One of the great things about digital technologies is how they can cut the costs of a range of traditional school expenses, such as money spent printing out flyers and registration forms for school events.

Whether you’re putting on a school play, taking the class to the zoo for the day or embarking on your annual school trip abroad, event registration costs and stack up over time, especially if your school regularly holds events for its students.

The iClass platform completely removes the costs for event registration thanks to its built-in event registration module, which as the name implies enables parents to learning about upcoming events and register their children for events via your school website or the iClass integrated app for parents.

In addition to accessing information and registration, parents can also make payments through the module while teachers can manage their own events with ease.

The registration module is just one of several great features available with the iClass platform.

To learn more, or to request a free website review, please get in touch with us today.

Ways to Lower School Operating Costs

A responsive website that perfectly displays on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is essential for any school that wants to make an impact online.

Responsive website design ensures web pages can render and display accurately on a wide variety of devices, including the aforementioned smartphones and tablets, plus laptops, PCs and other internet-enabled devices.

Put simply, the majority of parents will research about your school using a mobile device, and most likely it’ll be their smartphone.

So why exactly is responsive web design so important for school websites?

Your school’s website is the first thing they see about your school, but it could be the last if the site is unresponsive and unable to effectively showcase the reasons why your school should be their first choice for their children.

First impressions always count, but rarely more so than when it comes to parents choosing a school for their children.

By ensuing your school website is mobile responsive, you’re guaranteeing that all parents will be able to research about your school on your terms.

All iClass school websites are fully responsive on mobile devices.

For more information, or to request a free website review, get in touch today.

High school website in Dublin

While educational technology enjoyed a stellar year of development and implementation in 2018, it’s really going to take off in 2019.

We’ve examined the most popular forms of edtech from 2018 to determine what edtech trends are going to take centre stage in the coming months.

The biggest and brightest edtech trend set for widescale adoption in 2019 is without a doubt experiential learning.

Put simply, experiential learning is a form of teaching that engages with the learner through a variety of experiences such as hands-on learning, collaboration, experimenting and analysing.

Edtech that supports experiential learning includes virtual reality and augmented reality, virtual labs, gamification and online platforms, so teachers have a wealth of edtech products to choose from when introducing this form of learning to students.

Another edtech trend set to take the educational world by storm is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide more personalised learning.

AI is used in a multitude of fields and is especially suited to education, thanks to the use AI in conjunction with data analytics to develop personalised learning experiences that cater to the specific needs of students.

For instance, AI can streamline grading and assessments, and will pick up on particular areas students are finding difficult and suggest revised learning topics.

The above are just two of the numerous edtech trends that are likely to see widespread adoption in 2019, but we believe both experiential learning and personalised learning by way of AI will have the biggest impact on students and teachers alike.

The past few years have seen a bigger focus on STEM subjects in schools across the world, as educators help students prepare for a potential career in the science and technology fields.

One of the great things about STEM subjects is the opportunity they offer for the introduction of a variety of new technologies into education, such as drones.

As pointed out in a recent article from Edtech Magazine, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth, Texas, launched the inaugural Bell Drone Competition in April of this year, challenging students to design, build and fly their very own drones.

The students were broken into teams, most of whom had never used a drone before, and were also tasked with programming the drone’s motors and servos.

One of the goals of the competition is to get girls interested in engineering, something which can be achieved easier when presenting lessons in a competitive format that incentives students to learn.

Edtech is revolutionising the classroom to the benefit of students and teachers, but as we can see from the above example there are other ways to get students interested in STEM that are both fun and educational.

kid looks at a computer

Today’s piece continues on from last week’s blog about edtech terms every teacher should familiarise themselves with in light of the increasing use of educational technologies in the classroom.

First up is asynchronous learning (also known as e-learning), which is a learning style that focuses on the student by providing them with access to online assignments and resources such as chat and videoconferencing to support learning regardless of where the student is based.

Digital storytelling is another increasingly used form of educational technology, and refers to the combination of narrative with digital content such as video and sound, resulting in an interactive short movie ideal for teaching students about specific topics.

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course i.e. a typically free online course available to Internet users—MOOC subjects tend to be quite broad and people of all ages use them to learn and gain new skills.

Similarly, open educational resources are free to access educational materials such as documents and media that can be used in the classroom to teach.

And the final entry on today’s list is the virtual classroom, an online-based learning space accessible through the internet or software that provides teachers with additional tools and often engages students on a greater level than traditional lessons.

Mobile app design and development

Educational technology is becoming more and more prominent in classrooms around the world and with it a whole heap of new terminologies that describe various forms of edtech.

We’ve rounded up some of the most common edtech terms you’re likely to hear over the coming years as educational technology starts to take on a bigger role in the learning process.

Adaptive learning refers to the use of technology to enhance study materials to improve students’ ability.

This technology could be in the form of a computer, tablet or online system, and most edtech tools could be described as adaptive learning.

Blended learning is the use of both edtech and traditional modes of learning when teaching e.g. online resources such as tablets and offline resources like schoolbooks.

Differentiated learning is the technique of tailoring various components of a lesson for each individual student, and is different to personalised learning as you modify the lesson based on the syllabus rather than the student’s strengths.

Gamification describes the use of the gaming elements in teaching e.g. earning points, levelling up and competing with others.

A number of edtech tools use gamification to ensure students are fully engaged with what they’re learning.

The above are just a few of the many edtech terms in use today, and we’ll be covering some of the more technical terminology in later blogs.

Microsoft is bringing it’s free Microsoft Breakout learning event to the iconic Thomond Park, Co. Limerick, on Wednesday 7th of November for a day of technology workshops and demonstrations.

iClass will be among the exhibitors at next week’s event, which aims to give teachers a new understanding of technology tools such as Office 365 and how they can be used to improve the learning experience for teachers and students.

The first seminar, ‘Class Notebook, CBA, Assessment for Learning and E-Portfolio with Rosin Beaver’ covers software and programs ideal for assessment while the second seminar ‘Collaboration within Microsoft Teams with Brendan Cawley’ discusses the use of Microsoft Teams to support educators and school administrations.

Third on the agenda is ‘Office 365 on iPad with Jamie Johnston’, a workshop on how to leverage the benefits of Office 365, followed by ‘Accessibility and Learning Tools with Sean Glynn’, a detailed look at some of the best edtech learning tools you can introduce to the classroom today.

Don’t forget to visit the iClass stall at Microsoft Breakout to learn more about iClassCMS, the number one website and mobile app solution for schools of all levels.

Click here to register for Microsoft Breakout for free, and please get in touch if you would like to know more about iClass or participate in a free website review.

iClassCMS, the number one website provider for schools, is delighted to announce the launch of a new partnership with the National Associated of Principals and Deputy Principals at this year’s annual NAPD Conference 2018.

This year’s conference takes place on Thursday, 18th, and Friday, 19th of October at the Galmont Hotel & Spa, on Lough Atalia Road, Galway.

The NAPD Conference is the premier event for second level school leaders in Ireland, and features conference speakers, work-shops for principals and deputy principals, exhibitions and more.

iClass will be launching a new partnership with NAPD at this year’s conference, and school leaders who visit the iClass stand during the conference can avail of an exclusive offer for NAPD attendees.

For more information about the NAPD Conference 2018 and how to purchase tickets, please visit the NADP Conference website.

To learn more about iClassCMS or to arrange a free review of your school’s website, please get in touch with us today.

The Learnovation EdTech summit took place last week in Croke Park, giving visitors the chance to hear about the biggest upcoming EdTech trends from some of the most knowledgeable people in the EdTech world.

Perhaps one of the more interesting trends we heard about was how a school in England is now using voice feedback to mark homework.

Abdul Chohan, a speaker at Learnovation and the co-founder of The Olive School in Bolton, England, told attendees how children from the age of five up take photos of their homework, which is directly uploaded to teachers’ mobile devices and smartphones.

Teachers can then select specific parts of the homework and leave voice feedback all through the use of a mobile device.

Mr Chohan noted that this innovative method for marking homework significantly reduces the amount of time teachers spend on this aspect of school life, and also improves the quality of the feedback to the benefit of students and teachers alike.

In addition, Mr Chohan noted that by communicating via voice feedback, it helps to build a personal relationship between students, parents and teachers.

It’s an interesting take on an fundamental element of education, and one that is very likely to see increased adoption in schools all around the world over the coming years.

Cybercrime is on the rise around the world and with so many different forms of data and data collection now in use, there’s never been a greater need for robust security when it comes to school websites.

While modern cybercrime techniques employ innovative methods for gaining access to private information, it is possible to protect personal data by following a few simple steps.

1. Encrypt all devices

It’s extremely important to encrypt the central device used by the school to store data about students, parents, teachers and admin. It also recommended that any device used by staff remains encrypted at all times to prevent unathorised access.

2. Perform regular backups

Ransomware attacks involve an outside party taking control of your device and preventing you from accessing data on it. By backing up the school’s data on a regular basis, you’ll reduce the likelihood of losing all data in the event of an attack.

3. Create awareness

It’s advisable to not only spread awareness of good technology habits and the threat of cybercrime among staff, but also students. More and more schools are introducing technology into their lessons, so it’s vital that students understand how to stay safe when using the internet.

4. Secure email with multi-step verficiation

Most email providers offer multi-step verification, and it’s a good idea to use it whenever possible. It makes it harder for criminals to access email accounts if they obtain your password, as they will need to input a unique code sent to a personal device of your choosing, such as a smartphone.

5. Update software when available

Out of date software is more vulnerable to exploitation, so remember to update software whenever a new version is made available. Most programs will alert you when a new update is ready for download so all you have to do is click.

iClassCMS features the latest security measures against all forms of cybercrime. To learn more, or request a free website review, please get in touch here.