One of the most voiced complaints of technology leaders in our schools today, is the challenge of the online classroom. Many (if not most of) the tools used in our classroom today require a good network connection. Combine this with the heavy use of multimedia, and the simultaneous access in a classroom to content (students load their pages almost at the same) and you can have a real challenge that inhibits full use of technology by our teachers and students.
As our teachers become even more reliant on technology, a network outage can be detrimental to the classroom
Introducing: Offline server
Faced with this dilemma we are proud to introduce the school or district-side caching server. ClassroomAPP automatically connects to this local server if it is available, otherwise reverts to the cloud servers.
This server comes with all the features you expect from ClassroomAPP:
- Classroom management
- Learning management
- Built-in content (docs, sheets and the ubiquitous Paper)
- A complete local mirror of all teacher and student online files
That last one is as big deal. If you upload a video or a large PDF, it can take forever for all your students to view it. Not anymore! With ClassroomAPP's built-in file server you access it in lightning speed over the internal school network. Now that's cool!
A common question is: will students be able to access their stuff at home?
And the answer is: Absolutely!
All we ask for is a basic internet connection and the local server keeps updating the cloud server (and itself if need be) with any recent changes. It's real-time with a periodic (every 10 mins) verification to make sure nothing was lost along the way (shouldn't happen, but it's better to be paranoia than sorry). Of course, all connections to the online servers are over secure channels.
This not only means students and teachers have full access off-school premises, but administrators and principals can run their reports real-time and see all the dashboards they are used to.
For larger districts this means you have consolidation of all your data from all the school servers in one place!
Maintenance & Structure
A server is a big deal. The first reaction we get when we talk about a server is raised eyebrows. Who is going to maintain it? Don't worry, we got you covered
- Firstly, that server is built on standard technologies (the same technology that powers Amazon and Google). In fact, it auto updates when new system updates are available (security updates, OS improvements, etc)
- Secondly, it comes with an automated manager that makes sure the app is running 24-7. And .. we can open a secure tunnel to it from our offices to do any kind of remote maintenance needed (no special setups needed on school infrastructure)
- Finally, it comes with a handy and simple system management tool you can access from your browser. It shows you the status of the app, CPU and memory usage, allows to manually restart etc. When we offer remote support, we typically ask for a screen share and look at this tool together.
Having a full-featured learning application is one thing. Having a full-featured learning application powered by an easy-to-manage set-it-and-forget-it server is another!
We are proud to push the innovation envelope further as we listen to the feedback of teachers and students. If you have ideas or suggestions, we'd love to hear them as this is the only way to keep providing our schools with the right tools.
Thanks for reading!