Tablets are already a familiar sight in many classrooms, and schools have been quick to recognise their potential to make learning more interactive, immediate and fun. So much so that by the end of 2015, almost a quarter of all student-facing computers in schools will be tablets according to new research from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA). In some schools, this percentage will no doubt be considerably higher. While students enjoy exploring new ways of learning thanks to a growing range of innovative educational apps, it’s not surprising that their teachers would like an app that can help them too. Introducing SIMS Teacher app As a former teacher myself, I would have loved to get my hands on something that could simplify everyday classroom tasks so that I could spend less time on the admin and more on the teaching, and that’s why we are excited about the launch of the new SIMS Teacher app. The app is part of SIMS Learning Gateway, our online portal which already provides school staff, pupils and parents with access to information such as students’ attendance, behaviour and achievement, from anywhere with an internet connection.
So how does it work? I think the best way to find out is to put yourself in the place of a busy teacher…
Present and correct • As you log on at the start of a lesson, SIMS Teacher app knows what time it is and which lesson you’re taking, and it automatically presents pictures of the students in the class. • If everyone is where they should be, you can simply touch the screen to select all as present and get on with your lesson. • However, you spot that Billy’s desk is empty. When he turns up, the app automatically suggests how many minutes late he is.
Knowing your students • During the lesson you can tap any of your students in the SIMS Teacher app to call up key elements of their SIMS profile. On the move Our busy teacher can also access key pupil information when on playground duty, in the sports field or at home. The app works even when no internet connection is available, synchronising with SIMS to update attendance and behaviour.
Safe and sound Although the inspiration behind SIMS Teacher app is to make data more freely and easily accessible, the data is secure as everything that teachers download onto their tablets is encrypted. Staff members can only access data which they are authorised to and which is relevant to them, so confidential information remains confidential. Find out more Many of the teachers I meet tell me that they just want to get on with the important business of teaching – I’m looking forward to seeing how SIMS Teacher app will help them do just that. Capita SIMS will be on stand B260 at BETT 2014, where we will be previewing SIMS Teacher App and exploring future developments in mobile technology for schools. If you would like to know more, please visit www.capita-sims.co.uk/teacherapp. Capita SIMS (School Information Management System) is a management information system used by over 22,000 schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.