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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The latest update for School Jotter 2 is an exciting one: all School Jotter 2 users now have access to literally hundreds of clipart images!
The massive bank of images, accessible through your School Jotter 2 account, includes everything from images of the Ancient Romans to seasons, arctic animals to superheroes. You can use them either as part of classroom activities – or to enhance your School Jotter 2 school website.
To access the new School Jotter 2 bank of clipart images, just log in to your account, click on My Site from the top tabs, and then choose My Files from the Manage drop-down menu on the right hand side. Your files should all appear in the window – but you’ll notice at the top of the window the new Clipart button.
Click on Clipart – and then you can choose from the hundreds of images throughout the dozens of categories on the left! You can download any of the images simply by clicking Download underneath your chosen image.
We’ve tried to cover popular topics being covered by classes this term – and also provide you with images that will enhance your school website. Of course – these are all free to the School Jotter user, to use whenever you want!
Your school website is the perfect tool for communicating with parents – and a great opportunity for them to engage with your school. It means that, instead of having to pop into the school, or find the phone number, they can discover what their child has been up to, read about forthcoming events and even meet the staff, from the comfort of their armchair.
But what exactly do parents want from a school website? A recent discussion on Mumsnet threw up some interesting comments and suggestions for what would make a good school website for parents – and it also highlighted that, in some cases, parents maybe aren’t getting the information they need from their child’s school website.
The most popular requirements for a good school website were probably the most obvious: many mums expressed a need for a list of upcoming events, online versions of school newsletters and a term diary to all be included.
But other popular suggestions were for content that would help parents engage with the school more – things that don’t always seem a priority when a school website is put together. School club details, school uniform list and that week’s homework were all mentioned, with Mumsnet user meredeux suggesting a “List of holiday activities to replace all those leaflets that keep coming home in the bookbags.”
User piprabbit added: “It needs to build its links to social media especially as there are very active FB groups relating to the school.”
Ofsted reports, school rules and copies of letters home were also listed, so that parents could more actively help their children in the evenings, as was a contacts page – maybe even a teacher ‘about’ section. Which suggests that parents are much more keen to be engaged with their child’s school, on all levels, than you might expect.
Some of the users on Mumsnet even provided details of their favourite sites – with user veritythebrave saying they liked the curriculum and classes part on Shipley C of E Primary School’s School Jotter site. Their website is a content-full, extensive one, and they’ve included most of the popular features mumsnet users mentioned.
The comments in the Mumsnet discussion could provide a useful basis from which to plan your school’s website. Obviously, the more appropriate the content and the easier your website is to navigate around, the more useful it’ll be for the parents to use, and the more they’ll use it. But remember that, as well as being a news portal to get messages to parents, and a great advertising tool for attracting new pupils, your school website is also the perfect opportunity to allow parents to get more involved with the school and its activities, and provide more input into what you do.
Your school website is a vital tool for communication in today’s digital world: make sure you make the most of it!