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

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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ParentComms app for Android V1.0.33 released

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

 

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ParentComms app for Android

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

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ParentComms app for iPhone

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

 

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Secure file transfer to non-USO users

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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iPhone app now available

The ParentComms:Mobile app is now available for iOS and can be downloaded from iTunes.

Parents using the app will be able to subscribe to receive status notifications from all the schools which their children attend. hero-hardware-iosSchools simply need to be actively using the FREE OpenCheck service for automatic updates to be sent out. Notifications of emergency closures will be sent out immediately while notifications of scheduled closures will be sent out the day before. All updates are sent to mobile app users free of charge.

School staff members will also be able to update their school status directly from the app itself if they log into the app and have the correct permissions. School staff can also subscribe to status notifications from any of the school(s) which their children attend so long as the school is using the OpenCheck service.

For more details regarding both the Android and iOS app please visit our website.

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Free OpenCheck upgrade and mobile app!

opencheck

We are excited to announce the launch of the upgraded OpenCheck service located at opencheck.atomwide.com. The new website allows parents to check the status of their children’s schools or view the schools’ scheduled closures for holidays and inset days.

For schools, the site offers a self-contained web application where open and closed information can be entered directly into the built-in administration interface by any users with the OpenCheck updater permission.

A new mobile app, ParentComms:Mobile has been released in conjunction with the launch of the new OpenCheck service. This app is designed to be used by both parents and school staff.

Parents who install the app will automatically receive notifications of school status so they can stay informed effortlandroid appessly in case of emergency closure, especially with severe weather being predicted in the coming weeks.

School staff can also be notified of school status changes. Authorised staff will, for the first time, be able to update status of their school(s) directly from the app.

Nominated Contacts will be able to monitor their network usage, receive alerts regarding connectivity issues, and much more.

The app is currently available for Android devices with the iOS version to be released shortly.

Please click here to download the app or go to Google Play and search for ParentComms, USO, or Atomwide.

 

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Would you like to be a Beta tester?

Atomwide is about to relaunch the OpenCheck service as a new standalone, self-contained website with built-in administration features. OpenCheck enables schools to enter their status online so that parents can easily find out about school closure either by visiting the website, calling a telephone number, or receiving updates through a specially created smartphone app. This is a free service to any school using USO.

The improved service will come with a fully integrated mobile phone app that will allow parents to be notified of any updates made by your school and allow you to post updates via the mobile app.

We are currently looking for people to join the Beta programme to test our Android app. Anyone interested in taking part should email contact@atomwide.com. Please provide your USO account username as well as the Gmail address used to register your Android device.

An iPhone app is also currently in development and we will be asking for iPhone users to volunteer in due course. Please keep an eye on our blog if you are interested.

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User-recognition login for young pupils

The WhoAmI? service helps very young pupils to log in to myUSO learning resources via ‘Early Years Login’ without them having to remember their username. This is achieved by the pupil being directed to whoami.uso.im, typically by their teacher, and then answering a series of child-friendly questions to identify themselves.

Who am i? websiteThe pupil is asked the name of their class, whether they are a boy or a girl, and the first letter of their first name. This will result in either their name, or a short list of possible matches, being presented to them to choose from.

Clicking on their name in the list will result in them being sent to the Early Years login page where their username will have been pre-filled in for them. They will then only need to enter their PIN by either using a keyboard or clicking on the relevant pictures associated with the numbers in their PIN.

The WhoAmI? service is part of the Early Years Login that is activated by the school’s Head Teacher signing a declaration on the USO support site and the required data being exported via USO-AutoUpdate. Full details can be found here. This ‘helper’ service has been designed to work only within recognised school IP ranges to maintain security.

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Introducing the Early Years login for myUSO

We are delighted to announce the launch of an Early Years login page that helps pupils in Year 6 and below to access USO-authenticated learning resources via a simplified process using a PIN in place of the password that older students require.

Early Years login pageOnce Early Years login is enabled for the school, younger pupils can access myUSO by going to http://easy.uso.im and entering their USO username, followed by their PIN code.

The PIN can be entered directly using a keyboard, or by clicking on a sequence of numbers associated with child-friendly animal graphics.  This will grant access to an ‘Early Years’ view of the myUSO website where the pupil will find links to a relevant set of learning resources that can be further categorised by school staff to best suit the needs of each school or group of users.

The ability for a school to use Early Years login is simply enabled by a Head Teacher accepting a declaration found in the USO support site, and relies on MIS data being provided via USO-AutoUpdate. For full details on activating and using this feature please see the User Guide.

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