eduly has now been live at Rack House Primary School for three weeks. I sat down with two of the class teachers who have been using the app to see how they were getting to grips with bringing mobile technology into the classroom.
Three weeks in. How easy are you finding eduly to use?
It’s very easy to use, I think it’s been really fun and it’s great being able to let parents know what is going on in class. Parents seem to be more keen to use it because it’s like Facebook, so they are finding it very familiar. It’s interesting because some parents can be quite shy and not engage so this is another avenue for them.
Have you had any initial feedback from parents?
I’ve spoken to parents and they absolutely love it! And from my perspective, they are able to ask quick questions and I’m able to respond at a convenient time. I can even just pick it up in the evening when I’ve got everything else done. Previously parent time was restricted to small window in the day and parents evening, now it feels like we are always connected.
And what are you finding the most useful function?
Just generally sharing the classroom experience. Parents often have no idea what the class looks like day-to-day so it’s brilliant being able to share what goes on. It’s great to be able to share important information to parents too and making sure those messages get seen.
What kind of messages are you sharing?
Everyday stuff like remembering the PE kit. I sent the message the night before to all class parents, normally we have a few who forget, this week we had none. Things like reminders about the summer fayre and remembering sun hats for a school trip — it seems like really small stuff but it’s important and means time is spent on lessons, not dealing with exceptions.
Of the content you are posting, what do you think parents are finding most valuable?
It’s great seeing the likes and comments come in from parents. Engagement like that is just something we as teachers havent really had before outside of parents evening and a little goes a long way!
How much time do you spend a day using eduly?
All of 10 mins. It’s surprisingly easy and quick. I’m doing about four posts per day — a whole class post plus individual ones on specific children. It’s simple to use, quickly taking a picture on the class ipad and I’m even leaving the images to upload at lunch so there is minimal impact on what I do in the classroom. What’s handy is I’ve got eduly on my phone and ipad so if I think about it later I can update out of class when it’s convenient. We even have the teaching assistants help us, everyone finds it easy. It’s definitely not onerous.
How quickly did you get comfortable with using the app?
Straight away because it’s so similar to the way you use Facebook. It’s not like the school blog where we have to blog once a week and you need to login through your desktop. And very few parents even go onto the school blog.
How do you think it is impacting your engagement with parents?
Some parents who go to work and find it difficult to visit school to talk to us are engaging a lot with likes and comments on posts and it’s great for them to feel included now. We wouldn’t normally see them.
Do you utilise teaching assistants when making posts?
It was really useful the other day. I was at the beach on a school trip and I wanted to do some in-class posts for the kids that were still at school. It took 30 secs to explain how to use it. My Teaching Assistant then took the pictures and then I uploaded at the end of the day.
Have there been any nice surprises?
I’ve had feedback on a school trip and it’s really nice to have that feedback that we wouldn’t normally get. It’s not usual to get kids and parents recognition and its nice.
So, to wrap up, the burning question. Out of ten how strongly would you recommend using eduly?
10 from both of us. It’s just great.
Find out more about eduly and how to get it in your school at www.eduly.co.uk