Staffroom makes capturing marks, writing comments and printing reports a breeze. Today we want to show you some of the great academic analysis tools available to you.
Finally, the Progression and Subject Schedules provide detailed information in PDF or Excel format.
As the Staffroom team looks for more ways to make school admin an easier task for our schools, we often find that we can save a lot of time by organising your learners records online.
This is why we are pleased to announce the Staffroom Document Management System.
Perhaps you want to store some notes you made in a parent-teacher meeting or have instant access to any document related to one of your learners. By uploading that document to Staffroom you can access it wherever you are!
This is done by simply searching for the student and clicking on the Documents & Files option on the left hand side, underneath their profile picture.
We hear that filing cabinets are selling well on Gumtree…
Staffroom offers many different print-outs. Across students, families, staff and classes – the team at Umoya have provided one-click printing of information and data exports to PDF and Excel.
One of the most popular print-outs is the Class List. Staffroom provides pre-built templates for Basic, Detailed, Sports and Register class lists, and our users print several thousand of them each year.
But what if you need to print a class list with fields that Staffroom’s pre-built templates don’t support?
Today we’re announcing the general availability of Class List Designer. You’ll find it in Infobase → Classes → View and click Print next to your class. This simple tool allows users to select up to seven fields/columns and then download the print-out as a PDF or Excel file.
We have a strong focus on user interface design at Umoya. A major goal of Staffroom Version Five was to provide our users with faster ways to reach information in the app.
The result is Global Search – a blinking cursor in the top-right corner of the site that’s just waiting for you to ask it something. Simply enter a few letters and Staffroom will begin offering some suggestions. When you find what you’re looking for, click the result or press enter.
Instantly search across your entire database for students or register classes. If your permission allows you’ll also be able to search for members of staff. And just this morning, we enabled parent and family search results.
You can also use Global Search to quickly navigate around Staffroom. For example, try typing “send sms” or “absentees”.
Remember, you don’t need to click into the search box first. Just start typing.
We’re always looking for ways to enable better analysis of the data you put into Staffroom. We launched a feature earlier this year, and promptly forgot to formally introduce it. So here goes: announcing Attendance Dashboard.
The research indicates that there is a strong correlation1 between school attendance and academic performance2. Teachers and principals have understood this for decades, but it’s been difficult to analyse attendance records before it’s too late to intervene.
Attendance Dashboard, found via Infobase → Absentees → Dashboard, is a powerful analysis tool that provides daily visibility into the attendance rates of your students.
By default Staffroom shows a week at a glance, but feel free to expand the filter to a particular date range, the current month, term or year. Staffroom then displays three distinct sets of information.
We like charts. An easy-on-the-eye graph shows you the rate of absenteeism over your chosen date range.
For those interested in hard-data, Staffroom presents a table indicating the following statistics per register class:
- The total number of students
- The number of instances of absenteeism
- The rate of attendance as a percentage
- The number of unique students who were absent during the chosen date range
Staffroom highlights any classes that have dropped below 95% attendance. These classes may require urgent intervention.
3. Early Warning
Down the right sidebar you’ll find three important summaries: Best attendance, Worst attendance and – the most important – students potentially at risk. This list shows the students with the most concerning attendance records and who may require urgent intervention.
As always, we love your feedback and look forward to hearing what you think of the Attendance Dashboard.
Well that’s it. We’ve come to the end of yet another year. On behalf of the whole team here at Umoya, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
This December marks staffroom’s sixth anniversary. To date you’ve captured 2.5 million marks across 48 000 tasks in 5 900 courses over nearly 20 000 students. Those students have been absent for a total of 238 000 days, and you’ve been absent for some 18 500 days. You’ve posted on Messenger 15 900 times and logged some 15 million actions on the staffroom. You’ve sent out more than 850 000 SMS’s and around 83 000 emails. It’s a delight to see how well you use staffroom.
2012 in review
We may be maturing, but by no means are we slowing down with age. Our tracking system shows that we released over 200 new features during 2012 – some big, some small.
We completely rewrote staffroom adding a brand new, modern, user interface. Our iPad and mobile experience got a major overhaul allowing users to use staffroom via their smart (and not-so-smart) phones. We updated our social module and renamed it Messenger. The oldest part of staffroom – the family and parent system in Infobase – was completely rewritten to support more complex family relationships and more granular control of which parents receive SMS’s and Emails.
This year also saw the next phase of CAPS implementation – and our work on the Assessment module reflects our focus on providing better tools for teachers trying to make sense of their academic data. We added more detailed Mark Analysis, greatly improved Subject and Promotion schedules, added analysis tools for determining the Top Students and Grade Averages, and added a few pretty graphs. The markbook was redesigned to provide better Exam Mark capture and Subject Total overviews, as well as several usability improvements like the ability to navigate around the markbook using the arrow keys.
2013 marks Umoya’s tenth anniversary, and look set to be our best year yet. We are excited to welcome ten new schools to staffroom in January, and many more throughout the year.
Our intrepid team of change managers and trainers will continue to work with UmoyaFunda schools to implement their eLearning and EdTech strategies. The LessonBox and LessonShow platform is now in nearly 100 classrooms – across South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. We look forward to bringing this technology to even more teachers in the year ahead. Umoya’s school network and WiFi systems will be installed in several more schools and we’re excited about a partnership to deploy turnkey education solutions to hundreds of schools in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.
To meet these exciting challenges we are growing our team. We’ve just hired two new software developers and will be on the look out for more talent in the coming months. These additional resources will improve our turn-around time and increase our responsiveness to support requests.
Finally, we’d like to say thanks to you. There’s never an ‘easy year’ in education circles – but 2012 has certainly been a challenging one. Your selfless dedication to the profession of educating our children inspires and motivates us to do what we do. Thank you for giving everything you’ve got to make education in this country work.
Today we’re excited to announce the addition of Graeme Glass to the Umoya development team!
Graeme joins the team in Cape Town as a Senior Developer and DevOps lead. He’ll be dividing his time between working on some exciting new products in the education space, and improving our technical infrastructure.
He brings a wealth of experience in building cloud-based systems using open source technologies and cloud services.
We look forward to growing our development and operations teams in 2013.
A pilot project of UmoyaFunda has been installed this week at S.I. Gobbs Secondary School in Omaruru, Namibia. This marks UmoyaFunda’s first deployment outside of South Africa.
Four classrooms were selected to receive the installation of the data projector, LessonBox and have the chalkboard converted with vinyl to a whiteboard. They also received networking via CAT 5e cable, and are now connected to the internet.
The installation of the four classrooms, network and teacher training took three days. We were amazed at how quickly the teachers gained confidence in using the new technology. they all love the system.
Today Thembisa Joyi joins us as a Umoyite.
Thembisa has a BTech degree in Office Administration from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She joins our UmoyaFunda Support Team as a Customer Support Representative and Project Administrator.
She will be assisting customers on a daily basis via our Email Support Desk as well as tracking the progress of various projects.
We are delighted to welcome her to the Umoya team.
Umoya is delighted to be partnering with Norman Henshilwood High School in Constantia, Cape Town to deliver our advanced interactive school management, teaching and learning solution called Umoya Funda.
Umoya Networks are installing a structured cable network throughout the entire school. Each classroom receives multiple LAN connections and a wireless access point for both teachers and learners to access the network.
Each classroom will have an interactive networked data projector installed which turns a standard whiteboard into an interactive teaching surface. The networked data projectors are centrally managed and also offer the ability to have messages broadcast from a single location to every classroom. The projectors have adequate sound capability allowing for a full multimedia teaching experience.
Umoya Funda “lessonbox’s” are being installed in each classroom. These specialised devices come pre-loaded with a vast library of digital content such as Khan videos, National Education workbooks, textbooks, interactive whiteboard applications, games and supplementary teaching material such as pre-prepared lesson plans aligned with the new CAPS curriculum.
Included in Umoya Funda is Umoya Sofware’s acclaimed “staffroom” school management software which makes school administration easy and gives back hours each day to teachers so they can focus on their core responsibility of teaching.
Umoya Funda includes our fundacloud service as well as myfunda learner and teacher access. Umoya Funda is designed around promoting as much interactive teaching as possible and includes functionality for mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops to be used and managed within the classroom.
Every lesson that is presented in class is recorded and can be downloaded by the learners onto their cell phones, tablets or laptops to view as many times as they need to. Recorded lessons are also ideal for learners who may have missed the class due to sickness or some other unforseen circumstance.
Umoya Funda also gives the headmaster the capability to broadcast video messages to the entire school or simply send a text message that will show up on the interactive whiteboard.