Lesson Plans by Month & Copy Lessons from Archive (Private Beta)

We’ve been building out from our Lesson Plans by Subject and Lesson Plan Dates updates and have some cool new views to share. These work with the Lesson Plans by Subject feature and allow teachers to view a long-term calendar of lessons as well as copy them forward from the school archive of past terms’ lessons. Here’s a quick look at the setup.

The Lesson Plans by Month view works a lot like the the Lesson Plans by Subject view, and even the Gradebook. Simply select a subject that you’re teaching and the lesson plans you have setup for the current term view will appear on their lesson date. Also, you can mouse over a day, click the “Add Daily Lesson” button to add a new lesson for that day.

by Month

You can drag and drop the lesson around to a different day, and right click to edit the lesson:

Edit Lesson

In addition, one of the coolest features of the by Month view is that “Copy Lessons” button at the top. It directs you to a wizard that helps you migrate past terms’ lessons forward so as to view and update lessons for a new term. From the wizard, you can select which term and subject you’d like copy forward from the archive.Read More »

Lesson Plan by Subject (Private Beta)

We’re testing a new version of the Lesson Plans that can now be specific to subjects. In the existing QuickSchools module, you can create a Lesson Plan Set. This set is applicable to multiple subjects across different semesters. However, with the introduction of Lesson Plan Dates, we decided to directly link Lesson Plans to each subject/section within a specific academic term.
This new Lesson Plan module will operate similarly to the Gradebook and Homework modules. Just select the subject you’re teaching, and you can promptly add/edit lessons for that subject.

Lesson Plans by Subject
Lesson Plans by Subject

Here are some differences for comparison:

Current: Lesson Plan Sets (Shared and Re-Usable)Private Beta: Lesson Plans by Subject (Archived and Re-Created)
You have to create a Lesson Plan Set first, and then apply it to a subject. You can re-apply the same lesson plan set to multiple subjects across different academic terms.You simply select a subject, and the Lesson Plan Set is already created. When you select a different subject, you get a different Lesson Plan Set.
When you move to a new academic term/year, you can re-use the same Lesson Plan Set, and apply it to the new subject.When you move to a new academic term/year, the old Lesson Plans are automatically archived, and you get a new (empty) Lesson Plan Set for the new term (similar to getting a new Gradebook for every term).
Lesson Plans can be shared with parents/students (just like Gradebook and Homework can be shared with parents and students) – COMING SOONEnable the sharing of Lesson Plans with parents and students, similar to how Gradebook and Homework can be shared. – COMING SOON

These are some pretty significant differences, in terms of how the modules behave. Because this feature is in private beta, we are actively seeking ways to enhance the management of new lesson plans. You should still be able to easily copy lesson plans from previous terms into the new term. For instance, while you start each term with a new/empty lesson plan set, you can still use some previously created lesson plans. However, changing the lesson plans for the current term will not impact lesson plans archived in previous terms.

If you’re eager to test out this new version (currently in Private Beta), please contact our technical support.

Hidden Features and Private Beta

As a company that works tirelessly to provide a system that is simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use, it’s often difficult to introduce new features, without making it more complicated for the majority of our customers. For us at QuickSchools, it’s less about simply providing a feature, and more about providing a feature that simply works.

With that in mind, we have several features that are intentionally hidden, either because (1) they are in private beta (and thus requires more testing before it goes out for public release), (2) they are designed for a specific target market, or (3) they are too complicated to enable without the help of our technical support personnel.

One such example is our Reporting feature. We only recently introduced our new Report Creator app, which was in private beta for several months. Before that, we had (and still have) an internal report designer that is very complicated to use but also much more flexible for those more complex reports. The aim is to provide a capability (in this case reporting) that simply works for the majority of our customers, but still have something more flexible for those that need that flexibility.

Admissions Graph on Report Creator
Admissions Graph on Report Creator
Read More »

Integration to Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are a very different beast compared to Student Information Systems (SIS), which is what QuickSchools provides as an online service. Student Information Systems (also known as School Management Systems or School Administration Systems) focus on record keeping, and the administrative aspects of running a school (track student demographics, attendance, grades, fees, transcripts, etc). Learning Management Systems on the other hand focus on the delivery of content (or lessons) to students, and is primarily used by teachers.

There is a big overlap between the 2 systems though. School Management Systems are known to provide some level of LMS functionality, such as portals for students and parents to download homework assignments. Learning Management Systems too have been known to produce report cards, which has mainly been in the realm of SISs. But it’s really hard for any vendor or company to provide focus in both areas, as they are primarily different markets with different needs.

The large overlap between the two types of systems suggests that integration would allow schools to tap into the best of both worlds – so teachers can use an LMS to share lessons and record grades, while administrators can use an SIS to produce report cards and transcripts.

We announced last year that we now support integration with Schoology, which is an awesome Learning Management System in the market today. But Schoology is not the only LMS out there, and it does focus only on K-12 schools. And so, we’ve decided to introduce more apps in this area.

In the coming months, we’ll be providing integration to the following LMSs:Read More »

Tag Students

We have a new feature under development, currently available upon request in Private Beta. On the student record in QuickSchools, you can now tag students, and those tags will appear on the main Students listing. You can also search for students based on those tags:

Student Listing with searchable studdent tags
Student Listing with Searchable Tags

This is particularly useful to inform users about important information regarding the student, like Peanut Allergies, Suspensions, and so on. Once the Tagging feature is enabled, you can set tags for the student under the Student record.

Read More »