Supporting schools in achieving greater levels of engagement with their entire communities – parents, partners and other stakeholders – will always be a key aim of ours, in terms of our solutions and our broader strategic aims.
With this in mind, we’re continuing to refine and develop our engagement offering for schools, something that you can find out more about by reading this blog from our Head of Engagement Products, Abdul Ghafoor.
In his post, Abdul outlined the future of our engagement solution, which centres on providing a single platform for schools and parents that includes online payments, communications and managing events or activities.
Part of this solution includes our re-developed SIMS Homework module, something that we’re really excited about due to its potential for improving teacher workloads and supporting pupil outcomes.
Digital delivery for teachers
The re-developed Homework solution will eventually bring a whole range of new functionality designed to make life easier for teachers, pupils and parents, so we’re developing it in a phased approach.
Phase 1, which is currently in pilot with a number of schools, introduces some much-requested features around the sharing of resources digitally.
Our research has shown almost universally that teachers would benefit from being able to streamline the process of providing their pupils with resources such as reading materials, task guidelines or further assignments.
Essentially, we’ve created a way for teachers to deliver their homework tasks to pupils with digital attachments to ensure that learners are on the right track from the very beginning.
Cutting down lost materials and wasted resources
In the past, homework tasks might be handed out to a class with additional resources added in physical form, which could often result in excessive amounts of printing to support the assignment itself.
Factor in the number of items which then get lost between home and school, and all of a sudden you have a potentially significant amount of wasted materials.
By providing teachers with the ability to digitally add attachments to homework tasks, you effectively eliminate this potential break in the chain, helping to ensure that pupils have everything they need to support independent learning.
Designed to suit your busy schedule
We understand that teaching is about as far removed from the normal 9-5 as possible, with teachers taking on more and more responsibility and increasingly blurring the lines between work and home life.
Many of the teachers we speak to on a regular basis assign time at home to complete their essential tasks and one of the recurring themes we’ve found has been assigning homework tasks at home.
With this in mind, functionality in SIMS Homework allows teachers that level of flexibility, meaning that they can access their set assignments anywhere via the Cloud, attach the resources they need to deliver and then distribute to their classes.
Future phases: closing the submission and feedback loop
We’re excited by the direction of travel we’re creating for SIMS Homework and our entire engagement solution. Bearing in mind that the latest functionality is only phase 1, we hope to continue receiving feedback from schools and refining our offering.
One area we are particularly keen to develop is the ability for pupils to submit their completed homework tasks and then receive feedback, all via a single digital platform. By continuing to develop our own solutions and work in partnership with other providers, we believe we can create an extremely powerful and versatile solution that can benefit all schools.
This type of functionality has the potential to offer great benefits to all involved, with pupils and teachers working within an intuitive feedback environment, while parents can be more engaged in their children’s homework tasks and performance thanks to being able to check-in via their own platform.
In addition, we might just be able to eliminate the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse for uncompleted tasks – although perhaps internet routers and home networks might get hungry too!
One platform for all engagement activities
The new SIMS Homework module exists as a feature set within the existing SIMS Parent app platform, meaning that schools can enjoy easy administration from the same portal.
This also demonstrates our intentions for the future of the SIMS Parent app, sitting at the centre of a single engagement solution that brings together your entire school community.
Providing parents and pupils with an always-on, available-anywhere platform that allows them to engage with schools however and whenever they choose is right at the heart of our vision and something that we’re looking forward to making a reality.
The new features of SIMS Homework will go live from 1st December 2018. You can find out more about the SIMS vision and strategy for engagement by reading the blog from Abdul Ghafoor, our Head of Engagement Products.
Learn more about the SIMS vision for engagement
Access the full webinar explaining the SIMS vision for engagement or take a look at our existing solutions.