Pin-ups, powerpoint and word import, presentation mode, resource designer enhancements: Schoolshape 2.8 released.

New functionality included in the latest upgrade:

Pinups: videos, texts and other media can be pinned to the left side of the screen, making it easier for students to refer back to stimulus material while completing a long exercise.  To pin any item in the resource designer, use the spanner menu in the top right corner of the item.  Students can also pin and unpin material within their own interface.

Powerpoint and Word Import: You can now import powerpoint slides and word documents into Schoolshape resources.  Click the 'Upload' button from your home page or the resource designer.

Quick links for essays, video presentations and audio recordings:  If a student wishes to make a recording or write a passage and hand it in to any teacher, they can now do so via links from their home page.

Resource Designer enhancements:

- Copy any item.  This is really useful if you have a number of multiple choice questions with the same options:  just create the first question, choose 'Copy' from the spanner menu and alter each copy as required.

- Limit the number of times audio can be played back by students: this can be controlled from the spanner menu on audio stimuli.  Very useful for exams and tests!

Presentation mode

When displaying a resource in the library, in addition to 'Student answer view', 'Resource Design View' and 'Teacher marking view', you have a fourth option: 'Presentation View'.  This is useful in conjunction with an electronic whiteboard to go through a resource step by step with your class without showing them all the answers immediately.

Other small improvements

- 'Repeat play' of audio, again accessible by the student from the spanner menu.
- Teachers can now play back student recordings even when work is not yet handed in, and students are offline.
- Add new alternative answers after-the-fact.  If you have set a piece of work with gap-fill questions, and a student has written an answer which is acceptable, but not included in the original set of correct answers, you can click on the 'cross' symbol to change to a tick.  All students who chose this answer will get one point extra.
- More tooltips across the software explaining the functions of everything.  Just hover for an explanation.
- Low latency:  by altering the settings under 'School Subscription', you can remove encryption of live audio and enable low latency calling for the whole school.
- As usual, there are also many improvements in the stability, speed and user-friendliness of the system.