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Getting Your Emails Opened

By Terry Freedman |   Apr 03, 2017

You might think that every parent will open every school email. After all, it’s bound to be something that concerns the welfare of their child. But you’d be wrong. Even if people are completely committed to opening the school’s emails, they may not do so, for a number of reasons.

Taking Steps to Reduce Teacher Workload

By Groupcall |   Mar 23, 2017

Taking Steps to Reduce Teacher Workloads

Earlier this year, Ofsted committed to reducing unnecessary workloads with their involvement in Teacher Workload Review Groups. The groups’ recommendations for school leaders, teachers, the DfE and Ofsted aim to find a balance between what is best for pupils while being manageable for teachers.

This is promising news for teachers, however stress and pressure within the profession continues to increase. The DfE found the average primary school teacher works 55 hours per week, including nearly 19 hours working in the evening and weekends. Secondary teachers work 53 hours on average, with 16 hours spent on work outside of working hours, so when should you push back and how do you find a work-life balance?

The Impact of Government Spending Cuts on Education

By Kieran Layer |   Mar 23, 2017

The impact government has on schools is constantly under a high level of scrutiny by those inside the profession and those with a vested interest, such as parents. In recent years, commentary has been focused on reforms to the curriculum and the mounting workload of teachers, but schools are now facing an even greater challenge to their finances.

Rewarding Good Behaviour and Achievement

By Terry Freedman |   Mar 09, 2017

Now that we’re in a post-levels world, rewarding pupils’ achievement has become easier. Why? Previously, schools were concerned with whether pupils have achieved a level, almost achieved it, achieved it securely, ad nauseum — distinctions which didn’t mean very much in the first place. But now, schools can set their own criteria for determining whether or not pupils have achieved the learning goals set out in the National Curriculum.

How Edtech is Facilitating Flexible Working in Education

By Groupcall |   Mar 03, 2017

Information from a report by London & Partners and EdTech UK has shown that Education Technology is one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the UK. With over 1,000 start-ups across the country, the sector was valued at £45bn in 2015 and is forecast to be worth £129bn by 2020.

Dealing With An Emergency

By Terry Freedman |   Mar 02, 2017

A big problem with dealing with emergencies is that, by definition, we don’t expect them to happen, and we don’t know what they will be. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out in his book The Black Swan, if anyone had predicted 9/11, it wouldn’t have happened, or at least, not in the same way. Airlines would have installed non-opening bullet-proof doors to the cockpit and taken various other measures to make such an assault nigh on impossible.

A busy start to 2015!

By Jocy Levy |   Feb 24, 2015

Wow, can you believe that it's the end of February already?!

Emerge: New Features and Enhancements!

By Nicki Walker |   Apr 26, 2012

We are pleased to let you know that most schools have been updated with the following features & enhancements to the Emerge App!

Ensuring school’s sensitive information is secure is central to the design of Groupcall Emerge & with this upgrade we bring you enhanced security! If the device has not been synchronised for a set number of days (default is 5 days but this can be changed to suit you), all Emerge data will be automatically deleted on the device, even in offline mode. Ensuring that your schools sensitive data is secure at all times.

We have also updated our Staff Module. The 'Teaching Now' capability provides a list of the teachers and the lessons they are currently taking and next of kin details have also been added for staff members.

Attendance taking has also been enhanced to provide a list of all lessons happening right now, in real-time. This helps facilitate, for example, cover staff trying to find the correct class for which to take attendance and any ad-hoc register taking.

We’ve also added multiple addresses for students with more than one address and addresses for student’s contacts. However, these won't appear if they have been marked as 'undisclosed' in the MIS.

To put it simply, this latest Emerge release brings you the following enhancements...

  • Fully iOS5 Compatible
  • Significant performance enhancements! Emerge used to update in 8 seconds now updates in 2!
  • Faster timeouts when checking connections in offline mode
  • Enhanced security checking
  • Greater support for 'older' iOS devices, as far back as the second generation iPod touch
  • Inclusion of an Intelligent Proxy Detection feature; providing improved 'in-app' proxy setting configuration. This is based on detection of a successful connection to the Emerge Service URL
  • Server support for additional messaging platforms including Groupcall's “Messenger Online" and "SchoolComms". This functionality requires an upgrade to the Emerge device and will be available towards the end of April/early May 2012
  • Integrated CMIS and SIMS installer.

We are always striving to bring you the best our Emerge App can bring. Be sure to follow our blog to be the first to hear about future Emerge updates and our next Emerge release coming soon in May!

Emerge for iPad: Is bigger always better?

By Nicki Walker |   Mar 09, 2012

We're not sure the maxim of bigger being better always runs true, but we do know that bigger is always...well bigger! Technological advancements seem always to be focused on making things smaller, so it seems a little odd perhaps that the iPad is often viewed as a bigger iPhone, rather than a smaller Laptop. Of course it shares more in common with the iPhone on first glance than its distant cousin the Laptop, but in reality it's neither a big iPhone nor a small laptop; it really is a whole new genre all of its own.

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