In my school, we don’t bother using a staff noticeboard as everything is done online. We also have a number of other tools on our system, Aladdin, which we use to store information. Although my school uses Aladdin Schools, there are a number of other similar systems out there. However, do check to see if they are able to perform the functions below.
Staff need to communicate. In fact, it is said that there are two reasons why schools fail. One is lack of clarity of roles and the other is lack of communication. Four years ago, I spoke about how cloud computing could help staff with their communication in a talk called “Nobody Tells Me Anything Around Here”, where I suggested the use of Google Apps as an alternative to a staffroom noticeboard. I also showed how using a Google Site could help with all sorts of communication, e.g. between class teachers and support teachers. As Irish schools only have an average of one hour per week non-teaching time, it is very difficult to pass on information. Since we have moved onto our Student Management System, Aladdin, our staff communicate for a variety of things.
The staffroom noticeboard is a curious thing. There are unwritten politics associated with it. Only certain people are allowed to write on it and only certain things are deemed worthy of being written. Rather than using our staffroom noticeboard, we have a virtual noticeboard in our school, which is on the front page of our Aladdin system. Essentially it works in exactly the same way a concrete noticeboard works: people can write up messages of interest for others to read. However, the online noticeboard has some interesting functions. Firstly, it allows you to put notices up for the attention of certain staff members. For example, if there is an INTO meeting, only the INTO members need to know. Secondly, the online noticeboard allows people reply to messages so if I was to ask people where a particular missing item was, it could be answered. Thirdly, for whatever reason, the unwritten rules of noticeboards seems to be removed by using a virtual noticeboard and everyone feels comfortable posting up all sorts of information on it from useful web sites to organising staff nights out.
With so many people on yard, it’s hard to keep track of who is fighting with who and what children need to be watched. Behaviour tracking is a very useful thing for teachers to look at. When a child has misbehaved in school, a teacher can record this on our system and other teachers can read the report. This allows us to track behaviour more effectively on yard or in class, if needs be. We can also see patterns of behaviour and this can be communicated to families.
Much like behaviour tracking, schools can also record any injuries that happen in school. Again, like above, patterns may emerge, which may need further investigation. However, it is also useful for teachers to be able to watch out for children on yard. We also can print out any reports for families if they need reports of injuries.
There are a number of documents that teachers need to share including timetables, seniority lists, policies and school plans. Having a feature like this on a student management system is a useful addition. Allowing staff to edit these documents on the fly is also a useful feature but this is only available on Google Apps at the moment.
There are a number of other features that allow teachers to share information with each other but the above are probably the most used in our school. If you’ve seen other things being used in other schools, let me know in the comments.
Last Update: August 17, 2017