Even if you’ve only been working in a school a short period of time, there are a few questions you overhear (or are asked) on a regular basis. In my schools, three of the top questions are:
- What week is it? (timetable week)
- Any idea if I’m on duty today?
- Am I supposed to be issuing homework this week?
Prior to the development of the Frog Developer Platform (hereafter known as the FDP), there wasn’t much I could do as a VLE Manager to assist with such first-world conundrums.
In fact, historically, only if I walked to the Staff Room (a wee hike of around eight minutes for those of us with sore knees) would I be able to answer any of these questions. There are the answers, posted high up on a wall and updated whenever the designated member of staff passed that way. Well, what other way can we do it?
This straightforward widget displays information:
- An active time and date*
- Who’s on duty, and when!
- Which subjects should be issuing homework this week.
* It’s worth bearing in mind that ‘standard Frog’ can use Frogtags to display the date and time, but this is static. It won’t actively update, and as such, is inaccurate within a second.
It’s true, I could do some of this with ‘standard Frog’ (I really should think up a more intelligent term for non-FDP usage) but I simply couldn’t make it as straightforward and efficient as I have with this FDP widget. Automatically, each day, the widget updates to show staff the information they require – no flicking through tabs or menus. Equally importantly, the widget takes up barely any space on our minimalist Staff Dashboard, and it isn’t a link which staff have to click. The up to date and accurate information is there, immediately, upon login.
It’s difficult to gauge how much of an impact this tiny widget has had on members of staff, but I do know this: there is no longer a paper copy of the duty rota or the homework timetable in the Staff Room, or anywhere for that matter. Every member of staff exclusively uses Frog – and specifically this widget – to find the information they require on a daily basis.
If you haven’t heard of the FDP but think it may be useful to you, check our their website: http://fdp.frogcommunity.com. There’s a reasonably active community of Frog schools answering each others’ questions, as well as dedicated members of the Frog FDP team.
I’ll actively track any comments, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to update this post with further information if that would be of use to anyone.