Honeygarlic Software Ltd.
Parents are strongly encouraged to download and install their school's app, as it provides a fast and convenient way for the school to provide notifications about changes in schedule, last minute reminders for school events, closures due to weather, etc. It also allows a parent to keep track of relevant events for their student.
An overview of how to use and navigate within the app is available here, but some information of particular relevance to parents is touched on below.
Make sure to allow the app permission to send you push notifications.
School administration and teachers will send out a variety of notifications - some of these may be broadcast to everyone, others may be targeted at a specific channel in the app.
In the sidebar menu in the app or the shortcut bar, tap "Select Channels" to subscribe to channels that may be of interest to you or your student. Depending on your school, there may be a variety of channels for various subjects, clubs, activities or specific classes (ie "English_10", "Grads", etc.). Only broadcast messages and those for channels you are subscribed to will show an alert on your phone, but messages for all channels are available in the Notifications list in the app by setting the "show all" option in the list.
In addition to push notifications sent out to a particular channel, each channel may also have calendar events such as tests, assignment due dates, etc that will appear in the app if you are subscribed to that channel.
Some channels may be listed as private. When you try and subscribe to those, you will require an access code provided by the teacher or administrator responsible for the channel.
There is a student switcher available as a QuickButton action or in the swipe-in shortcut bar ( see the howto ). This brings up a panel which allows you to switch between up to five profiles: four named profiles, and the unnamed default profile. Tap on a name to edit the name assigned to a profile, or tap the checkbox next to a profile to switch to it. This allows you to enter multiple schedules if you have more than one student in the school.
Each student has it's own separate set of the information in the configuration screen - class names, colors, and extracurricular activities. Some settings (ie channel subscriptions) are shared, in order to ensure that messages are received correctly regardless of which profile is currently being displayed.
It is suggested that parents with multiple students use the student switcher as the action for the QuickButton, that way switching student profiles is only ever two taps away (one to bring up the switcher, the second to choose the student).
One of the core principles of the app is to take every measure to ensure the maximum possible security and privacy for any individual student's information. At this point in time that means there is no way to share app information from your student's device to your own - you will need to enter their schedule, subscribe to the relevant channels, etc manually.
Each school app has an accompanying web portal to be used by school administrators, teachers, and others that may be granted access for:
This guide provides a quick overview of using the portal as of April, 2016. There may be changes and additions over time as new features are added to the apps and the portal. Note that as used in this guide “admin” refers to a user with administrative privileges for the portal. This is often a member of school administration but could be anyone entrusted with that level of access.
A key part of the notification/calendar structure is the concept of channels: Each channel represents a class, course, or interest, and can be as specific or general as desired. For example, “Grads”, or “Grade 10” as fairly broad channels, or as specific as “Math 9 - Mr. Brown block 2”. Each app can have an unlimited number of channels that a student can subscribe to. Once subscribed, they will receive alerts for push notifications for a channel, and their calendar will show events for subscribed channels.
A channel is by default public, but can be marked as private if you wish to restrict access. The options for channel visibility are:
This page is used to send a push notification to everyone, a “global” or “broadcast” notification. Simply type the message in the box provided and click “submit”. Notifications are currently limited to 140 characters. Most notifications are sent immediately, but you can optionally check the box to send later, and specify a date/time to up to two weeks later to send the message.
You can also attach a file to a push notification - it will show as a link in the notification, and tapping it will load the file. The link does count towards the character count for the notification - please allow 20-25 characters for the link. The portal currently accepts JPG, PNG, and PDF files of up to 8MB in size as attachments.
This page is used to send a push notification to subscribers to a particular channel. The primary part of the page is similar to the main Push Notifications page, with the addition of a drop-down menu to select which channel to send to. The channel list dropdown will show approximately how many subscribers there are to each channel - this count is updated daily.
Targeted notifications will only pop up an alert for users who have subscribed to that channel, however they are visible to everyone in the “Notifications” list in the app if they use the "show all" option. Channel notifications also support scheduled sending and attachments with the same restrictions as global notifications.
On this page you can also enter a calendar event for a specific channel - for example a test. Simply select the desired channel at the top of the page, enter a title and date/time (24-hour format) for the event, and click add event. It will then be visible in the app to those subscribed to that channel. It will appear in the block schedule at the appropriate time, next to the class name the student has set for that block. With an upcoming update, channel events will also be able to have attachments and website links.
This page allows you to send out longer bulletins - up to 10,000 characters, and supporting basic formatting. The bulletins need not be daily - the title simply represent a common use. Other schools use them for things such as weekly cafeteria menus. These bulletins are visible in the app but do not pop up an alert/ sound. Similar to notifications, news bulletins support attachments. You can tap the “choose file” button to attach a document to the bulletin as a link, and optionally enter a title (only available on bulletins). If a title for the attachment is not entered, the file name will be used as the title of the link. The portal currently accepts a single JPG, PNG and PDF file up to 8MB in size, those limits will be expanded in the future.
A list of the most recent push notifications.
This page lets you update the schedule if there are any changes and add/edit event information for a specific day. First select a day to edit using the drop down at the top or clicking on a date in the calendar view below. The dropdown menu below the date lists the available day schedules/types to select from. When a schedule is selected, the block schedule for that type will be shown to the right. Below the day type are three fields for event information. The first line is shown in the app above the block schedule, and should be reasonably short. The others can be longer, and appear when you tap or hold on the blue event info - it will pop up a day detail with the other event info. Once the changes are saved, it will be picked up by the apps as they check in for updates, often within minutes. It may take longer, especially for apps that aren’t launched often or which mostly run without internet access. It is recommended to allow at least a day for changes to propagate out if possible.
A read-only view of the calendar for users without access to making calendar changes.
Lets you add or edit the channels available to subscribers. To add a channel simply enter the name in a blank space and save the changes. To remove a channel erase its name and save changes.
This page contains the majority of the administrative functions, and has three main subsections:
Edit your own password. You will have to enter it twice, and it will indicate the strength of the password. The portal won’t accept passwords it considers too weak. To increase the strength of a password: make it longer, use a mix of upper and lower case, include symbols or numbers, or any combination of those methods. This section will be the only one visible to users other than those with admin privileges.
Here you can add/edit others (i.e. teachers) as users so they can send notifications/ events to channels they are responsible for. It is strongly recommended that you use the person’s email address as the username - it ensures uniqueness, and will be used in future updates where the portal may need to communicate with the user (i.e. password resets, etc). Their initial password (they can freely change to something of their choosing once logged in) must be entered twice - as with your own password, the portal enforces a minimum password strength.
After adding a user, select their email address in the list immediately below and click “Edit user” to bring up a screen where you can edit the list of channels they have access to (simply check off the ones they will have access to), add additional permissions (sending global notifications/bulletins, calendar editing, etc), or reset their password.
This section contains settings that directly affect the operation of the app. The currently available options are