September is here and if you’re in the UK, the summer holiday already seems a long time ago.
The start of a new term is an exciting point in the school year, full of possibility and expectation for the months ahead. The first few days of every term always have a buzz about them as we catch up with friends and colleagues, swap war stories from the holiday and get ready for fresh new challenges in the classroom.
The new term is also a time when we consider how we might do things differently in the classroom. A key part of the modern learning experience is giving teachers the freedom to guide and continuously adapt the learning journey for their students. With this in mind, we have focused our efforts on making teaching and learning through our platform more adaptable. As a result, teachers using Firefly will be able to take advantage of new features we added this summer to give them greater flexibility in the way they work, freeing up time to spend with their students.
Firefly for Teachers
We know that schools are a busy environment and the ability to keep up to date whilst on the move is important. To accommodate this, we have made some changes to the Firefly for Teachers app, which now allows teachers to view Firefly next to other apps they use for teaching and learning. For supported apps, teachers can drag and drop files into and out of Firefly, which helps them create rich resources and assignments with the tools that work for their subject or class. Even better, to further increase access to this popular tool, teachers can now download and use Firefly for Teachers on their iPhones. We know that busy teachers frequently work on the go, and we are delighted to announce the app’s release in the App Store.
A new markbook
Teachers will also notice a fresh new look for the Firefly markbook, which is now more compact, easier to read and faster to load. Later on this term we will be making it easier for teachers to record marks and feedback by adding the facility to add marks directly into the markbook itself, as well as changing the way completed tasks are added. These are the first steps in some significant changes to help teachers work in a way that best suits them and we will be continuing to take the markbook further in the months ahead.
No two schools are the same, and Firefly works hard to accommodate their unique structures and requirements. We know that many schools use Google and Microsoft tools in the classroom, and to help them multiply the impact of these products, we are extending our partnerships with Google and Microsoft.
Over the next few months it will become possible for teachers to incorporate their OneDrive documents and files within Firefly pages and tasks. This will mean that files can be embedded within a resource and edited directly within Firefly, allowing teachers a broader range of learning tools to share with a class.
We are also developing our integration with Google so that teachers can embed tasks set in Google Classroom within Firefly. These tasks, along with marks and feedback, will be visible in the tasks list and the integrated Firefly markbook, alongside tasks set in Firefly itself. All of these changes will give teachers greater visibility into the work they’ve set for their classes, and will help them work with the tools that best suit their individual teaching styles.
Born for schools, Firefly has always put pedagogy first; inspired by teachers, Firefly’s ongoing product design supports the inherently fluid and chaotic nature of modern learning. As another new term begins, we look forward to working with schools to deliver a modern learning experience.
If you would like to see more of our thoughts and ideas for the future of Firefly, then please feel free to get in touch. In the meantime, have a good term everyone!