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January 2024 Product Updates
January 2024 Product Updates

New year - New SpacesEDU feature updates!

Bryan Carvalho avatar
Written by Bryan Carvalho
Updated over a week ago

As we usher in the new year with fireworks lighting up the sky and resolutions being penned down, it's the perfect time to embrace fresh beginnings and exciting updates from SpacesEDU. Rest assured, we're kicking off the year with a bang, bringing you innovative updates that promise to enhance your experience.

Dive into the new possibilities below and start your year on a high note!

Class Engagement Dashboard & Read Receipts for Messages

Educators spend a lot of their time on SpacesEDU - They post on behalf of their students, they build comprehensive activities, they assess the work happening within their digital classroom, etc. Along the way, they are also interacting with and supporting the needs of their students' family members. Educators want to be sure that families are reviewing the important updates they are sharing - this acknowledgment can be vital to ensure that important information has been received and noted.

We’ve noticed that some educators will rely on inefficient makeshift methods like emoji reactions to gauge family engagement, which doesn't provide the clear confirmation that read receipts offer.

Some of the critical needs and use cases identified by teachers are as follows:

  • Educators want to better track engagement and discern whether families are actually present or not. They want to know which families are disengaged within SpacesEDU.

  • To tailor their content effectively, teachers want to better understand how families respond to and interact with their content within SpacesEDU.

  • Teachers want better accountability with regards to updates and messages sent out to students and families. They are also looking to meet mandates around communication with families.

With all of this feedback in mind, we developed two new feature updates within SpacesEDU: Class Engagement Dashboard & Read Receipts for Messages.

The Class Engagement Dashboard will show the last date and time a student or family member accessed the teacher’s classroom, helping teachers measure overall engagement at a glance. Teachers can find this within the ‘Family’ and ‘Students’ section in the ‘People’ tab.

With Read Receipts for Messages, Educators will be able to view ‘read receipts’ within our messages feature. Simply click on the ‘three dots’ contextual menu to reveal the ‘View Read Receipts’ option or select the ‘Read by’ text to view a list of everyone that has viewed the message together with the date and time. Teachers will also be able to toggle between read and unread tabs.

The team is investigating options to support read receipts within Posts as well.

Class Engagement Dashboard & Read Receipts for Messages will only be available to schools and districts licensing SpacesEDU Pro.

Family Activity Notifications

To enhance transparency and support family engagement, it is essential to provide family members with the ability to understand their child's Activity progress and view instructions.

In our initial update to address this need, we will introduce several notifications to keep families informed about newly added Activities and upcoming due dates. This will empower families with enhanced knowledge about the status of Activities.

Families will receive notifications on the following:

  • When an activity is assigned to their child

  • The status of an activity, including if it's due soon or has not been submitted

  • The content of the activity once it's posted (this notification already exists in the platform)

Family Activity notifications are available to all SpacesEDU family accounts. Give it a try today!

Admin Class Management

The new Admin Class Management Tools in SpacesEDU, a highly requested feature, gives Administrators extensive oversight capabilities, including viewing classes, accessing student work, and evaluating teacher and student performance, without the need to be co-teachers. This enhancement simplifies administrative tasks and supports decision-making for continued use and licensing of SpacesEDU, addressing the critical role of Administrators in the platform's adoption and renewal.

This update will empower Admins with enhanced support and functionalities, including:

  • Insight and visibility into classes within SpacesEDU.

  • Direct access to any class's Reporting Space.

  • The ability to perform troubleshooting and support teachers independently.

  • The capability to view student work and Posts in classes.

  • Insight into how teachers are utilizing their accounts.

  • Opportunities to learn and share how Spaces and SpacesEDU is being used.

  • Information on student enrollment in classes and their respective teachers.

  • The ability to observe class activities without the need for co-teacher status, bypassing manual addition, complex workflows, or imports (We know… this was a bit of a pain before)

  • The tools to oversee and guide instruction across the district.

Admin Class Management will only be available to schools and districts licensing SpacesEDU Pro.

Multiple Summary Statements

Within the Reporting Space, we’ve had a number of educators express the need for it to support various reporting periods, such as terms or semesters. To meet this need, we're introducing the capability to include multiple Summary Statements. This enhancement will facilitate organised feedback, provide a clearer view of student progress over time, and align the reporting process more closely with district mandates.

As part of this update, teachers will be able to add multiple summary statements to the Reporting Space, enhancing its functionality for different reporting periods.

Additionally, the "Areas of Learning Settings" page will undergo a transformation to become a more comprehensive "Reporting Space Settings" page. Here, teachers will be able to not only set up their Areas of Learning but also add, edit, and reorder multiple Summary Statements, offering a more versatile and streamlined approach to reporting.

Multiple Summary Statements will only be available to schools and districts licensing SpacesEDU Pro + Reporting Add-On.

Additional Updates & Enhancements

We also made a handful of additional performance and quality of life improvements in SpacesEDU.

  • Currently when a teacher starts working on a student submission in the Activity Quick Review screen, the work is lost if they toggle to another student. We will be updating this behaviour to automatically save a draft before the teacher moves on. (SpacesEDU Free)

  • We’ve added some updates within the District Administrator account to make it more clear when imports have failed. We will be adding an import record to the import history screen indicating the import failed and will email the District Admin Account with More Permissions indicating a scheduled import has failed. (SpacesEDU Pro)

  • The bottom of our Reporting Space printout will include “Created on SpacesEDU” in the footer. This provides clarity on where the report was generated and is a helpful reference for families. (SpacesEDU Pro + Reporting Add-On)

  • Going forward we will be including family members with email addresses matching SSO Domain during the import for SIS/LMS Family Invitations as some staff have students in their own district and use their district email. This pairs with the update to support district emails for family accounts via OneRoster import. (SpacesEDU Pro)

  • A new ‘Additional Resources’ access point has been added to the teacher section within a class. This will bring a teacher to our dedicated resources page where teachers can easily locate a wealth of resources to help support their needs. (SpacesEDU Free)

  • We’ve taken a step back to assess a lot of content within the platform - Look out for quite a few language changes within Activities. (SpacesEDU Free)

  • A knowledge base article has been added to the login page for any users experiencing issues and looking for troubleshooting options. (SpacesEDU Free)

If you’re interested in learning more about SpacesEDU Pro or the Reporting Add-On features for your school or district, don’t hesitate to contact us - pro@spacesedu.com.

Learn more about SpacesEDU Pro on our website - https://spacesedu.com/en/pricing/

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming releases. For the latest updates, check out our Public Product Roadmap. You can submit ideas or add your thoughts to any of the existing Roadmap items.

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