We’ve updated our tutorial videos!

ParentPaperwork is a constantly evolving product, as new exciting features are continually added in response to all the feedback from our schools.

That also means that we have to make sure that we keep all of our support and help information up to date.

We have recently finished a big update of all of our tutorial videos, which now reflect ParentPaperwork’s current interface. New videos have been added for more recent features, in order to help our schools use ParentPaperwork as seamlessly as possible.

There are now more than a dozen videos up on the support page which will help you with some of the most common features in ParentPaperwork. These videos are simple, basic and understandable.

Here are some examples of the help videos we have compiled:

Often it’s much easier to learn how to do something by watching someone else complete a task, so we hope you find the tutorial videos a great aid to using ParentPaperwork.

If you have any requests for help videos or have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our support team at support@parentpaperwork.com.

 

 

ParentPaperwork Case Study – Macarthur Anglican School

Tim Cartwright from Macarthur Christian School writes about the benefits of ParentPaperwork's online forms.
Tim Cartwright from Macarthur Anglican School writes about the benefits of ParentPaperwork’s online forms.

Tim Cartwright, Dean of Students K-12 at Macarthur Anglican School, writes about the benefits of ParentPaperwork’s online forms and how ParentPaperwork has assisted his school. Tim says parents are now receiving notes and returning slips almost immediately, and his staff appreciate the less stressful chase of slips – being able to see the correct students have all received slips; and which parent has responded

 

 

Tell us a little about your school – where you are located, how many students, what’s great about your school?

Macarthur Anglican School is located in Cobbitty NSW on 100 acres, 50 mins from Sydney. We have over 800 students from Transition to Year 12, offering excellent facilities and opportunities for students to develop their academic, musical, sporting, community responsibility and leadership skills in a safe and caring environment.

Introduce yourself, your role at the school, what you particularly enjoy!

Tim Cartwright – Dean of Students K-12.  Part of my role at the School is to manage all excursions, and extra curricular activities of all students.  Included in this is  the collection of all necessary paper work involved with running excursions eg. Risk Assessments, bookings, staffing etc.  Despite the business of school life I love seeing systems and processes working together to ensure the efficient running of complex programs and associated activities.

Which aspect of ParentPaperwork most particularly prompted you to give the system a try?

To have a paperless system, for both the school and parents. Also to have a more efficient system to collect, approve and store paperwork required.

What are some of the best things that have happened from implementing Parent Paperwork at your school?

Parents are receiving all excursion notes as soon as they are sent, not waiting for children to give them to them, which has slips being returned quickly and at a much greater rate. Students joining late to an excursion are easily added.

Slips and school forms are now going through the proper channel, being processed quicker, with higher consistency, and automatically going to the many departments requiring the information.

What was the process of introducing Parent Paperwork with your current school management systems like?

Essentially, it was just a matter of systematically working through existing paper work and transferring the information into templates that would be easily accessed by staff.  The roll-out into the public sphere started with small groups of students and gradually increased into year groups after a few issues were identified and changes made.  I am still making small changes to templates to ensure that data collection is easiest for parents and for teachers to access as needed.

How have parents and staff reacted to Parent Paperwork?

Parents are now receiving notes and returning slips almost immediately, and being able to add the excursion as an event on their calendar to remind them is fantastic.

Staff appreciate the less stressful chase of slips, and to be able to see the correct students have all received slips; which parent has responded, opened the email or not opened the email, is great. Also to export the data to manipulate to see/have the relevant information for an excursion is excellent.

Administration staff appreciate having each slip available as the slips are sent, allowing them to answer or pass on information for students/parents with better efficiency.

What are the key benefits you have experienced? Have there been any unexpected benefits that you didn’t anticipate?

Slips returned so quickly.

Staff using correct notes, completing all school forms.

What sort of savings are you seeing as a result of using ParentPaperwork?

Time in issuing slips

Ease in re-sending slips

Cost in paper copies and time in processing

What would you say to other schools considering implementing ParentPaperwork into their school? Any handy tips?

Watch the Tutorial Videos and ask questions – they always get answered!

Play in the different areas to see all it can do, it is a wonderful system that can do so very much.

The staff at ParentPaperwork are excellent, will answer the silly questions and take all suggestions on board for either immediate change or future updates.

A student’s perspective on technology in her school and classroom

Clea Boyd-Eedle is in her final year of high school, and offers her perspective on technology in her school and classroom.

The way that students are taught today in schools has been completely revolutionised compared to 20 years ago, with the constant development and implementation of new and groundbreaking technology aimed to further education.

As a Year 12 student, I have plenty of experience with a wide range of tools that teachers use to aid their teaching. With a younger brother in Year 9 also, I am able to see the difference in the technology that my classmates and I use and the future year levels.

For example, iPads and tablets are being used to teach primary and kindergarten students. iPads have shown to be a fun and exciting way for children to learn, and has proved important in the way of aid for children with disabilities, and offers an array of apps and softwares for those in need of extra support.

Since year 4, much of my education has involved or incorporated technology in some sort of way. In year 5, trolleys of laptops were wheeled to each classroom where we would use websites and games to learn math and how to use applications like word, excel or powerpoint presentations.

I fondly remember playing a game in math called Bloxorz, where the player would manoeuvre a block around an obstacle course. It was a little more complicated than that but was very perplexing yet enjoyable. Language subjects used online quizzes and games which tested your vocabulary and ability to conjugate words, the best kind of game was when we were timed.

The fact that I even remember these methods of learning show that they are somewhat effective. I believe that I, and most students, learn best when the task is enjoyable, and by mixing entertainment with education; endless possibilities present themselves by way of teaching through technology.

Being in my final year, I have never been more grateful for technology and my ability to have my laptop in class. There are very few students in any of my classes who opt to handwrite their notes, although it is somewhat important, it is just much more quicker and easier to type. This is especially important when having lectures, and as much information must be written down as possible in short time frames. By having my laptop in class, I am able to search for virtually any piece of information I need.

Some may say that our generation is lazy and is becoming less intelligent, but in my opinion it is completely the opposite. We have literally anything we need to know at our fingertips.

Technology in education is so much more than just learning through educational games, as more schools are beginning to shift much of their curriculum and organisational tools online, we are now seeing the classroom being brought home.

My current school has its own platform where we access all our emails, lesson plans, content and timetables. Year levels below me also use an online diary to keep record of their homework and upcoming events, although we still use bound books. By storing all of this information online, not only an unthinkable amount of paper is saved, but being organised is much achievable for students.

What’s even better is that many of students textbooks are available for download onto their device, which not only saves money but means less weight to carry in the schoolbag home.

It is exciting to see the leaps and bounds that educational has made in the past few decades, and how dramatically it has developed. What is even more exciting are the possibilities that the future of technology in education presents, especially with the rapid rate of growth in the development of applications and software tools designed to aid teachers in the classroom.

Image: US Department of Education

 

School excursions are the favourite part of being at school for this high school student

Clea Boyd-Eedle is 17 years old and in her final year of high school, she’s also the eldest daughter of ParentPaperwork’s founders David and Fiona, and we asked her for some thoughts about school excursions from the point of view of a student.

Being in my final year of high school, I now am able to truly reflect on my schooling career. There have been many great memories associated with both primary and high school. Although it is important to learn traditionally in a classroom environment, I can tell you there is nothing better than an excursion day, where we learn hands-on, bond with fellow classmates and explore our curriculum in real-life situations. Excursions have definitely been my utmost favourite part of being in school, and I reckon that most students would agree.

Biology becomes so much more enjoyable when you venture to the zoo and meet all the animals you’ve been studying. Exploring the city on an adventure race and utilising what you’ve learnt about public transport creates great travelling skills. And how about indulging in fine French foods and ordering using newly learnt phrases, such as “Je voudrais un sandwich de poulet? et un chocolate chaud si’l vous plaît?” Ordering a chicken sandwich and a hot chocolate was never more exciting or fulfilling.

As the workload piles on in our later years, the memories of past excursions grow fonder. My favourite excursion aspect of high school was definitely our schools CUE program, where each second week of year 9, classes would spend the day together using personal skills and learnt knowledge to explore life out of school. CUE was comprised of three areas, community (C), urban (U) and environment (E).

Community placed 2-3 students in different working environments, for example, I worked at a local school for disabled kids where I was lucky enough to spend time with my younger sister and her school friends. Other students worked at immigration centres, elderly care homes and kindergartens.

Urban saw classes visit mosques, explore the city and visit some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings. In environment we cleaned up Portsea beaches and discovered where exactly our waste ended up, whilst also learning how to solve current environmental issues.

My favourite part of CUE was easily the Big Experience trip at the end of the program, where I spent 3 weeks in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia building a home for a rural community, bartering in markets and really opening my eyes to the real world.

Each year schools organise a multitude of excursions, and it is often that you will see scores of buses lining the front of the school in preparation for an exciting day of learning outside the classroom. Excursions, although an important aspect of schooling life, require a great deal of planning and organisation to ensure that the utmost safety and care is taken for each and every student.

My parents seem to have to handle an everlasting stream of paperwork  – no wonder they came up with the idea for ParentPaperwork.

I won’t lie, even as a fairly organised student, over the years I’ve definitely misplaced my fair few of excursion forms, and now I’ve had a chance to see what Mum and Dad are doing, it makes complete sense to me that schools should give ParentPaperwork a try!

Teachers don’t work hard enough? Think again!

There is a long-running myth perpetuated in some quarters about the laziness of teaching and educational roles, in particular classroom teachers in primary, middle and high schools. Busy Teacher has compiled this great infographic that puts a teacher’s working year in a much more realistic perspective.

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Although the average yearly salary for a teacher in the United States is $49,000, a good $5,000 above the median household income, the money is well-earned. Teachers are not only working the average teaching day of 6-8 hours, they also arrive to school early and leave late, in order to have parent/teacher meetings and help students with work. Once a teacher goes home their work continues, grading papers, assignments, attending teacher meetings, making phone calls and answering student emails. These activities can take anywhere from 3-5 hours per day to complete.

By adding up all of these small tasks, a teacher’s working day can look like anything from 12-16 hours per day! This is a massive commitment, when a teacher is in charge of so many kids and classes, there are always more needs to be met.

One of the most common comments made about teaching jobs is how they are only working for nine months of the year, as student’s aren’t in school for three months during the summer. This misconception jumps to the conclusion that teachers spend no time during the summer planning for the coming year, but in reality, teachers are spending most of the summer break in preparation for the coming year.

These statistics only encompass the United States, so how does it compare to the rest of the world?

Knewton has compiled another great infographic which compares the amount of work teachers are putting into their work all over the world.

infograph2

For example, we are shown that the United States has the highest number of statutory work hours, 1,998 hours a year for high school teachers, when compared to the likes of South Korea, Japan, England and Brazil. The United States also has the highest number of teaching hours when compared to even more countries all over the world, with New Zealand in second place and France in third.

These numbers can deduce that all over the world, teachers are working up to as many as 11 hours per day. This is broken down into sections of work like classroom teaching, which takes up 40% of teachers time, grading work and administration, such as paperwork, which takes up approximately another 30% of a teachers time each day. These hours really do add up quite quickly, as it seems there is always something a teacher could be doing to improve their lesson plans, organise their paperwork or support their students.

What makes a teacher’s life even harder is that there are other factors which are now making teaching even more challenging in our modern society. These factors include things such as growing class sizes, recognition that each student deserves personalised attention, every changing standards and regulations of teaching plus the portrayal of school in a negative light by peer and pop culture.

These two infographics are great tools to show that many teachers are justified in expressing concern about their workloads, and education administrators must continue to seek ways to provide support and tools that can lighten the load for teachers around the world.