Sunday, 13 October 2013

Next major release of My Learning announced!

The next major release of My Learning will be launched on 26th October. Version 23, entitled "Godyris" (Dazzling Glasswing) will be made available to all clients. No action is required by end-users.

This latest edition brings many changes to the core of the system and includes features requested since the last update in June. Our team have focused closely on the following requests:

Customizable dashboard:
Our new "Panel sets" allow end-users to entirely customize their home-page. This feature works on tablet and desktop devices and will allow you to move panels around the screen and selects appropriate panels for your needs. Users who are familiar with our existing dashboard will see that this is a very useful new feature. Unlike other competitor products, our new panel sets work with HTML4 and HTML5 devices.

Terminology editor:
Because My Learning is used by such a diverse audience, ranging from Child Minding services, Nursery, Primary, Secodnary, Libraries and H.E customers; the terminology seen in the product can now be edited by the administrator of the platform. For example, the term "School" may not be relevant in some situations - so can now be altered by the owner of the platform. Another example my be the use of the term "Homework" - this can all now be edited to suit your needs.

Template farm:
For some time, we've been aware that our editor provides a template system which would benefit from a clearer and more feature rich design so we've been working away to re-create a whole new set of ready-made templates which can be used within all your work. This allows the rapid creation of content, documents, portfolio's and content. It's now compatible with tablet devices too - meaning that you can use the devices to quickly and easily author content.

Learning routes:
Our popular learning routes can now be cloned within a course and end-users can establish specific members of a learning route. This is ideal if you wish to offer two difficulty levels for separate audiences of your learning route. Member management is clear and simple, and will always show the latest members of your courses to quickly add into a differentiated route.

Course categories:
For our user who have many courses, we now have the ability to list your courses pertaining to the category which they reside in. This provides a much clearer and easier to use page. We've also moved the course news and summary text to the right of your course list - so you'll always see the latest news in your courses.

Quick Links
By popular request, the new edition has a panel set devoted to providing you instant shortcuts to any part of the system. It's icon driven, so users can quickly recognise key parts of the system.

Additional content:
We've added over 10 new suppliers to the content library, and a few new Youtube channels and Flickr galleries. There's now the option to blacklist any images at Flickr - this is useful if you wish to permanently exclude an image from the Flick search results.

News blogs:
A very popular request since June. Teachers and administrators wanted a method to communicate to their class instantly with information (as opposed to messages, calendars and notes). We will be releasing the "News Blog" service which allows a teacher to keep a running blog of events for a particular class or learning space. This news is then projected onto a panel-set of the users home-page and is accessible within their class. This means that the teacher can post videos, content and all types of media for their class.

Journey files:
A new type of file will be available within My Learning; it's called a "Learning Journey" and allows end-users to create sequenced and choice-led slideshows rapidly. Now, instead of creating a flat-file document, you can link them together into a playlist, or choice driven journey for the user to follow. This is a very powerful tool - allowing you to construct rich, diverse content experiences for end-users.

Calendar system:
We recognised that historically, My Learning gave you two calendars - a "Public" calendar for your establishment and a personal calendar reflecting your own events. In the next edition, we've replaced this ith a single universal calendar which clearly shows ALL your events in one place. Even better, it's now searchable and equipped with filters to highlight certain types of events. We've also updated the mobile version and made the system more compatible with tablets too.

Enhanced themes:
We have modified every theme on the system to take advantage of the new "Panel Set" system. This means that now you can promote certain panels to make them stand out from others, you can give them bigger titles and apply colours to them to make certain features really stand out. We've also further enhanced the way themes are rendered, meaning that the system can operate more quickly then before when rendering panels for you.

Bookmark login page:
Users will be able to bookmark their login page for the platform on the sign-in screen. This works on mobiles, tablets and PC's irrespective of your browser or hardware. This way, you'll never forget the login page for your system.

User Profile Reports:
The "UPR" is a new feature, mainly for students and end-users which provides a very colourful and clean interface to represent grades and mark book results. This new module is the first to use our new "Metro style" interface, as seen in Windows 8 - and provides a much richer and more immersive display for touch based devices. In future editions, we'll be progressing this new design and listening to feedback from our users as to whether they would like to have more areas of My Learning in this particular style. Initially, the UPR area includes the students mark book - but will be enhanced to include additional information thereafter.

Grading centre:
The grading centre is being upgraded to have additional search tools, mainly to allow teachers to quickly obtain results and comparisons of students learning and grades throughout the system. As this area continues to develop we would like to request feedback on features that teachers would like to see for this module.

Lesson observation:
A new feature will now allow teachers to make instant lesson observations during any point within the product. They can make observations on produced work, or on individual students - with over 25 positively reflected statements about students. All of these observations are stored and correlated within the "User Profile Reports" which can be made available through the parents portal, and to teachers if required.

Email redirection:
After a brief removal of the service, we're pleased to say that the platform will have this feature returned after a detailed re-write. Now, when you receive messages within the platform; they'll optionally be echoed out to your designated email address so that you can stay informed of activity within the system.

QR Codes:
We've further extended the use of our QR code technology. Now, users can scan in QR codes for their profiles, courses and all displayed documents - meaning that with a single "scan" they can be accessed on a mobile device or tablet system. This rapid information exchange allows instant access to work.

Quick help:
Our new "Quick help" feature provides a context-sensitive icon on every page of My Learning. When you click this link, you'll receive instant pop-up text with a brief synopsis of how to use the feature together with a link to a Youtube video showing you how to use the item you clicked. This is an ongoing upgrade, and will be updated weekly to form part of a new service entitled "The Skills Hub"

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