iClassCMS Partners with FCSSPA for Launch of First Parent Module for School Website and Mobile App Platform

St Mary's College

iClassCMS, Ireland’s leading school website and app developer, in partnership with the FCSSPA yesterday launched an update to its school website and mobile app platform allowing parents direct access to a school’s website.

The update also permits Parent Associations to publish relevant news directly to all parents of enrolled students via the iClass app. As a result, iClass now fully engages all key participants in schools: teachers, students and parents.

The iClass Fully Integrated Mobile App for Parents facilitates free communication between schools and parents, allowing schools to pass on the latest school news and important information about events directly to parents’ smartphones completely free of charge.

Speaking about the launch of the Parent Module for the iClass platform, Mr Paul Beddy, President of the Federation of Catholic Secondary Schools Parent Associations said:

‘We welcome the development of a Parent Module for School Websites by iClassCMS.  This module will facilitate greater communication between parents and allow Parent Associations to share events, fundraising and parent association business to the wider parent community.’

Frank O’Grady, Managing Director of iClassCMS, spoke of the benefits of the module for schools:

‘We are delighted to partner with the Federation of Catholic Secondary Schools Parent Associations on our new Parent Module for iClass. This allows schools using the iClass Website and Mobile App solution to give access to the school website to members of the School’s Parent Association. They can contribute content and set up a dedicated Parent Assoc News Channel on the School App allowing all parents keep up to date with all that is happening.’

For more information, please visit www.iclasscms.com or contact 01-6918833.

Safer Internet Day 2018

Save the date logo

Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018, the EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users but especially young people, took place yesterday, Tuesday the 6th of February.

More than 70,000 young people across the country joined the celebrations and we’re happy to report that hundreds of schools got involved too.

The theme for Safer Internet Day 2018 was ‘Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you’, and resources were made available to schools for the purpose of educating students about how they can stay safe on the internet and counter cyber bullying.

These resources include a detailed PowerPoint presentation complete with videos and twelve fun and informative activities based around staying safe online, all of which can be found on the SID website under the Schools category.

Of course, Safer Internet Day is for everyone and as a result there are also high-quality resources for families containing invaluable information about social media, cyberbullying and filtering, plus the support needed to ensure everyone enjoys their time online.

Internet users are getting younger and younger which is why it’s so essential that we all work together towards a safer and more supportive internet.

It’s great to see so many schools and students taking this initiative seriously and we hope that as schools continue to integrate new technologies into the classroom more time will be spent on internet safety and how we can achieve it.

STEM Workshop: An Introduction to CoderDojo Part 2

Kids with laptop

Welcome to the second part of our STEM Workshop blog on CoderDojo, a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people.

In part one, we took a look at the history and setup of CoderDojo, in today’s entry we’re covering the various benefits this STEM Workshop offers schools and students.

Encourage, Teach and Prepare

The benefits of introducing a STEM Workshop such as CoderDojo to your school are manifold:

  • Change how students perceive STEM subjects
  • Naturally encourage an interest in technology
  • Naturally encourage creativity and independence
  • Provide the tools and resources required to excel in STEM subjects
  • Teach students invaluable technology skills
  • Provide students with a more varied career path
  • Help students prepare for a constantly evolving world
  • Suited to people with no prior experience in this area

CoderDojo clubs are supportive, fun and positive environments in which students can learn and master the basic skills of programming.

It is one of the most successful STEM innovations in the world thanks to its forward-thinking and inclusive approach, and one that continues to greatly aid young people interested in technology.

For more information about CoderDojo, or to find out how to start a Dojo in your school, please visit coderdojo.com.

STEM Workshop: An Introduction to CoderDojo

Coder Dojo Dogpatch

As Ireland’s Information Communications Technology sector continues to go from strength, the importance of STEM disciplines becomes more apparent.

Ireland is the second biggest exporter of computer and ICT services in the world today and this is due, in part, to our highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

There are a number of STEM innovations operating in the country that teach students the basics of ICT in an accessible and straight-forward manner, encouraging their interest in this area through intuitive learning.

In the first entry of our STEM Workshop series, we’re taking a look at CoderDojo, a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people.

What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo was founded in Cork in 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao, two self-taught computer programmers who wanted to help young people learn how to code in a social setting.

Their goal is to give anyone aged seven to seventeen the tools and resources they need to learn how to code, build websites, create apps and games and better understand technology in a positive environment.

In the years since, more than 1,100 verified ‘Dojos’ have sprung up in 63 countries, helping young people all over the world to take their first steps in computer programming.

CoderDojo clubs typically run once a week for one to two hours per session, but this can vary from Dojo to Dojo.

School-run Dojos take place after school when the students are free from their daily studies and are run by CoderDojo approved volunteers.

Students attended a CoderDojo club can expect to learn a variety of programming languages including Python, Unity and Scratch, plus how to build and use computers such as Raspberry Pi’s.

As mentioned above, they will also learn how to build apps and games and gain knowledge in other related fields and disciplines, all of which is geared towards providing students with the skills and confidence to pursue a career in ICT.

Check back with us next week to see how STEM workshops like CoderDojo can benefit schools and students.

New iClass Parent Module

Parent Child

Coming soon we will be launching an iClass module for parents. This will allow the school set up and created fully moderated accounts for members of the Parents Association.

Not only will parents be kept up to date with all the school happenings via the mobile app but they will now be able to directly contribute to the school website and stimulating positive communication and engagement

Beta rollout will begin in January!

Top 5 Characteristics of a Good School Website

St Leo's College Prospectus

Building an online presence is as imperative for schools as it is for businesses. A website can have a tremendous impact when it comes to your school’s image, parent awareness, and the representation of your school mission. The following list contains the top 5 characteristics that constitute a good school website.

1. Visual Appearance

The website’s appearance is the first thing that grabs the attention of visitors. When creating a website for schools, the design needs to highlight the uniqueness of the school’s personality and include a logo, colour scheme, imagery and other attributes that impact the overall perception of the school brand. The presentable and uniformed look will make a positive first impression and will keep visitors interested in engaging with the content.  Finding a balance between mediocrity and complicatedness is a key.

2. Simplicity

Complicated and hard to navigate websites turn off visitors (perspective parents) which may result in an increased bounce rate. By removing all unnecessary elements and keeping the layout clean, the readers will have a better experience in consuming website information. Keep backend and frontend designs streamlined.

3. Informational Content

The ultimate goal of your school site is to provide a platform where students and parents can find information regarding events, recent news, extracurricular activities, school directory and other important activities. Is the content of your school website stale? Does your school have a blog? If not, then it is time to start one.  Frequently updated relevant content keeps the website alive and is engaging for teachers, students and parents.

4. Responsiveness

Web pages should be accessible from any device whether on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, and provide a user-friendly experience. If the website is not responsive, visitors will have to spend more time waiting for the page to load and will eventually leave the site. It is imperative that your school community has access to news and updates from any device. Responsiveness is also one of the important factors in Google’s search results algorithm.

5. Content Management System

Content Management Systems are a necessary tool for schools to publish or edit content and to post updates easily and instantaneously. Is your school website outdated, irrelevant and in need of a makeover? Update your school’s website and take it to the next level with the customisable website platform iClassCMS, which requires zero coding knowledge to utilize it. Its dynamic interface consists of a publishing platform for teachers and students in addition to an events module and mobile application for parents.

Feel free to contact us to request a live demo – info@iclasscms.com

A One Stop Content Management Solution for Schools

St Mary's College

Have you heard about iClassCMS, the best in class website and mobile app solution for schools?

This comprehensive content platform is designed to answer the needs of teachers, students and parents, allowing for the quick and simple creation and distribution of relevant school information.

It consists of a custom built website, publishing platform and an app, and provides schools with an engaging yet easy-to-use responsive website and administrative hub for managing all content.

Teachers can edit and publish content with ease and set up and manage events using the efficient content and event management system.

The unique and empowering student publishing option allows students to publish and share content on the teacher moderated module.

A fully integrated mobile app for parents allows for two-way communication between parents and teachers and keeps parents informed of the latest news and events through dynamic publishing.

iClassCMS features six key components covering all aspects of content management for schools:

  1. A vibrant and user-friendly website
  2. A dedicated publishing module for teachers
  3. A student publishing option, moderated by teachers
  4. A mobile app with messaging and other functions for parents
  5. An event management, registration and payment module for events
  6. An administrative hub for moderating all content and user access

iClassCMS helps schools fully take advantage of the benefits of digital communications, enabling greater efficiency in information management and encouraging stronger relations between teachers, students and parents.

iClassCMS is currently being rolled out in a number of schools and organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.

For further information, please contact us at info@iclasscms.com