We are thrilled to announce that the Technology Innovator Awards have kindly awarded us (Netmedia Ltd) and our Parents’ Evening Booking System two prestigious titles for 2015, following this year’s awards process: Best Bespoke Digital Solutions Provider for SMEs and Most Innovative Education Website Solution, “Parents’ Evening Booking System” These awards are gratefully received as we enter a new academic year with our customers. We are looking forward to schools using our latest product innovations and we hope to demonstrate our award winning credentials with another very successful year for our customers and through further development this academic year.
An exciting and game-changing software development has been turned ‘on’ today. We call it the Automated Booking Wizard. And we’re excited to bring it to you. As customers will know from our communications prior to the holidays, we have been working hard on this latest innovation for some time. We’re very pleased to announce this innovative booking option for parents which moves the concept of online booking forwards and further into the twenty-first century.
Parents will now be able to make their appointments in one click (without having to make them one teacher at a time, although this option will still exist for those who prefer it). Those parents with a number of children, or those parents who are late to book and who find availability difficult to come by, need only click the ‘Make My Bookings For Me’ button to be send the most efficient route around their appointments in one click. Anyone who has spoken to us, either when signing up, enquiring, through our support team or just as part of a general chat, will know that our ambitions for this, our flagship product, are boundless.
The Automated Booking Wizard is simply an example of the ways in which we’re continuing to innovate and broaden the scope of online booking when it comes to parents’ evenings. We will look to our customers and their feedback, their suggestions for further improvements and we look forward to you seeing our future developments once they’re a little further along the development process.
You can read a little more and watch a video about the Automated Booking Wizard here: https://parents-booking.com/functionality/automated-booking-wizard/
The latest release of the Parents’ Evening Booking System includes the following fixes and updates:
1. A new page has been added to the Teachers main menu page, this allows you to see all the teaching departments that have been uploaded. From here you can edit the department names and this will adjust the department name for all teachers within that department. This page will be further developed to offer new features such as Department Prioritising and Co-Teacher management.
2. The Register Class field on both the Create/Edit Parents’ Evening and Children in Evening pages has been updated. This field will now offer autofil suggestions so as you enter register classes you can click on the correct autofil suggestion and this will be entered into the Register Class field. There is also a new ‘Whole School’ option which will add all register classes that have been uploaded to the Register Class field. This should hopefully make the creation process of parents’ evenings easier and also reduce on any spelling mistakes for register classes. This is a massive update for the system and something I have wanted to do for quite a while now :).
3. We have added some text to the Parent Booking Table to try and make the booking process clearer. The system now displays how many teachers are available to book in each department and how many teachers have been booked so far. The system will also add a green tick next to all booked teachers and fully booked departments.
4. New text strings on the Parent Booking Table page can now be updated on the Set Up School > Preferences > Parent Booking Table page.
5. Manually added students were appearing at the bottom of the class lists. This has now been sorted to list all the students alphabetically.
6. The Staff – Manage Your Appointments page now shows expired parents’ evenings as well as the forthcoming parents’ evenings. There was also a timeout issue caused by the large data in old parents’ evenings, this has been fixed now as well.
7. Integration with RM’s Unify app store is almost complete as well, we will be very excited to announce this launch next month.
Director of Product Development
It’s a double-edged sword, but as our software becomes ever-more advanced and intelligent, handing all sorts of new data and school needs, the technology and information that it can import can both become more complicated in turn.
While we are committed to making it as easy as possible to export and upload your school data, either through a 1-click import or via a Report Generator, we sometimes find that schools want to perform clever tricks on their spreadsheet of data, or format/edit their spreadsheet of data in clever way. Recently we’ve been making a list of all the common (and unusual) ‘data help’ queries. We decided to put our Excel expert to task, filming videos of how to perform all sorts of simple and/or complicated tasks. The idea is that any Excel spreadsheet data issues schools have will have a solution in our video vault. We hope that that you will be able to find the solution you want for any future problem you may have in our vault of ‘Data Help Videos’. The link for this is below, but can also be found in pride of place on the Admin’s “Upload Data” page.
Last week we visited Lasswade High School to film recommendations from the staff and parents about how the new online booking process for the parents’ evenings has been. All at Lasswade High School were delighted with the impact the software has had and all the changes that it has brought to the process. Parents are delighted to be able to book online, school office staff have found the system much easier to use, teachers much prefer parents’ evenings this way and headmaster Alan Williamson describes in detail it’s great impact.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Lasswade High School who took the time to organise our visit or who gave their time to speak to us. We’re very grateful and of course glad that the new process, using our system is going really well. This video is available on Vimeo, or can be viewed by clicking play below:
After an enormous amount of hard work, the development team tonight launched the much-anticipated new version of the Parents’ Evening Booking System. This version is comprehensive in its changes. Not only has the design been given a major overhaul, but functionality is significantly extended, bugs are fixed and new tools and gadgets have been added. We are proud to announce that we have added further integrations, allowing us to service even more schools and colleges, while also breathing new life into the help files and video tutorials.
This update has been the brainchild of our customers as much as our own team and it would not have been possible without the input of all those who continue to help drive the product forward. From the major functionality changes or additions, every single item was a school suggestion. Of course, we have put our own twist on these and we’ve built everything with one eye on what current customers need and another on what we think they should have. We develop this way to stay ahead of the curve because we are true innovators and online parents’ evenings are our passion. We want to revolutionise how parents’ evenings are run in the UK, as customers will tell you.
Current customers, and all the e-mail addresses which we have for the colleagues at their schools, have been sent an e-mail tonight detailing all changes and what action to take in order to benefit fully from the changes. A number of schools will be required to download new Report Generators before running their next data update. Other schools will need to delete their data one last time before uploading new data. This will allow these schools to take advantage of our new parents and student linking system which, we hope, will be full-proof. The e-mail also details the many changes which we have made, allowing customers to click through to private pages on this website which will let them read more about the new or changed features.
We all hope that our exciting new update is a fantastic addition for customers. We hope that all of our customers and their parents enjoy the changes and we hope that this helps us take a strong step towards being the UK’s solution to parents’ evenings.
We are delighted to announce that the EdTech Digest has nominated us as a finalist in its Awards for 2014. The distinguished awards program’s modus operandi is to recognise and award outstanding solutions—and, as they say, the best and brightest minds—in education and technology. We have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Cool Tool award which recognises new, emerging and established technology solutions for education. It’s fantastic to have been shortlisted and simply for being considered along with a series of other fantastic education solutions. A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at http://www.edtechdigest.com and the winners will be announced on March.
About EdTech Digest EdTech Digest is a leading source of cool tools, in-depth interviews and notable trends in the education and technology space. Featuring movers and shakers in and around education dedicated to making a difference for our future generations, read it online at http://www.edtechdigest.com.
For more information about EdTech Digest, please visit http://www.edtechdigest.com.
We’ve added a new feature which allows school to activate a ‘Donate to Children in Need’ button. This button will appear on the parents’ booking page, for when they are making their parents’ evening appointments. Schools need only log into their Administration Area and activate the feature on the ‘Set Up School’ page. The photograph below will demonstrate how the non-intrusive donation link appears. We hope that our many customers will be able to take advantage of this and help us in raising funds for the wonderful Children in Need campaign.
We’ve very excited to be able to launch this and we hope that we can help parents and schools contribute to the fundraising drive.
You can follow Children in Need on Twitter:
We’re wielding the axe over the current version of the software and bringing in a whole host of new exciting changes, include a new user interface (a teaser of which is pictured above). All of this starts with a major update on July 1st and we hope to have completed all of the major changes by 1st September. Customers were sent detailed information last week on the changes, and if you’ve missed on on this info, please simply contact us for more information.
All schools will also be sent instructions on how to deal with any changes nearer to the time. Among the first of the changes are new features, a new user interface and a number of bug fixes. By the end of the summer holidays we plan to add a number of exciting new features which have been specifically requested by schools. We’re not going to go into too much detail here. Partly because we don’t want to spoil the surprise. If you’re interested in hearing more, contact us.
All of the team at our office would like to take this opportunity to wish a warm welcome back to our current customers. We all hope they all had a fantastic break and new year. The new year brings with it a new term and more parents’ evenings. We have been simply blown away by how busy we have been. On almost every day we’re breaking the record visitor numbers in terms of parents and school users. Similarly, we’re being flooded with new enquiries. Suffice to say, we’re very excited to kick off 2014 and it’s great that lots of more schools will all be experiencing Perfect Parents’ Evenings for the first time.
Any current customers who recommend us to other schools will receive £50 off their annual bill for each school they recommend, if the new customer buys. We’re finding that more and more, recommendations are becoming our most frequent enquiry type, and we thank all of our customers for that too. Here’s to a fantastic year together!