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?
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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Before we start, don’t forget to check out our new helpsite and knowledgebase at education.webanywhere.co.uk.
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 yourwebsite.sites.schooljotter2.com/sitemap). 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.
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! Continue reading →
Adding forms is fairly easy to do, but it can be a little difficult to work out where you need to go at first. Forms can be a great way to gather information or collect responses from parents. They’re a simple tool with genuinely hundreds of uses.
To start with, we’re going to need to create the forms in the Jotter management area.
This will bring up the form management page. Two are created for you by default, for contacting the school and for reporting absences – we’ve found these two can be very helpful to schools on their own. Let’s have a look at how to create your own form though – click Add Form at the top of the box and you’ll see this screen.
Note that what we’re creating here is more of a “container” for the form questions to sit in. Here’s an explanation of the fields:
- Name – The name of the form, only used internally
- Introduction Text – Text to appear before the form, to tell people what it is
- Additional Action – Whether you want the form to email people with completed responses
- Email – The address to which completed forms should be sent
Click Add Form and it’ll be added to the list of forms from before, alongside Contact and Absence. Click the link marked Fields to the right of your new form name, and you’ll get this screen – note that this is one of the prepopulated ones, if it’s a new form it will be blank.
All you can do here is click Add Field, which brings up the fields page. This is where we start to actually build our form, and there’s a number of types of field you can create. It’s important for your data that the proper categorisation is used:
- Text Field – plaintext, such as a person’s name
- Phone – A phone number – it’s important this isn’t text or numeric in order to keep the leading 0 in phone numbers
- Email – An email address
- URL – Somebody’s website
- Numeric – Raw numerical data
- Text area – A larger, multi-line box for more detailed feedback
- Dropdown – A list of options – specify them in the third box which will appear, separating them with commas only (not spaces)
- Date – A date box
- Captcha – A field used to ensure a human is completing the form (and not a web-crawling robot)
- Radio – similar to dropdown, let people choose an option from a list
The Required checkbox will specify whether or not that field needs to be filled for the form to be submitted. Once you’re happy with your field, click Add Field. You’ll need to do this a few times to build your form out, with items such as name, phone number, email address etc – it’s up to you what you add!
You can see a preview of what a complete form looks like by clicking Fields next to the Absence or Contact form, as shown above.
To get the data out of your forms, you’ll need to click on Submissions, which will let you filter them and download them as a CSV spreadsheet if you need to.
Now let’s put the form on your website – you should be familiar with how this works by now, but here it is!
Go to your website, click Insert Item then select Form. Choose where you want it to be. You’ll then be asked to insert a form – you can also manage your forms from this box. You can change this later from the grey dropdown at the top of the window.
And that’s it, you should now have a form on your website!
Welcome back to the new year – here’s your first tips post of 2016!
There are many reasons you might want to add a private page to your website. Perhaps you’d like a hidden section for governors’ meeting minutes, or a repository of information to a specific class, or a form that only parents can access – the possibilities are endless.
Luckily, creating a password-restricted page is easy. First of all, enter Edit mode on your site and click Manage then Pages. Continue reading →
You might have heard a lot about cloud storage in the last few years, but did you know you already have unlimited storage through School Jotter? All Jotter customers have access to the Files app, which lets you store, access and organise anything you like.
If you’ve been with us since the beginning, you might remember how I showed you how to add files to this as part of the slideshow process, but we’ve got quite a few new faces since then, so I’ll recap it for everyone’s benefit.
This is what you see when you click the Files app in your dashboard. You’ll notice it looks a lot like your computer’s Exporer or Finder – this is intentional, it’s meant to be easy and familiar to use.
Using the options at the top you can add files (note that the maximum upload size is set by your administrator) and folders, as well as rename, copy, move and delete existing files or folders. You should have some folders already created to help you organise things.
Uploading the files can be a little tricky the first time, so here’s how we go about doing that. First, navigate to the folder you want to upload into, then click Upload file in the top bar.
The system supports drag and drop, so all you need to do is literally drag files from your computer’s folders and drop them into the window. They’ll then appear in a list below, as I’ve done up there. You can also click Add file to manually upload them. When you’ve put your files there, click Start Upload and they should be uploaded into the cloud – the loading bar to the right will tell you how the progress is.
And that’s literally all there is to it! You can store anything in Files – images, text documents, homework sheets, even videos. Downloading is easy – just find the image in Files and click the blue Download button on the icon. You’ve got unlimited storage, so don’t worry about quotas either!
Jotter tips will return on January 7th – from everyone here at Webanywhere, we hope you have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year.
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We’ve recently had a lot of new schools sign up to our Spellings app, so it seems like the perfect time for a rundown of how to get started using the Spellings platform. Want to find out more? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll sort you out with a demo.
Users of Spellanywhere can also have all their content migrated for them – we’ll take care of this, so if you’re a Spellanywhere user you really have no excuse for not upgrading!
Anyway, for those of you who are currently using the platform, here’s a basic rundown of how it all works.
There’s two sides of the Spellings app we can deal with – the admin view and the user view. We’re going to focus on what the admin sees today, but if you’d like us to cover the students’ perspective, please do let us know. Logging in as an admin, here’s what you’ll see:
Assuming your permissions have been set properly, you’ll see this screen here. Note that I’ve already added two types of test in here, so it should be blank for you.
Now, we’re going to start with the easiest way to add spelling tests to your site – using our premade bank of them. Click on “Preset Lists” in the menu to the left and you’ll see this screen:
These are all lists we’re providing to you for free – there’s over 70 of them, categorised by numbers of syllables. They’ve been created with the curriculum in mind, so you shouldn’t have any issues using them. To see what words are in a test click on View list, to practice taking a test yourself click on Preview, and to copy it to your library so you can set it yourself, click Copy. Note that the Community Lists tab contains a near-identical interface, but is populated by custom lists submitted by other schools.
This will bring up the “New Spelling Test” dialog, which we’ll discuss below. For now, it should have appeared in the Spelling Lists tab to the left. Before you can set it as a test, you’ll need to assign it to some groups – this is done through the standard Jotter groups dialog; type the name of the group and it’ll auto-suggest one. Once that’s done, click Set As Test to give it to those groups specified before.
But what if you want to create your own tests? That’s easy too – click Create Spelling List at the top of the page to get this dialog.
I’ll go through the sections bit-by-bit (as I always seem to do!):
- Name – What the spelling test is to be called
- Description – A bit of descriptive text to tell the pupils (or staff) what it’s about
- Folder – You can create and specify folders for organisational purposes
- Mode – There are three modes you can choose from:
Audio: The audio file of the word will play (see below)
Flash Card: The word appears on a flash card that disappears once typing begins
Delayed Flash Card: As above, but the card does not disappear immediately
- Options – Choose whether it’s active and whether you’d like the question order shuffled to prevent cheating/rote memorisation
- Words – the actual words you’d like to test
Spellings has an audio option for some words – if audio for a word is available, the symbol to the left of it will change to a speaker. Not all words have sounds associated with them, but this is something we’re actively working on with common ones. Add more words through the Add Word button below, and once you’re done click Create.
Of course, testing is all well and good, but you need to be able to see results. Luckily, Spellings can offer that in a very detailed way – click on Results in the left menu to see a detailed breakdown of all who have taken the tests.
And that’s pretty much it! We’re really pleased with how Spellings has come out, and we hope you are too. Don’t have it but are interested? You can get a free 30-day trial in your App Store – try it out with your students!
Tables are one of the most helpful, but also infuriating aspects of web design. They can be invaluable for organising items on your page, but can also be a bit of a headache to set up. Here’s how tables work in the School Jotter interface.
You can insert tables into any regular text object in Jotter, click where you’d like to put your table, then click this button in the toolbar at the top:
The easiest way to put in a table is through the “Insert table” option, mouse over it and this matrix will pop up.
You can then pick how big you want your table to be – bear in mind you’ll need header rows at the top, sides or both. If you’ve used Microsoft Word, this should all be pretty familiar to you.
You can then type the text into the cells which have appeared. You can adjust your table’s properties in various ways. First of all, the Table properties.
By default, the table will fill the width and height of the space you give it, but you can change that here. Additionally, cell padding determines the distance between the cell contents and the cell borders. Alignment determines whether it’s left, centre or right-aligned. Note that, by default, your table will not have any borders – you’ll need to add these in both the table and cell properties menus.
You might also want to take a look at the Advanced tab for some more interesting customisation options. Note that these are also available for individual cells and rows via the other options in the table menu:
If you’re familiar with HTML markup, you can put custom styles in the box at the top – otherwise we recommend leaving this blank. The other options are relatively straightforward – Border width is how wide the cell borders are, Border style is what style they’re in, and the two colour options determine border and background colours of the table.
Some of the more advanced capabilities of the table are available through the Cell, Row and Column menu options. These will allow you to perform actions such as merging cells, for example to provide info like below, for Mr W:
Want to add or remove rows or columns? Again, under the Row and Column options you can insert/remove these. Note that, in the case of inserts, they will be inserted above (rows) or to the left of (columns) your current cursor position.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it! Tables are one of the oldest text items still used on the web, and it’s not hard to see why!