Private and shared student groups


You can now create your own groups to organize your students without affecting your colleagues.  From now on, any groups you create will be visible only to you by default.  If you wish to share the group with colleagues, you can tick the &;Shared&; option in the top right of the &;Students&; screen.

Groups created by administrators are shared by default.

Better resource management

You can now drag and drop resources in your library to sort them into different categories.  Drag a resource over a category like &;Grammar&;, which then reveals individual categories such as &;ER Verbs&; into which you can drop your resources.  We also know many of you want to create your own categories for filing your resources, and this is coming very soon! 

And one more thing...

Sometimes new students join your class, and you&;d like to be able to set past work for them to catch up.  Anywhere a blank appears in the markbook, you can now click on it to set work for that student, filling it in.

Schoolshape downtime announcement

On 23 Oct 2012 Schoolshape was unavailable between 7:30pm and 11pm.  This was due to an outage at the Amazon hosting service which also affected many other Internet services such as Foursquare, Reddit and AirBnB.  Please see the NY Times story below:

We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers.  We are now looking into ways to reduce our reliance on a single service provider.


Flexible tasks and faster synchronization

New in Schoolshape 2.10:

Setting work for students is now much more flexible.  You can set:
- work for a small number of students, without having to create a new group
- the same task for multiple groups
- several pieces of work at once

You can also add or remove students from a task after it has already been started.

To set work for individual students without having to create groups:
First, create a resource or select one from the library, and click &;Set Work&;
Then, click on the students&; names.  Click OK to finish.

To set more than one piece of work at once:
Ctrl-click (on MacOS computers, Cmd-click) the relevant resources in the library, and then click &;Set work&;

To add a student to an ongoing task:
First, click on the task from your home screen or the task list
Then click &;Edit Task&;, then &;Students&;
Click on any student to add them to (or remove them from) the task, and click &;OK&; to finish.

Other updates include reducing the delay between teachers and students while supervising and controlling screens, improving the teacher&;s home screen display and the ability to convert pictures into picture labeling exercises.

Interactive help, teacher instruction areas, intelligent word and HTML import

Schoolshape 2.9 released:

Interactive Help

The first of a series of interactive guides to the software has been released, which shows teachers how to use Schoolshape to find educational resources, set them for homework and assess the results.  To start the guide, use the &;Help&; button on your home screen.

Teacher Instruction Areas

When you are creating resources, you can now include instructions to the teacher, which are not shown to students.  If you are creating resources for your own use, the teacher instruction areas are also useful for making notes for yourself.  To add a teacher instruction area, when creating a resource, drag the &;Teacher Instruction Area&; button anywhere onto the canvas.

Intelligent Word & HTML import

You can now import word files into Schoolshape, including multiple choice and gap fill questions.  As long as gap fill answers are labelled &;A&;, &;B&;, &;C&;, etc, and the gaps in the gap fills are inserted using underscores ( __ ), Schoolshape will automatically find these and convert them into automatically marked interactive exercises!  Of course, once imported, you can continue to edit and improve the resources by adding speaking exercises for example.

Powerpoint import has been further improved - once you have imported all slides from the powerpoint document, you can delete individual slides, convert them into exercises and edit the text within the slides.  These functions are available from the &;Spanner&; drop-down menu on each imported slide.

Latency Improvement Option

If you do a lot of pair speaking work and you find there is a slight lag when your school internet is busy, there is now a low latency option to help matters.  Go to Admin -> Subscription, click &;Edit&;, then switch the media streaming option from &;Encrypt Streaming Media&; to &;Minimize streaming media latency&;.  This should solve any &;lag&; issues.  Please be aware that changing this option makes it theoretically possible for a third party to listen in on student conversations, and that we cannot take any responsibility for the consequences.  To put things in perspective, the same applies when you make a normal telephone call.