At Firefly we work exclusively with schools, focusing our development entirely on teaching and learning. Working with schools and school leaders from all around the world we are committed to making Firefly a useful partner in helping them meet the challenges they face. Our ongoing product design is inspired by our determination to help schools deliver a modern learning experience and we would like to share our vision of Firefly’s direction for the future with you.
A comprehensive learning experience database
By extending the reach and scope of Firefly’s unique learning experience database, either within Firefly itself or through our partnerships and integrations, we will give schools the visibility they need across every aspect of the learning experience.
One immediate example of this is our current work to extend the range and depth of our existing integrations:
- Schools can already use OneNote within Firefly; to build our partnership with Microsoft further, we are developing the facility to embed Onedrive documents and files within Firefly resources, as well as investigating how Firefly and MS Teams can bring even further value to the classroom.
- Google Classroom tasks and feedback will be integrated into the Firefly markbook. Along with our current ability to embed Google Drive resources in Firefly, this will give teachers greater flexibility in the tools they use whilst ensuring holistic visibility over the entire learning experience.
- We are increasing the number of MIS solutions we integrate with through our partnership with Wonde. Our new Management Information Framework will allow more schools to take advantage of the benefits that Firefly can bring to the classroom.
A comprehensive understanding of the students will empower their teachers to deliver differentiated learning, allowing each student to have an individual learning strategy, built on a complete understanding of their teaching and learning needs. Furthermore, school leaders and parents will have the insights they need to support teaching and learning more effectively.
Good schools care about the entire student, not just their academic progress, striving to develop their character, skills and resilience; they provide an inspirational environment where students feel valued and important, parents are engaged and teachers are happy. However, tracking and reporting across the entire scope of the learning experience is both time-consuming and burdensome for teachers, and information often reaches parents too late to make a difference.
We are committed to making it easier for schools to provide effective, ongoing reporting for teachers, parents and school leaders. These reports will go beyond marks, grades and feedback, to encompass every learning space, engaging parents more fully with their child’s learning. As part of this commitment, we are already developing how we collect and present data in Firefly:
- We are redesigning our existing student profile pages to present a wider range of information about the student in an easily digestible format.
- Changes to task management and the recording of marks and feedback within the the markbook will make it easier for teachers to provide regular, ongoing visibility of a students progress for school leaders and parents alike.
Teachers will no longer have to waste time compiling reports and parents will get regular, ongoing updates, delivered directly to their phones giving them a fuller and more engaging view of their child’s progress throughout the school year. This richer picture of the student, captured without teachers having to do extra work, will facilitate the development of individual learning strategies for each student and lead to a deeper understanding between students, teachers and parents to the benefit of students and their development.
At Firefly, we want to help schools deliver the best conditions for learning through effective use of data and the resultant insights. By tracking and pulling together a holistic understanding of the learning experience, school leaders are better able to facilitate everything from large, whole-school initiatives to smaller incremental changes, adjusting and improving teaching and learning, and tracking the impact of those changes.
The questions that we want to help schools answer include:
- Are students proactively engaging with the tools and learning opportunities the school offers?
- How might we better understand and foster parental engagement with the bigger picture of school life?
- Are teachers actively creating high-quality learning material using the tools the school has strategically introduced to raise teaching standards?
- How might we enable timely interventions when there is a gap between academic expectations and reality?
We are designing an entirely new solution that will give school leaders the visibility they need to answer these questions. Our insights tool will help schools get more out of the data they generate through their existing classroom tools, by making it available to school leaders in an easily managed and understandable format. This product will integrate within Firefly, but will also multiply the value of other tools in the school environment.
By tracking and pulling together a holistic understanding of the learning experience, Firefly will help schools to drive up standards and maintain excellence, whilst saving school leaders time and supporting them in leading the drive towards insights-driven excellence.
We believe that technology should be liberating teachers from the time-consuming duties and responsibilities that steal time away from the business of teaching, whilst allowing school leaders and parents the understanding and insights they need to enable students to go further every day. The role of the teacher is central to education; technology will never replace the human-to-human interactions between teachers, students and parents, which is the fundamental cornerstone of the modern learning experience.