In many countries the new buzz around school campuses is palpable. Students are thrilled to finally catch up with each other, and teachers are relieved to be teaching in-person, once again. While some areas of schooling have not yet returned to pre-pandemic conditions, including assemblies, concerts, and team-based co-curricular pursuits, many happenings are back in full swing, especially teaching and learning in physical classrooms.
During the extended period of remote learning, Schoolbox was busy ensuring teachers and students were able to continue with their teaching and learning without too much difficulty. Such was the level of success, that K–12 schools are now contemplating the next frontier; how best to resettle into on-campus learning, while utilising the range of digital technologies that school communities adapted to so quickly.
Schoolbox’s all-in-one learning management system, intranet, and communications portal offers a true educational hub that encompasses the best of on-campus, virtual learning, and communication experiences. Here are five features of Schoolbox that will support your school in going back to on-campus learning in the next normal.
Schoolbox as a Communications Portal
Parents appreciated the level and frequency of communication sent to them during the school closure period. There will be continued expectation surrounding communications, and this is achievable utilising Schoolbox’s news module.
News posts can be created by any staff, moderated by selected staff, and published to targeted audiences. They can be displayed on pages within your school’s instance, as well as the dashboard, alerting staff, students and parents to important items, events and interest pieces.
If the information being shared is dynamic, i.e. changing regularly, like assigned homework; using the news component can be of great benefit in and beyond the classroom. This information provides the targeted audience with notifications alerting them to newly added content. News posts are also archived, so they can be revisited when required. This is ideal where students are off-campus, or are revising for assessments.
Notifications can be further set by the school and modified by individual users of Schoolbox to ensure people receive the type of communication they need, in a method that suits them.
Course, Unit, and Class Pages
Course, unit and class pages comprise the key foundations to the teaching and learning module within Schoolbox. They each contain a vast array of components which can be used to share information, resources and learning materials with students.
Course pages usually include a subject overview, unit outlines, brief description of assessments related to the course, and any other links or supplementary information. Unit pages are often topic based and contain the all-important course builder component, which is used for creating activities and assessment tasks. Class pages are the entry point for students and represent a springboard to information and activities created in course and unit pages.
If the information being conveyed on any of the teaching and learning pages is static, i.e. ‘set and forget’, using the popular textbox component is highly effective. It has an inbuilt editor in which text, lists, links, images and video can be added. Where the information is contained in pre-prepared documents, the files component is advantageous.
Any tasks, activities or assessments set for students, can be created through the course builder component in unit pages. These can then be imported to class pages via the course outline component.
With Schoolbox, students can undertake associated activities at home created by their teacher and come to class ready to discuss, analyse, undertake a practical task, collaborate, ask questions and engage in enriching activity related to and extended from what they already know.
This approach flips the traditional teaching method and concentrates on higher-level thinking and supporting students in the precious time they have in class with their teacher.
Feedback and Reporting
Schoolbox offers flexible solutions for both feedback and reporting, whether schools follow continuous, progressive and/or end-of-period reporting models.
Using a combination of an inline grader for written, audio and video comments, markbooks, rubrics, and comment boxes, Schoolbox provides a vast number of opportunities to provide timely feedback to students and their parents. The advantage of the Schoolbox system is that schools themselves determine if and when students receive results, comments and reports, at various progress points.
Schoolbox captures all data and information inside the class and course markbooks. Schools are then able to determine the policy around what becomes visible to students and their parents and when, through the administration area. Teachers and Heads of Departments can be provided the authority to decide when to publish results.
Pastoral Care for Student Wellbeing
Schoolbox’s dedicated pastoral care and student wellbeing module provides a complete snapshot of each student; one which encompasses not only academic tracking, but also student wellbeing.
Pastoral care elements in Schoolbox include type (e.g. infringement), sub-type (e.g. incorrect uniform) and severity (e.g. parent notification provided). The dedicated pastoral care dashboard displays what the school elects, and notifications can be set so that the severity of the record entered into the system is clearly evident. This can assist heads of house and other leaders to determine whether action is immediately required.
Particular user groups within the pastoral care module can also be created so that privacy and sensitivity are dealt with in an appropriate manner (i.e. only a selected group is provided with access to certain records).
A distinctive and popular aspect of Schoolbox is the provision of countless options, which can be customised and adapted according to the needs of your school. This means modules, page types and components, can all be tailored to school requirements. The five features listed in this blog are merely the beginning; try one or more of these in the coming term, to gauge what works best for the return to learning in physical classrooms for your school.
Want to discuss further options to resettle back into on-campus learning? Contact a Schoolbox expert today.