New competition!

On 24 April 2014 · 0 Comments

WIN either an iPad mini (worth £250) for you, or a Digital Signage device with free layout design for your school (worth £550).

We have launched a competition which gives you the chance to win either a Digital Signage device or an iPad mini simply by downloading the ParentComms mobile app.

The ParentComms app allows a school’s Nominated Contact, to receive information and updates from a range of services such as alerts regarding network status and announcements posted in the support site.

It also in conjunction with the OpenCheck service allows schools to inform parents of unexpected closures easily and free of charge.

To enter the competition you will have to:

  • Attend the LGfL conference on Monday 28th April 2014
  • Have the ParentComms app installed on your phone
  • Ensure you have logged into the app with your LGfL USO account.

This needs to be completed by 3pm on Monday 28 April 2014. Please note this competition is open only to school staff and not employees of any private company engaged by the school. Please see the Terms and Conditions for full details.

The winner will be drawn at random and the results announced at the close of the LGfL conference on Monday 28th April 2014.

The ParentComms app is free to download for Android (download here) and iOS devices (download here).

Please check our blog, Twitter or Facebook feeds for winner announcements.

LGfL wireless networks deployed in Richmond libraries

On 18 March 2014 · 0 Comments

A new LGfL wireless network has been rolled out to all public libraries within Richmond as of March 2014. The managed wireless solution uses LGfL’s WebScreen 2.0 filtering system and offers pupils and staff from local schools flexible internet access by providing web filtering designed for them by their own schools.

Configuration of filtering policies takes place within the schools and is automatically activated in the libraries through the per-user filtering feature. To benefit from the service, students and staff need to simply use their existing LGfL USO user credentials and log into the system. This filtering will automatically cover the mobile devices of everyone with a USO account connecting to the libraries’ wifi. The actual filtering policies covering each user will be set up and managed by the schools. Adult users without USO accounts will be able to obtain access on request from library staff.

This system makes filtering management simple for library staff and ensures that all users who can be identified by their schools can bypass local filtering settings and obtain the degree of access they would normally be accustomed to at their schools.

Full details on creating the correct configuration are available in the USO Support Site User Guide.

If you would like to know more about using the LGfL managed wireless system in your own establishments please email info@atomwide.com or call 01689 814700.

New LGfL resources are available

On 3 March 2014 · 0 Comments

Two new teaching and learning resources have just been launched by LGfL. These items are exclusively available to schools who are part of the London Grid for Learning network.

whole story For Foundation stage, KS1 and KS2 there is The Whole Story – a resource aimed at exploring how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children.

This resource offers a professional storyteller’s advice to teachers on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum using images, objects and structure.

viralFor KS3 and KS4, a literacy resource, Viral Contagion English, can be used to help study the literacy issues behind the need to communicate quickly and effectively in the event of the outbreak of a biological virus.

For an overview of all the teaching and learning resources available to your school from LGfL please visit http://showcase.lgfl.org.uk.

ParentLink changes to ParentComms™

On 13 February 2014 · 0 Comments

Atomwide has renamed the parent-focused product portfolio from ParentLink to ParentComms™ following customer feedback.

This decision has been influenced by the existence of a similarly named US product in the mobile app stores causing some confusion with our customers. In order to help users find the correct product we have decided to rebrand from ParentLink to ParentComms™.

The new name is part of the ongoing upgrade programme for Atomwide’s mobile apps and is also being reflected across all related websites and news articles. The suite of online services designed to improve parental engagement is growing following the recent release of the mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The decision to adopt the ParentComms™ name should help avoid any confusion in future.

ParentComms app for iPhone & Android

On 28 January 2014 · 0 Comments

Additional features have now been added to the ParentComms app for both Android and Apple products to enable support site announcements for Nominated Contacts at multiple schools to be presented within the smartphone app.

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.5 released

On 27 January 2014 · 0 Comments

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

  • Support site announcements sent as messages
  • Cashless payment announcement integration
  • support for school connection graphs
  • List your schools Nominated Contacts
  • Refresh button on USO account page

Parental Engagement Tools at BETT 2014

On 20 January 2014 · 0 Comments

We are looking forward to this year’s BETT exhibition, taking place from 22 until 25 January. We will be showcasing an exciting range of services, including the ParentComms portfolio of tools designed to help you generate parental engagement. Come and visit us at stand F178 to ask about any of our products and services. We’ll have staff available both technical and non-technical questions.

We’re pleased to say the recent relaunch of the free OpenCheck service is gathering momentum, with more and more schools using its automated status features to keep parents informed of any unexpected closures, particularly with current weather conditions. This service is available free of charge to schools nationwide. We are running a poster competition for pupils where the winning entry can win the school either £500 cash or £2500 worth of WiFi equipment to help improve the school’s wireless network. More details are available at our stand F178 or click here to read all about it.

We are also keen to let everyone know about our reporting tool, ParentComms:Reporter and our cashless payment system, ParentComms:Pay+. Just ask any of our staff for a demonstration. Both of these and OpenCheck are tied together by the ParentComms:Mobile app, available for both parents and staff. To read more click here.

 

ParentComms app for Android V1.0.35 released

On 9 January 2014 · 0 Comments

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

  • Integration with AutoText including sending of text messages
  • Support site announcements now pushed to NC’s
  • Default message icon added for unknown format messages
  • Acknowledge control on message delivery for service desk announcements
  • Additions to the help pages

ParentComms app for Android V1.0.34 released

On 20 December 2013 · Comments Off

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

Addition of Announcement messages to Nominated Contacts from the USO support site

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.2 released

On 18 December 2013 · 0 Comments

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

  • support for iOS6
  • school status added to scheduled view
  • warnings that push Notification is required
  • improved phone number handling

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.1 released

On 18 December 2013 · 0 Comments

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

  • added school news message control
  • improved user friendly error warnings
  • added handling for html content message

ParentComms app for Android V1.0.33 released

On 18 December 2013 · 0 Comments

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

  • error testing for mobile number
  • improved user friendly error warnings
  • added handling for html content messages
  • do not disturb time controls added
  • bug fix to stop app crashing on silent default ring tone
  • auth control for 3rd party support companies
  • multiple NC status control
  • additional help page overlays

 

ParentComms app for Android

On 17 December 2013 · 0 Comments

The ParentComms:Mobile app for Android (version 1) is currently available free of charge from Google Play. The app is designed for both school staff and parent use.

The app is designed to work in conjunction with the OpenCheck website to allow parents to receive free, immediate alerts if your school has to close in an emergency.

Staff members that have the ability to update school status in OpenCheck will be able to do this quickly and easily directly from the app. The app also has the ability to recognise staff members with Nominated Contact status and present additional options to such users.

Users who install the app should maximise the benefits by logging in with a USO account, either a school-issued account or a parental account ending in .uso.

Alternatively, anyone who does not have an account, can register the app simply by entering their mobile phone number. Parents using the app will be able to help schools using the USO-AutoText service to cut their texting costs by having messages routed to the app instead of sent as a text.

Initial functionality includes :

  • USO username authentication
  • Mobile phone number authentication
  • Control of OpenCheck School Status
  • Message display including OpenCheck status
  • Support for for Nominated Contact to view network usage graphs with zoom functionality
  • Support for staff to see names of USO Nominated Contacts at the school
  • Support for cctv service

ParentComms app for iPhone

On 17 December 2013 · 0 Comments

The ParentComms:Mobile app for iPhone (version 1) is currently available free of charge from the iTunes store. The app is designed for both school staff and parent use.

The app is designed to work in conjunction with the OpenCheck website to allow parents to receive free, immediate alerts if your school has to close in an emergency.

Staff members that have the ability to update school status in OpenCheck will be able to do this quickly and easily directly from the app.

Users who install the app should maximise the benefits by logging in with a USO account, either a school-issued account or a parental account ending in .uso.

Alternatively, anyone who does not have an account, can register the app simply by entering their mobile phone number. Parents using the app will be able to help schools using the USO-AutoText service to cut their texting costs by having messages routed to the app instead of sent as a text.

Initial functionality includes :

  • USO username authentication
  • Mobile phone number authentication
  • Control of OpenCheck School Status
  • Message Display including OpenCheck status

 

Secure file transfer to non-USO users

On 13 December 2013 · 0 Comments

USO-FX has been enhanced to allow staff in LGfL 2.0 schools and LAs to ‘Push’ documents securely to non-USO users (e.g. health service officials). USO-FX previously allowed files to be received from non-USO users via the ‘Invite a file’ feature but files could not be returned.

Now, the ‘Invite a file’ feature can be used in conjunction with the new ‘Push a file’ functionality. This means that USO-FX can support secure two-way communication with individuals not subscribing to USO directly, though action must be initiated by a USO account holder.

The new ‘Push a file’ feature uses a combination of the recipient’s email address and a PIN code sent to their mobile device by text message or ParentLink:Mobile data message.

A sender can access ‘Push a file’ via the USO Support Site by picking the ‘Push a file’ option from the main USO-FX menu.  The sender may include a document, or just a simple text-only message. The recipient will receive an email with a single-use web link. The web page will then ask for a PIN code before allowing the user to securely access the document or message.

Other UK schools and LAs that subscribe to USO-AutoText also have access to this feature.

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