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Trials and Tribulation

Trials and Tribulations

In addressing the National Goal  to "increase e-learning leadership and ICT strategic planning capability of principals and teachers", the school entered two ministry trial in 2010

  • Dataview Trial of Parent Portal to SMS - Kamar
  • Watchdog trial for "single sign on"

Parent Portal

the aim of joining the trial and developing a parent/student portal was to allow 24/7 access by parents and students to key data such as NCEA achievement, attendance and so on. An interesting new tool in Kamar has the ability to link student attendance to student achievement, and there si no surpirse there is a very strong correlation.  If parents can support us in improving student attendance, the we can expect student achievement to improve as a result. Access to achievement data for students can increase motivation and also save class time for teachers who are constantly asked by students to access Kamar to find this information for the students.

We would also appreciate any feedback from schools who have been using Kamar's own portal.

Progress on the trial.

Unfortunately not much progress has been made. While the portal was working for a short time last year (2 weeks), updates from Kamar seem to have caused problems for the Dataview. The trial period that was paid for by the ministry has expired, the first invoice has arrived and we remain without a functioning parent portal, and reluctant to go to it with parents if its operation is not stable. This writer is not a technician, and it is hard to see if the fault lies within our school systems, or whether other trial school have found the same problems with the Dataview/Kamar portal. Feedback would be great.

Single Sign on

The purpose of this trial was to provide a single username/password for our staff and students to a range of services such as gmail, google docs, moodle, ETV etc. The username and password would be generated from our  SMS, Kamar, to our Active Directory and services such as ETV would be able link directly to that to provide staff and students access. This cuts down on the management of these services. Also, the student would log on once through the Internet, and then when entering the connected service would not need to log on again. The system will also automatically generate a gmail and google docs account for each student. This will improve school to student emailing. Students can set up their email account to forward to the regular email. moodle will have these accounts within student profiles automatically.

Progress

Progress has been better in this project. Some key decisions are yet to be made, such as how we create the email addresses in a secure way to avoid opportunities for Cyber-Bullying. We feel confident that we will be able to launch this service at the start of 2012.