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Upcoming Event: iClass at Microsoft Breakout

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 at Microsoft Breakout

We are pleased to announced iClass will be exhibiting at the  Microsoft Breakout event at Thomand Park, Limerick, on Wednesday 7th of November.

Microsoft Breakout is a free event designed to show teachers how technology can be successfully used in the classroom for teaching and learning.

The event takes place at Thomand Park on Cratloe Road, Co. Limerick, from 8.30am – 13.00pm on Wednesday, 7th of November.

A range of experienced speakers will be on hand to discuss the latest classroom technology tools such as Class Notebook and Office365 on iPad and how they can be used to improve the teaching and learning experience for both teachers and students.

Refreshments and lunch will be served during the day and all attendees can avail of a complimentary tour around the Thormond Park Museum.

Visit the iClassCMS exhibitor stall at Microsoft Breakout to learn about iClass, the number one website and mobile app solution for schools.

With a best in class website that engages students and parents, and a fully integrated mobile app that enables schools and parents to communicate for free, iClass makes content management a quick a simple task.

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.

Reminder: iClass at NAPD Conference 2018

iClassCMS will be at this year’s National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals Conference 2018 at the Galmont Hotel & Spa, on Lough Atalia Road, Galway.

Taking place on Thursday, 18th, and Friday, 19th of October, the NAPD Conference 2018 is the biggest annual event for second level school leaders.

This year’s NAPD Conference features a range of workshops that offer advice and inspiration on how to approach the challenges second level schools face today, plus an excellent lineup of speakers discussing the biggest teaching issues and developments in Ireland and around the world.

iClass is launching a new partnership with NAPD during the conference, so make sure to visit the iClassCMS exhibition stall to learn more about our work with NAPD.

We’ll also have an exclusive offer available for NAPD Conference 2018 attendees and info about the iClassCMS platform and how it can benefit your school.

For more about the NAPD Conference 2018 including how to register, please visit napdconference.com.

For details about iClassCMS and how to avail of a free website review, click here.

5 Tips For Keeping School Websites Safe

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.

GDPR And Your School

Boost School SEO

When the General Data Protection Regulation launched on May 25th of this year, many school’s were unsure of how the new rules would impact their websites.

One of the biggest changes of the new framework was the need for consent when it comes to collecting and publishing sensitive data.

Sensitive data in this case refers to the data of all students, staff and parents, and as a result it’s essential that your school website both explains how personal data is processed and asks for permission to store such data.

It’s vital that consent is given clearly and explicitly before any personal data is processed, and parental consent must be given for the school to process the data of any child under the age of 18.

Failure to follow the rules as set out in the General Data Protection Regulation can result in large fines so it’s essential that everyone who has access to the website back end understands the new laws.

iClassCMS school websites are GDPR compliant and in line with all current data laws.

For more information, please get in touch with us today.

Is Your School’s Website Responsive?

Responsive design is essential for any website that wants to succeed in this day and age, including school and education websites.

Responsive design offers a number of practical benefits in regards to generating website views and lowering website maintenance costs, and should be used by all schools regardless of their size or education level.

1. Mobile Users

The biggest benefit of responsive websites is the increase in mobile traffic you’ll receive.

Most people use a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to search and shop on the Internet, and responsive design ensures they’ll be able to view your school’s website as intended without any errors or issues.

2. Lower Costs

As responsive websites provide an optimal layout for both mobile devices and computers, you’ll save money on maintenance costs.

Traditionally, website owners paid separate maintenance fees for the desktop and mobile versions of their site, but with responsive design you pay a single fee and save money.

3. Faster Loading

Responsive school websites also load faster than traditional sites, so you won’t have to worry about parents leaving before a webpage loads.

Longer loading times also mean more time spent navigating webpages and less time spent reading the information they contain, which can have a negative effect on the user’s perspective of your website.

 

The above are just a few of the great benefits responsive design you can enjoy with the iClassCMS platform.

For more information, or to organise a free website review, please get in touch with us today.

Take Advantage of Everything School Videos Have to Offer

As schools become more accustomed to the latest technologies, we’re seeing an increase in the use of school videos.

While recording a video was once a costly expense that most schools simply could not afford, thanks to smartphones and the popularity of video editing software it’s never been easier (or cheap!) to record a bespoke video for your school.

Some schools use video to promote their curriculum, giving prospective parents a glimpse at how their children will learn, in addition to the various extra-curricular activities students can participate with, such as sports, drama and music.

It’s a quick and easy way to draw interest in your school and keep attendance at a high, as most people use the Internet to research about local schools in the area and video offers a handy way for communicating large amounts of information in a condensed form.

They help your school stand out from the crowd and give the impression your school is a modern institution that understands the importance of staying abreast of the latest technologies.

School videos are also ideal for keeping parents of current students up to date with all the latest news and events, from sports days to school trips and everything in between.

School videos are a great and inexpensive way to promote your school and keep parents up to date with everything that’s going on, but it’s essential to ensure your school’s website is capable of publishing videos.

iClassCMS offers a simple solution for publishing school videos and a handy platform that keeps all your school videos in the one place so you can quickly access them whenever you need to.

For more information, please get in touch with us using the contact form.

Is Your School’s Website Making a Mark?

In today’s technology-focused world, school websites need to perform a number of functions to ensure they are drawing as much interest from the parents of prospective students.

There are a number of elements of a good school website, such as a clear and informative design, a simple to follow layout and intuitive user interface, a catalogue of school related content and of course basic details about the school and what it offers.

Your school’s website should also contain easy to access links to any social media platforms the school uses to stay in touch with parents, such as Facebook and Twitter, and it’s advisable that the website is optimised for mobile devices so parents can quickly find important info about the school whenever they need it.

iClassCMS websites are designed with practicality in mind and provide schools with an engaging platform and an integrated mobile app allows for free and instant messaging, saving the school money on parent-teacher communications.

If you’re concerned your school website is not ticking all the boxes then you should consider availing of our completely free school website review, which gives you feedback on everything you need to know from GDPR compliance, to usability, design and functionality.

To sign up for a free website review please visit the Review page and enter your details into the form, including your name, email and school website.
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Analytics for Education

Education Analytics

Education Analytics

In recent years, the idea of big data analysis and analytics has taken the tech and business worlds by storm. Every action that we take online leaves a digital trail. There’s an increasing emphasis on software that can analyze this large volume of data. Because this analysis is so vast, it can reveal fascinating trends and patterns in consumer behavior.

Learning analytics is the synthesis of user (learner) created data to discover correlations and predict on future outcomes.

George Siemens presents a holistic model for learning analytics that incorporates not only student class performance data, but also elements from all areas of a student’s online life. Predictions based on analytics would lead to adaptation, personalization, and intervention in learning.

This process helps educators and administrators as well. Recorded student interactions in the VLE (virtual learning environment) can be used to help create more dynamic curriculum design. There is potential for the learning experience to be optimized for each student. The impact of any updates or changes can be easily tracked.

Education AnalyticsWhy Learn Analytics?

Learning analytics is scalable – teachers can implement the basic principles as a way for individual students to reflect on their growth and success. An example of this would be to create a table with all class assignments. For each assignment, students can record where they completed it as well as their level of understanding. This also would include the grade they received on the assignment. Learners will be able to identify their optimal environment to complete assignments and predict how well they will do on an assignment based on various factors.

Learning analytics and educational data mining are powerful tools for improving learner performance, but they come with some ethical debates. Can students’ privacy be preserved? Additionally, would a prediction of success or failure during a course help or hinder students learning?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Don’t Be Invisible: Hacks to Boost your School’s SEO

Boost School SEO

Boost School SEO

In the era of 21st century learning, it’s important for schools to maintain a strong online presence. Having a strong SEO (search engine optimization) can help your school appear first in an online search. The first step is to create a top of the line website to engage students and parents, but it doesn’t stop there. Optimizing your site’s appearance in search engines will ensure that prospective families can find you. Here are 4 easy things you can do to make sure your school gets seen online!

  1. Content

    1. Make sure content includes keywords
    2. If you’re working in html, put page titles in heading 1 format that includes keywords
  1. Caption action

    1. Do you have videos on your site? Provide a transcript, as this will increase the number of keywords that the website contains. This can also be done with images. Make sure you post a caption with each picture. Search engines can’t interpret visual content (yet!) but they can certainly read text.

 

Boost School SEO

  1. Promote low-engagement content

    1. If a page or article is not getting as many clicks, post on soc
      ial media about it. This is a free way to harness your community to drive traffic to your site, improving its SEO.
  1. Make it mobile.

    1. Make sure your website is responsive to different screen sizes and can be accessible by smartphone.

With the implementation of these strategies, your school’s search engine ranking will improve! Still sound overwhelming? iClass provides a fully integrated website and mobile app solution with SEO included.