Atomwide is holding a number of prize draws through 2013 where a USO-enabled school can win a year’s subscription to the AutoText service and 2000 text messages.
To be able to enter simply follow Atomwide on Twitter by going to http://twitter.com/atomwide.
Schools can increase their chances of winning by having multiple members of staff enter the competition. The only requirement is that anyone wishing to enter the prize draw on your school’s behalf must have a functioning USO account and be following Atomwide on Twitter.
Everyone following us on Twitter will receive a tweet containing information on how to enter the AutoText prize draw. To enter, simply log in to the Atomwide survey website using the link that will be provided and answer three simple questions.
The survey site will be live for 48 hours from the time of the tweet after which a winner will be selected from the completed submissions. The winner will receive a year’s subscription to AutoText and 2000 text messages for their school. If the winner’s school already subscribes to AutoText then 3000 free text messages will be added to the school’s AutoText account instead.
You can see more information about the texting service on the product flyer and details of how the interface works can be found on the help pages of the USO support site.
Atomwide will be running multiple competitions in the coming months so if you don’t win at first keep watching!
When using any texting service, there will be instances where text messages don’t make it to the end user’s mobile phone. This can lead to confusion on the part of the sender as to what exactly has occured. This post aims to help senders understand what actually happens when a text message is sent.
To read the full article, please click here.
In response to customer requests, the USO-AutoText email functionality has been upgraded to support the sending of attachments. Multiple attachments can be sent via a single email. This is done via the Add attachment button now found on the Email page within USO-AutoText.
The system can handle attachments of up to 20Mb although attachments of different sizes are sent in different ways. Attachments of 1Mb or smaller are attached to the email directly. Attachments larger than 1Mb are stored remotely and the email received by the user will contain a web link instead of the file itself. The recipient can then either click on the link(s) provided or copy and paste the link(s) into a browser and download the documents. Files are automatically removed from the server after 21 days.
We are pleased to announce that schools using the Pearson E1 and Integris G2 MIS products can now export attendance data once or twice daily via USO-AutoUpdate to use in conjunction with USO-AutoText.
Once data is exported, unauthorised absence reports are available to view through the USO-AutoText interface and notifications can be sent to all parents/guardians’ mobile phones with just a few clicks.
In order to make use of the attendance reporting functionality, the school’s Head must first go to the AutoUpdate settings page in the support site and accept the Atomwide Attendance report. A school must also subscribe to USO-AutoText to use the available data for contacting parents and guardians.
After the attendance report has been accepted via the support site, the Head or Nominated Contact can schedule when the export(s) should be run by using the scheduling tool provided on the left-hand side of the AutoUpdate Settings page. Full details on how to schedule exports are available in the support site manual.
All schools using USO-AutoUpdate to export attendance data either once or twice per day, can now be notified when their exported attendance data has been processed. This added feature is optional and is intended to eliminate guesswork by letting schools know exactly when their exported data is ready to be used in USO-AutoText to contact parents/guardians of absent pupils.
To make use of the new feature, the person who takes responsibility for sending absence notifications via USO-AutoText will need to have the Role of “Attendance Officer” added to their USO account profile. This role can be added to a user’s USO account by a Nominated Contact or another user with higher-level permissions.
Once the role has been added in USO, the Attendance Officer will receive automated emails from the processing system letting them know that the most recent attendance export has been processed and results can be seen in USO-AutoText.
Anyone using AutoText to notify pupil contacts of unauthorised absences now has an additional report available to use. The new “Absent for pm session but present for am” option allows you to send alerts to contacts of pupils who were marked “present” for the morning session but then marked “absent” for the afternoon session.
This option presumes that all pupils marked “absent” during the morning session have already had notifications sent to their contacts and therefore filters them out to produce a list of those pupils who are absent in the afternoon only.
This will mean that pupils’ contacts will not receive two absence notifications on the same day if this is not desirable.
This option is different from the “PM absences” one in that the “PM absences” report shows all pupils absent in the afternoon, regardless of whether they were absent or present at morning registration.
A full explanation of all the options can be found here.
With the current uncertain financial climate affecting both schools and LAs the Atomwide USO-AutoText school level pricing has been reduced. This will make the service more accessible and cost-effective for individual schools whilst still ensuring that an aggregating LA purchase of the service remains the best value for money option.
The new pricing is as follows:
Secondary Schools: £300 per year (Includes 1000 Message Credits)
Primary Schools: £200 per year (Includes 1000 Message Credits)
Message Credits: 6p per message
More detailed service and pricing information can be found at http://www.atomwide.com/products.html
Two new features have been added to AutoText.
1. The option to group pupil contacts by House has been added. This grouping will only apply to and be selectable by schools that use the House system. Schools that don’t group pupils by House will see the option but will not be able to select it. The grouping relies on pupils being grouped correctly in the school’s MIS.
2. You can now send messages to specific groups of pupil contacts that have been defined in SIMS. Groups of pupil contacts can be exported via the Atomwide Student User Defined Groups report, provided that this report has been enabled. The predefined groups would then be available to the SMS Sender when accessing AutoText >> Send SMS or Send Email page. This function is found under the Predefined Contact List tab. Instructions can be found here.
Couple of new features on the texting service.
You can now select AM or PM attendance marks, or a combination of them, from within the attendance part of the texting service.
Pre-defined staff lists now have a tick box to allow senders to remove individual recipients from the list along with the same functionality on the pupil contacts page.
Warning messages which are now configurable when the number of message credits for a school fall below an LA limit have been added to the send sms & email page
We have added a number of accounting functions to allow LA’s to set various limit’s with regard to numbers of text messages in schools.
You can set a point at which a red message is displayed warning that the school is running out of message credit’s, by default this is set to 150, once the school run’s out of message credits a negative number is displayed and the LA can control how far into an over-draft the school is allowed to go before the system really does stop sending messages ! By default this is set to -100
Details of this feature can be found here
When a schools sends a text message and their account is over-drawn an email is sent to the LA sms admin and an option is provided to email the Head Teacher of the school at the same time.
Details of this feature can be found here
All of these messages and default settings can be configured on an LA by LA basis – to change a message please raise a support case.
We have also added to the staff Pre-defined lists so it’s now possible to de-select any number of users in the lists before sending the text.
Details of this feature can be found here
Couple of small additions to the AutoText service for Power and SuperUsers who can now see the overall status of the texting service using the ‘View Settings Summary’ now located on this page.
It’s also now possible to set the default for a school for pupil years that are accepted in the attendance reporting – this allows schools to by default remove any pupil in a selected year from the attendance report sms system.
Finally, an opt out option now exists for parents configured by adding extra details to the mobile contact number in the MIS system, details of this can be found in the help pages here.
We have now added an email function to the service allowing you to send bulk emails to parent contacts in a very similar way to the way SMS texts are dispatched – see the new page here.
We have also changed the name of the TAB in the support site from SMS to AutoText to reflect the product name and to allow for the addition of the email options to the product.
Help pages will arrive in a few days time.
Couple more features to this service today. You can now ‘opt out’ entire year groups from the texting service – useful with the 14-19 agenda work that is going on.
You can pre-set your school’s option’s, details here in the help files.
Then modify these settings on each occasion you extract data, details of this option are here.
The USO-AutoText system now has added functionality with regard to testing imported parent contact numbers.
Options have been added to the support site interface that allow System Admin’s to identify parent contacts that exist in the schools MIS system that do not have a mobile number listed for them.
In addition the import utility now checks and removes alpha characters from the imported data so when your schools MIS system has ’07887-123456(Mum)’ entered as a mobile number this will be reduced to 07887123456 which will be accepted.
A specific attendance report has also been added to the USO-AutoUpdate software that can be run at a time chosen by the school which extracts data about pupils who are have failed registration on that day.
This data is then used to seed a new tab in the sms section to allow’s the school to easily send a text message to the parent’s of the pupil using a default message with personalisation added for the parent’s name and the pupils name.
We have now added and attendance tab to the sms texting system. In conjunction with USO-AutoUpdate the system now extracts attendance data from your schools MIS system and allows you to automatically text all the parent contacts for your missing pupils in one go.
You can also now send text messages to groups of pupil contacts based upon class or year data and also select all or just the primary pupil contact from the MIS system.
For further details or to get this service activated for your school or LA please raise a support case.