For many years, schools have worked together in 'Clusters' - groups of geographically aligned schools, working together to achieve strategic and tactical objectives.
And as more schools in the UK move toward a direct financing model, resulting from conversion to Academy (and other) status, many will need to start being smarter in how they collaborate and share key information and resources, to get best benefit from everthing they have and know.
Tapiochre now offer EduKeep, which provides 'cluster' or group websites to schools to help staff in those schools to share ideas, discussions and documents, calendars and general resources with each other in a timely and secure manner.
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We only use 'familiar technology', so it's easy to use
Rather than re-invent the wheel, Tapiochre use Open Source web technology and applications in the form of Joomla! which allows us to keep the build cost at ZERO and the support/subscription fees at a low figure per year per school. Using Joomla! means every EduKeep site will be quick and simple to update and will use the same technology as virtually all web sites that Tapiochre have built for schools to date. It also means that staff can benefit from the use of free apps that run on both Apple and Android devices so they can work with their EduKeep site while away from the school setting by using there smart device or tablet.
What can EduKeep Offer
In general, all education content will be found behind a secure login (hence the name EduKeep), but it doesn’t have to be. Schools can elect to have parts or all of their cluster data publically accessible with no need for a username or password. Most schools however are predicted to want to make those documents and datasets secure and so one login per school is provided. The EduKeep platform model will hold the following useful and easy to access areas:
so anytime there is a need to send an email to the team members, it can be sent to one account and EduKeep will automatically forward it to the team (using school or private email addresses).
EduKeep Key Features and Benefits
Main benefits of EduKeep for teaching staff
|School Group Event Calendar||Save time by sharing event information in once place rather than emailing dates and location information|
|School Group Event Registration||Time and efficiency savings can be made with EduKeep as staff can now see who is planning to attend and how many 'slots' are available so events can be held at the most suitable venue based on headcount and room space.|
|Blogs||Will foster better relationships between dispersed members of staff in a group environment. Audio and video may be embedded into the blog to allow for simplification of more complex topics.|
|Technology How-To Guides||
EduKeep is a time saver for staff who have little opportunity to learn first hand how to apply new technology in a classroom setting - they can now access online guides (documents and or video) to help speed up the learning process.
|Discussion Forums||Teachers and managers can make physical meetings more efficient when ideas and questions are handled in advance of those meetings and the fear of asking the 'silly' question is easily overcome.|
|Forum Moderation||Sensitive questions and responses can be taken offline to be discussed in more appropriate face go face environments. They are not published.|
|Unlimited Forum Topics||There are no restrictions on space for schools with EduKeep so groups can discuss as much as needed to reach their objectives.|
|Staff Resource Libraries||Efficiency and productivity increases can arise when 'everything you need' is in one easy to reach location, no matter where you are.|
|Categorisation of Files and Folders||This is all about simplicity and security. Not only will this feature make it easy to understand 'where' a document is on the system, it also allows schools to make specific categories only accessible to specific groups of users|
|Storage of Templates||Efficiency can be improved when a standard set of templates exist for the group of schools to add to or use. Tapiochre plan to create boilerplate documents for general use on all systems so you don't have to spend your valuable time doing it yourself.|
|Office Libraries||View MS Office documents from within the website (uses Google Docs Viewer) saving time and effort if all you need is to share a document or presentation with colleagues.|
|Shared Weblinks||Get access quickly to the best website resources to support teaching and learning, all within a single point of reference. Adding new links is a snip and the whole group can benefit immediately.|
|Online Contact List||Save time tracking down the mobile number of a key group member; the details of each person in the team can be shown securely on EduKeep, so it never goes public.|
|Open up EduKeep for Pupils||Enhance Extended Learning by making parts of your EduKeep site more 'open' (no login), offering a centralised resource bank for pupils and students. EduKeep can become an information portal to aid home learning and research.|
As schools evolve to become independent of Local Authority controls, we expect there will be a growing bond between schools, so they can be mutually supportive in many different ways.