NEW EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit - to help you create & share activities / resources with learners, parents & carers

Hi

We hope you, your families and everyone at the school is safe and well under the current circumstances. 

We've been inspired by the resourcefulness and resilience of schools and how everyone has been adapting to this new and incredibly challenging way of working. 

At Evidence for Learning, our team has been working around the clock to match your own efforts and rise to the common challenge we're all facing at this time!

In case you missed any of the recent Covid-19 update emails that we've sent out, we've created a new dedicated area in our Online Resource Centre labelled 'Coronavirus - COVID-19", that contains lots of guidance and ideas that we've collected from various schools around the country on how you might make use of EfL to support remote provision and learning, as well as news about some of the recent product updates:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/category/261-coronavirus---covid-19

As you might expect, we've seen a phenomenal increase in usage of the parent engagement / empowerment tools and features within EfL.

In order to help everyone adjust to the necessary new ways of working brought on by the government's response to the virus, we've been diverting some of our development resources to building new tools and changing/enhancing some existing tools in EfL. 

The PDF documentation and resource sharing tool (released a couple of weeks ago) was the first output of this effort and we're delighted to announce the release of the next set of tools and features to help you.... it's called The EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit (see below)

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*** NEW PRODUCT & FEATURES ***

THE EfL ACTIVITY CHANNEL & ACTIVITY KIT

The NEW EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit lets any teacher (or authorised member of staff) at your school create rich video-based Activities containing written & visual instructions, web links and downloadable resources that can be shared with learners and their families/carers via a brand new EfL Activity Channel within the EfL Parent Portal. 

Parents/carers (and learners) can access their Activities via the Activity Channel once logged into the Parent Portal and they can easily search for Activities based on relevant themes and aspects. They can also easily differentiate between general Activities and those that might have been personalised for their child. 

Each learner has their own personalised Activity Channel containing the Activities that have been shared with them - these can be both general resources (for anyone in the school), as well as personalised Activities that only that learner and family/carers can see.

* Crucially, the EfL Activity Channel is YOUR school's private and secure online channel containing Activities that can be (if desired) easily and quickly personalised for EACH learner and their family/carers.

Creating Activities is quick, easy and very similar to creating Evidence... virtually the same process but with added features and capabilities. 

Activities can consist of:

- Activity Description (which parents can search)

- Up to 3 videos/photos e.g. modelling activity for parents/carers (*** Each of these videos can be up to 2-2.5 mins in length) 

- Written instructions and notes about the Activity

- Web-links (links to websites that support or form part of the activity resource - e.g. YouTube, etc...)

- PDF resources (e.g. worksheets, cutouts, etc..) that can be downloaded and printed by families/carers 

You can also TAG your Activities using the school's Tags.

Once created, Activities can be shared (at any time) with individual learners, groups/classes or the whole school via the EfL Activity Channel in the Parent Portal. You can make Activities at any time, in advance of releasing them to learners and families/carers.

Activities can be easily duplicated and adapted/personalised (if necessary) for individual learners or groups.

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EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit in action - real example from a school

Below is a link to a short video produced (today) by Martin McKenna (Deputy Headteacher at Palmerston School, Liverpool) showing how their school has already started using the EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit. It shows how easily an activity can be created (and personalised if need be) and then shared with parents/carers. It also shows how parents/carers can access their own Activity Channel and search for and use Activities before collecting evidence to send back to school.

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/article/295-eflactivitychannelandactivitykitinaction

We'd like to thank Martin and the Palmerston team for making the time to create and share this video resource with other schools.

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** Coming shortly... THE EfL ACTIVITY LIBRARY

We've also designed and built these tools, so that schools will be able to share Activities with each other! So shortly you'll be able to create, swap and adapt activities with other schools before sharing with families/carers. This will hopefully help teachers save on workload time and effort and share best practice, while still allowing the necessary adaptation and personalisation of activities where appropriate.

The Activity Library should also give us all the opportunity to benefit from the shared expertise and experience that exists within the community of nearly 400 SEND schools, colleges and settings that are now using Evidence for Learning.

We hope to have the library available in the next 2-3 weeks and will keep you posted. 

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FREE UPGRADE FOR EXISTING EfL CUSTOMERS / GUIDANCE & GETTING STARTED

We've made the EfL Activity Channel & Activity Kit available as a free upgrade for you and all existing EfL customers and you will not require an update to the app. Your teachers can access and use it via any browser on any device - computer, iPad or tablet. (NB. This may end up being an optional add-on for future EfL customers)

** The Activity Channel & Activity Kit is "live" and available for you and your colleagues to use right away, and in the online resource centre you can find full details about how it works, as well as a step-by-step guide (with screenshots) showing you how to use it. Here's a quick link to the list of articles we've created on how it works and how to use it:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/category/296-the-efl-activity-channel-activity-kit

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Hopefully you and your families/carers will find this new facility and resource useful. We've had input into its design from a number of schools that have been using evidence to share resources and activities with families since children first started being withdrawn from school - consequently we've been able to pull in some good ideas! 

Schools have already been suggesting lots of ideas for how to use it beyond the current crisis: such as supporting ongoing learning, development and therapy care outside of school; CPD and sharing of pedagogy and good practice; supporting and modelling activities for TAs/LSAs; supporting SEND provision in mainstream partner schools.

Thank you to everyone who has fed into the process. We'd love to hear any ideas that you might have over time - especially if you have any thoughts on how we might develop or improve the Activity Channel.

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OTHER PRODUCT UPDATES - RELEASED THIS WEEK (w/c 30/03/2020)

In addition to the Activity Channel & Activity Kit, we're pleased to announce the following additional new features and facilities:

- Customise Parent Portal Homepage. You can now customise the homepage of your school's EfL Parent Portal. i.e The page that parents/carers land on immediately after logging in to the Parent Portal:

https://resources.evidenceforlearning.net/article/285-customiseyourparentportalhomepage

- QuickPair in the Admin Web Console. You can now manage QuickPair Set Up Tools via the Admin Web Console. 

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COMING NEXT.... 

With most evidence now being collected via parents/carers, we're currently working on allowing parents to submit 3 photos/videos (rather than currently 1) and we're also building the facility for you to (optionally) allow parents to use some of your tags to help teachers with sorting and organising evidence sent in from home and outside of school.

COMING SOON... (target: next 5-7 weeks)

Our teams are making excellent progress on migrating all features in iOS app into the Evidence Web Console and we're hoping to be able to release the PLG management tools towards the end of April. This will mean that teachers will be able to create and edit PLGs via the EfL Web Console - i.e. on a computer/laptop! 

We're also close to completing version 1 of the Android app. Version 1 will let you collect, edit, manage, filter and search for evidence on any Android devices. We're targeting release of this in May and this will be closely followed by the EfL Parent App. As always, we'll keep you posted....

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We are here to help as best we can during this unprecedented period.

Our team has been running lots of webinars throughout the last 3 weeks helping schools to check they are setup appropriately for the weeks ahead. Do let us know if you'd like us to schedule a session with you. With the webinars, multiple people can 'dial' in from multiple locations (e.g. home). We're already collecting some great success stories and tips from schools around the country so very happy to share anything that can help.

You can email us at services@theteachercloud.net or call us on 0161 250 5151.

We wish you all a safe and calm period during this difficult and uncertain time.

Many thanks,

the EfL team

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