Get your message across with our WordPress plugin

Atomwide have developed a WordPress plugin that can be used by any school running their own hosted WordPress site, whether hosted with LGfL or another provider.

The plugin integrates with information from OpenCheck and allows you to send updates posted on your site to every member of school staff via the ParentComms app. You can also choose to send blog posts to every parent that subscribes to your school’s status feed from OpenCheck using the ParentComms:Mobile app.

The FREE plugin, called WP ParentComms Connect, can be downloaded from the WordPress repository and installed into your WordPress site. It must be activated by your school via a code that can be obtained via a dedicated page in the OpenCheck website, accessible only to Nominated Contacts and others with OpenCheck permissions.

Once the plugin is installed and configured, new content can be sent to parents and/or staff as soon as it is published, keeping everyone up-to-date on important school events and announcements, completely free of charge.

To fully benefit from this offering, schools should encourage parents and staff members download the free ParentComms app which is available for iOS and Android, with a Windows Mobile version to be released soon.

Read More

StaffMail service upgrade

We hope you enjoy using the LGfL StaffMail service, and have found it meets your needs and is consistently reliable.  LGfL and Atomwide are pleased to announce that over the next few weeks, the StaffMail service will be updated from the current version (Microsoft Exchange 2007) to Exchange 2010. A further update to Exchange 2013 is also planned but it is necessary to update first to 2010.

This upgrade will bring several benefits to end users, particularly an enhanced OWA (webmail) interface that offers the “Premium” experience to users of browsers other than Internet Explorer (eg Chrome or Firefox). Previously these browsers could only access the “Light” interface. The current issue with IE11 only being able to access the Light interface (unless the site is added to Compatibility mode) should also be resolved.

It is expected to take several weeks to migrate all users to the new version. Once the upgrade process begins those using OWA will notice a slightly different login screen and as each user’s account is upgraded  they will be presented with the improved  OWA interface after login.

Users using Outlook to access their mailbox should not notice any major differences; they may be prompted to close Outlook and re-open it, at the point where their mailbox is moved, but it is not expected that any changes will need to be made to Outlook profiles.

We anticipate this upgrade process will be completed with minimal user inconvenience.

Read More

LGfL Technical Conference Prize Draw

Anyone attending the LGfL Technical Conference on Monday 30 June can win either an iPad mini or a ticket to the Caterham Formula 1 Technology and Engineering works in Langley Oxfordhsire (on 21 August 2014)

Your chance to win a prize will be determined by a prize draw. Electronic raffle tickets will be delivered to your installed ParentComms:Mobile app. To be eligible, you must have the app installed on your device and authenticated by your USO account.

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 works in conjunction with the OpenCheck service helping schools to inform parents of unexpected closures easily and free of charge.

To be in the competition you must:

  • Be registered to attend the Conference on 30th June 2014
  • Have the ParentComms app already installed on your phone
  • Ensure you have logged into the app with your LGfL USO account.

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 30th June 2014.

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

Read More

Competition winner

Thank-you to all who attended the LGfL conference on Monday. It was lovely to see you all there and the day proved to be a success, with brilliant keynote speeches from David Mitchell and Dr Andrew Curran.

The winner of our competition which was open to users of the ParentComms app was selected at the end of the conference. We would like to congratulate Peter Luck from The Campion School in Havering.

Read More

New competition!

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.

Read More

LGfL wireless networks deployed in Richmond libraries

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.

Read More

New LGfL resources are available

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.

Read More

ParentLink changes to ParentComms™

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.

Read More

ParentComms app for iPhone & Android

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.

Read More

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.5 released

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

Read More

Parental Engagement Tools at BETT 2014

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.

 

Read More

ParentComms app for Android V1.0.35 released

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

Read More

ParentComms app for Android V1.0.34 released

A wide selection of changes including but not limited to

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

Read More

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.2 released

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

Read More

ParentComms app for iPhone V 1.1 released

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

Read More