named) Accordion. It’s a great way to create an information-packed page that also embraces minimalism and interactivity. As with all School Jotter objects, you can find it from the Insert menu in Edit mode.

Choose where you want to put it. The accordion will look like a series of headings that stretch across the space allocated to them. They look, once populated with content, something like this:

Clicking a title expands it, as I’ve done with the third and fifth options here. Let’s go back to the Insert page.

Once you’ve inserted your accordion into the page you’ll see this screen. By default there are three sections in the left-most column, but you can add more with the green plus button below. Otherwise, there are three areas to consider:

  • Accordion title: The title of the section people can click to expand
  • Accordion text: The text revealed when clicking on a section
  • Select image: If you’d like to put an image in, you can

Press OK and your accordion will go live. And that’s all there is to it! If you’d like to see the accordions in action, you can visit my School Jotter page at We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
You might want to use them for class information; we find they work particularly well as templates for FAQs. They’re a really useful tool and we’re pleased they’re now available in School Jotter.
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