Sunday, 14 October 2018

Not Far To Go

If I can remember back to my own teaching days, day one of term four often brought on a slight wry smile due to a variety of mixed thoughts ...

- it's the start of another term.. but there is a long holiday break at the end of it.

- for senior secondary students and their teachers there is about four weeks until external exams.. but nice to have a short week next week.

- the inevitable nervousness brought about by the practises for end of year shows and prize givings.. but they are always fine on the day.

Here at Edge Learning Solutions (aka..MUSAC) term four is a time for software refinements as well as preparing for the new year. However the very recent holiday break gave us a nice block of time to roll out a range of new functionality that we have been working on through term 3:

Edge SM

  • Online enrolments
  • School Data Sync
  • Custom Report data extract

see more details and the complete list here

Edge LM

  • Most Popular / Least Popular list is now available in Reports > Summary Reports > Popularity Report
  • Barcodes now print out to fit Avery L7158 (959062) or an Office Max Laser Label size 64.0 x 26.7mm, Stock Code 1950797, 30 labels per sheet.
  • Source, Price and Accession date fields have been added to the Accession Register, Advanced Item and Purchase Value Analysis
  • Able to Issue/ Reserve by barcode, username or Full name from the dashboard
  • Can now filter and export by Source and Non Fiction/ Fiction in Accession Register
  • Any item status other than current (and interloan) will ask if you want to make current when barcode is scanned for issuing, returning or stocktaking
  • When issuing Items that are currently issued will say do you want to return “book name” and then issue to New
  • Reserved item will now give message of who has reserved it when returned
  • When stocktaking an item that is issued it will automatically be returned
  • Export from Circulation now has item name etc.
  • Leavers with Overdues now list on the dashboard. Clicking on this link takes you to the leavers report to see who they are and what they have out 

Fixes

  • Notes has had the character limit increased
  • Heading sorting now works in circulation
  • Search by borrower in Borrower History
  • E-platform update
  • Sound alert in stocktaking
  • Leavers and Deletes are handled better

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

End of Another Term

Another 10 weeks have flown by with lots of features being added to Edge. Please click here to see what we've been up to.

We've also added to the Edge Mobile app. Download the latest version from Play or App Store .. search for musac edge:

  • ATL reports, viewable by teachers, students and caregivers. For a student or caregiver, an "Attitude to Learning" button has been added on the home screen. Tap to view the student's report. For a teacher, a button to view ATL reports has been added to the student details screen. The button will only be visible if the student has ATL report data entered.
  • Learning Support notes. Available as an option when adding a student note (click the icon in the top right corner of the student details screen to add a note), along with existing note types of Attendance, Enrolment, Assessment and Sensitive. Learning support notes are also displayed when viewing notes for a student on the student details screen.
  • Record my name. When logged in as a student or teacher (not available for caregiver) you can tap “Record my name” on the home screen. This lets you record how you pronounce your name and save it in Edge. You may need to grant the app microphone access. Follow the instructions in the pop up. You can listen to a recording of someone’s name when viewing their staff or student details via “People Search”. This does not yet show up in the web version of Edge.
  • Pastoral attachments. You can attach files to a pastoral record in the same way as for a student note. Pastoral attachments are not visible yet on the web version of Edge.
  • New edge logos
  • Truancy icon. If a student has been assigned to a "Truancy" group, a red T icon is shown on their student details screen and next to their name in the search results and when marking attendance. The truancy group is set up in the same way as ESOL and Special Needs groups. If a student is assigned to a truancy group then it is not possible to mark them present using the "Mark All" functionality, they must be marked individually.
  • Attendance notes displayed when marking a roll have been reformatted to look the same as on the student details screen for consistency.
  • Emergency contact information (contact name, home phone, work phone, mobile number) added to Staff Details and User Profile screens
 
  • Bugfixes, enhancements:

  • Fix for bug where pressing on a roll in the unmarked rolls list several times quickly causes multiple copies of it to open.
  • If a student is absent for a single day, just one date is shown instead of Start Date/End Date when showing student attendance notes
  • Leavers not shown on Payments screen unless they have an amount owing
  • When searching for someone’s name you can now include a space in the search string to search for their complete name
  • A bug where pastoral records were sometimes not shown in the pastoral history when viewing the last X number has been fixed

Have a relaxing term break.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

A Fistful of Features

It's been a busy start to the term with a plethora of additions finding their way into Edge.

Below is an summary of what has been added. For more details please read our Release Notes


People>Define Groups
  • A Group can be flagged as an ESOL or Special Needs group. This will put either a blue globe icon for ESOL, or multicoloured hand icon for Special Needs, next to their name on the My Class list and in purple student banner
  • A Group can be flagged as a Truancy Risk. In Attendance, students flagged as a Truancy Risk will not be able to be marked using “Mark ALL Present”. They will need to be individually marked for attendance
Admin View - Markbooks added to the menu
  • Admin Users can go straight to Markbooks without first needing to go to Achievement page
  • There is now a new note type - Learning Support
Teacher View
  • Medical List and Print moved to the left hand side of the My Class Page
People
  • A birthday cake icon will now show next to the student name on the purple banner and on the My Class list
Finance>Processing
  • New feature in Bulk Discounts/Reversals so that when a user selects the billable item to display, it displays the affected students immediately without needing the extra click of the display button
Admin
  • Achievement>Markbooks
  • The X (full screen) option button in Achievement/Markbooks is now a button labelled “Full Screen”
  • Markbooks has only one column of setup making more space for data
 Teacher Mode
  • A new My Classes widget lists the teachers classes. Clicking a class keeps the focus on that class as different functions such as attendance are selected
  • A Markbooks button has been added to the button bar giving one click access to markbooks.
  • On the My Class page in Teacher mode, the order of columns has been rearranged to have medical info and notes immediately after the students name.
  • The order of icons in Teacher mode has been changed to have most used to least used going left to right
  • Clicking on the notes in the my class page will now show a list of notes
  • The functionality to mass email Students and Caregivers from the My Class page has been added
  • The Markbook configuration has been refined to allow teachers to configure what student data they want to see in a Markbook and then save this as a template

  

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A Wintery Start to Term 3

The year keeps rolling on with the term 2 break seemingly gone in a blink ... the holidays saw us release a few new Edge features however, both in the browser and on the mobile app.

In the browser we have added a My Classes Widget to give teachers easy access to their classes and we have also rejigged the My Class page by adding a new birthday icon and bringing the most often used columns such as Notes to the left .. even more happening with this in the next deploy as well.




A more subtle but very useful change is that once a class is selected either from the My Class Widget or from the left hand side of the My Class page, the focus remains on that class as you click between Attendance, Marbooks, Reports, Filterable Lists and Pastoral.

NB. Markbooks can now be directly accessed from the menu bar.

In the mobile app we have added the ability to attached a file to a note. Very useful for example if you want to take a photo of a students work as part of an Assessment Note.




Thursday, 17 May 2018

Autumn Colours

The photographer in me has always enjoyed Autumn .. the change in colour palette, no day like the previous, and clouds racing each other wherever you look.

Autumn also brings a bundle of changes in Edge. First out the door are a number of additions to the Edge Mobile App:
  • Caregivers payments to the school via the app. Third party payment providers must be supported by the school.
  • You can now choose between the default email app, Microsoft Outlook and the Gmail client app for sending emails on an iPhone when tapping contact details.
  • Teachers can now view a list of all unmarked rolls on the Attendance screen, not just those for the current day.
  • Caregivers can view student attendance on the student timetable. This is colour-coded: green = present, orange = late, red = absent, blue = unmarked.
  • There is now a warning when overwriting attendance codes.
Following close behind will be additions to timetabling that will bring the full functionality down to year 1 for all school types .. then more features as the term progresses.

Edge Conference
With about three weeks until our first Edge Mini Conference, registrations continue to roll in, and it's definitely a case of the more the merrier.


Palmerston North           - June 7 & 8 Conference Centre, 354 Main St, Palmerston North
Auckland                        - June 14 & 15 Holiday Inn, 2 Ascot Rd, Mangere, Auckland
Dunedin                         - June 19 & 20 The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop St, Dunedin

As well as a range of workshops covering three streams, Administration, Management and Achievement, there will be time to network with other educational professionals from all the different types of schools who will be attending.

To encourage the attendance of a range of staff from each school we are offering a number of registration options: Pay for one attendee and another can attend for free. Pay for two attendees and three others can attend for free. Half price to attend for just one of the days.

If you are taking advantage of one of the above options, please make a note in the Special Conditions field when registering.

Click here to register

See you there.



Monday, 23 April 2018

Term Break

Traditionally a term break gives staff a chance to recharge and catch their breath or if they are very lucky .. get ahead. So with just a few days left of the break it's probably timely to remind schools about a few tasks that should be ticked off before term 2 arrives:

- If you are using a timetable .. Activate it before Monday (Timetable>Create or Edit Timetable .. choose the right timetable for term 2 .. then Activate it in Step 8

- Check all Attendance Rolls have been marked for term 1 (Attendance>Unmarked Rolls)

- Check all ?'s have been updated to the correct code (Attendance>Search by Code)

- PDF & Print then securely store your term 1 'Audit Term Attendance Registers' (Attendance>Audit Term Attendance Register)

- NCEA - Review the standards attached to students (Achievement>Edit Course Standards)

- Check that Assessment Points are set up as required to track data as the year progresses.(Achievement>Achievement>Setup of Assessments)

 - Staff Changes?? - For staff who have left, add an End Date In People>Staff>View/Edit Staff. For new arrivees, fill out their details on People>Staff>Register Staff Member, then edit their rights on Admin>Security>Configure User Responsibilities. They can then use the Forgot Password? link on the Edge login page to get themselves in.

- Announcements - Many schools are already using the School Announcement functionality in Edge to keep staff, caregivers and students up to date. The announcements appear on the Dashboard page as well as on the mobile app. To add/edit them you need the Communications role ticked in Admin>Security>Configure User Responsibilities.



Enjoy the rest of the break.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter is looming

Easter
The end of term 1 is nigh, but we all get a little practise break with the Easter holiday in a few days. Just enough time off for students to wind down .. then not quite wind up again for the week and a half before the April holidays .. and just in case you didn't know .. The date of Easter Sunday is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox .. glad we cleared that up.

SPANZ & Edge Conferences
Our time at the SPANZ conference was very well spent with a lot of new connections made as well as catching up with acquaintances, both principals and sponsors. Many ideas and thoughts were shared especially around the likely changes Labour is indicating, although the detail is still up for debate. There is likely to be more clarity by the time our Edge conferences roll around in June. Please click here for more details on these as we are holding three conferences; Palmerston North, Auckland and Dunedin, and the programme has something for everyone.

NCEA Submission
For schools with NCEA students the first NCEA submission time is not too far away. This page in our Answers knowledge Base overviews the whole NCEA process in Edge, but the key points are:
  • Check the standards attached to each course .. including the version of the standard
    • Timetable>Information>Courses Lists .. Course Summary
  • Use the Edit Course Standards page to edit the standards attached to each student, NB. prior to the first submission un-ticking means 'unattached'. Once a standard has been submitted, un-ticking means withdrawn.
  • The standards attached to an individual student can be viewed en masse' on the Student Summary page, or the Assign Standards page. This can be bulk printed on the Achievement>View Results page. They can also be viewed in the portals and on the mobile app.
  • The submission file is created on the Admin>Import/Export>NZQA Import/Export page. For most of the year we recommend you tick, 'Only internal standards with results are submitted to NZQA'. NB. Attached external standards are always submitted so you may choose not to attach them until later in the year.
Training in the South Island
As indicated earlier in the year our South Island partner, Solutions and Services will be solely focusing on the financial work from the start of term 2, with MUSAC taking over the SMS and Library training from that point. We would again like to thank Solutions and Services for all their dedicated work and kilometers traveled over many years in supporting our software throughout the South Island. Feedback from schools over this time has been full of praise and we will look to carry on this excellent service from the start of next term.

For all schools, if you need training please email services@musac.io

Assay Analysis
An optional data analysis tool that takes your NCEA, PAT and OTJ data stored in Edge and presents it using an extensive range of filters in a colourful and graphical format. The data can be displayed in Teacher, HoD or School Leader centric views.


For example; Assay can show you how each of your students is going compared to their other classes, previous years’ results and their data such as PATs..... Assay can also give you your current classes by student in a form which gives an instant picture for each individual.


Assay is a separate 3rd party product that MUSAC has partnered with then embedded into Edge. For those schools wishing to enable this functionality please contact sales@musac.io


For more information, visit the Assay website.


For an interactive demo, click here and login with Username: demo and Password: demo.

National Standards Reporting
We have noted that a number of schools are still using the template report “Detailed Key Competencies and Flexible Comments” but are no longer reporting on National Standards. We are therefore changing the heading within this report from “National Standards” to “Curriculum Achievement”.

If you still would like the original heading then you can tick “National Standards” in the design area.

No other template reports have this heading to be changed. If you are using custom reports and would like changes made to them please contact services@musac.io

This change will be available after the next release which is scheduled for later this week.



Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Conference Season

The year keeps marching on ... March Returns are now behind us and SPANZ, the first major conference MUSAC is attending, is just over a week away.

This year SPANZ is being held in picturesque Queenstown and after a couple of years away MUSAC is pleased to be back as a Silver Sponsor. With the Labour Government indicating that major changes to the educational system are in the wind it's also very timely as the  conference will be the ideal forum for discussing where things might be heading.

One area that Labour has been mentioned already is closer engagement between home and school, which segues nicely into a reminder about the Edge mobile app. The Edge app is already being used on a daily basis by thousands of staff, caregivers and students. Staff are entering attendance and looking up student details, senior students are keeping tracking of their NCEA results and caregivers can read the school announcements. The Edge app is free and can be downloaded from either App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android). Once installed make up a pin number, enter your Edge login details and start using the app. No extra permissions are needed for staff, but for caregivers and students the Portal access settings need to be enabled



Monday, 5 March 2018

Edge 5th March Technical Issue Update


Edge 5th March Technical Issue Update

Thank you very much for your patience during yesterday’s issues. We appreciate your support and understanding.

The issue has been resolved and it was identified to be related to server swap. The impact was reduced due of the extensive backup routine we have in place and we were able to restore the data.

Thank you once again for your patience.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

URGENT Edge Technical Issues

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Our server partners are experiencing significant technical issues due to an upgrade that was carried out over the weekend.
They along with our help are working to have this resolved as soon as possible however they do expect this will take until mid afternoon today.

This issue is affecting only certain parts of Edge ie: Edit Student, Printing of receipts, batch reports and some other queued print jobs including MoE Returns.

Attendance has not been affected so rolls can still be marked.

An update will be sent out a soon as we know anything more.

Thank you for your patience.


Update - 3.40pm:   There is still some testing needed over the next few hours however all going well this issue should be resolved by tomorrow morning.


Update - 1.45pm:   The team having been working very hard to stabalise the servers and at this point things are back up and running, however we do ask that users refrain from doing any large data changes or printing until tomorrow where possible.  There is still more remedial work to be done this afternoon so there may be more interruptions from 3.30pm.


Update - 11.25am:  We have had a meeting with our partners and they are in the process or restoring a backup which is likely to take 5hrs.  This time frame will be updated at 1pm today but at this stage we are looking at 3.30pm.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Settling into the term


It’s only the first full week back for schools, but with this interesting weather we are having it probably feels like much more than that. For those of you just settling in, welcome back and we hope you have had a good break.

It’s going to be a big year for Edge with several positive changes happening in and around the software. I would like to welcome all our new schools that have recently moved onto Edge SM and Edge LM.

I would also like to welcome back Deborah Sims who will be looking after our Northland and Auckland schools. Deborah has hit the ground running and is looking forward to reacquainting herself with schools she has worked with in the past plus all our new Edge SM & LM users. We will also be adding more resources on the ground to support our schools and we will update you on these changes shortly.

It’s also probably timely to remind everyone that March Returns are not far away. Some recent changes relating to these returns will be included in an update this Friday evening (Feb 16). Details about the Returns can be found here.

There will also be an update to Edge LM this Friday (Feb 16) that will include new SCIS functionality.

A reminder that if you are unsure about some of the features in Edge you can click the Help button that is at the bottom of nearly every page in Edge. If you are still stuck email our Support Desk (support@musac.io) or give them a ring on 0800 600 159.

A quick update on training in the South Island .. there is no change for term one with Solutions and Services continuing to provide the high standard of service that they are known for. From term 2 training in the South Island will be managed from Palmerston North but we will have people on the ground in South Island as currently is the case.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Underway in 2018

We are now nicely into double digits February so all schools are well underway. Good to see a range of schools opting to start on Feb 7 giving their students a few more of these very hot summer days at home.

Primary teachers and principals may also be feeling a tad more relaxed starting this year compared to the last few because of the recent changes to National Standards. Maybe we need to stay tuned to see if they are going to be replaced by anything, but quite nice to have a little less compliance at the start of the year.

Speaking of compliance, specifically attendance,the use of the Edge mobile app has ramped up very nicely from day 1 this year. All the feedback tells us that staff are really appreciating the convenience the app brings to marking attendance, looking up student and caregiver details as well as being able to add pastoral transactions and general student notes on the fly.

For those not so aware of the Edge Mobile App it can be downloaded from either the App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android) by searching for Musac Edge. NB. in the App Store make sure you have the search filter set on Phone apps, even if you are using an iPad .. which it runs very nicely on. Once installed add a pin number, login in once with your usual Edge email and password, and away you go. More features to be added not too far away. NB2 .. NCEA students are also making good use of the app as it keeps them up to date with their historic and on-going results. 

With the new year we also have new staff .. Deborah Sims is back with us as a trainer based in Auckland. Dawood Ali has joined the development team in Palmerston North, and for those that missed it last year, Innocent Bindura also joined the development team late in 2017. Always good to have new people involved as they bring a fresh perspective to what we do.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sunny Weather

It's perhaps mildly ironic that the weather has dramatically improved just as NCEA exams get into full swing. Silently sweating brain cells whilst in a room in a row with a group of your peers isn't likely to be top priority for anyone, let alone thousands of teenagers.

Related to this the Labour coalition election win has resulted in a number of announcements around changes to National Standards and perhaps also to NCEA. To date MUSAC hasn't received any subsequent software specification changes from the MoE, so it's status quo at the moment.  We'll keep you posted.

Also top of mind for many schools is end of year reporting. We have had a bit of a rush on schools wanting minor tweaks to existing custom reports. If you do need a change made get hold of us as soon as you can at services@musac.io. 

In thinking about caregiver reporting many schools have shifted to using the ATL reporting functionality found in Edge. In brief this is reporting to caregivers in small amounts at regular intervals. Caregivers can view the graphical output on the parent portal giving them almost live feedback on their child. More information can be found here.

The last two weeks of our regional training workshops are on at the moment. Participation has been very pleasing with schools learning from each other as well as by the topics being delivered. After getting feedback from schools we'll be looking to continue these workshops in 2018.

The Edge Mobile app is also getting more and more use, especially after the addition of pastoral functionality.
This is as well as being able to being able to mark attendance, look up student/caregiver details, contact caregivers and view announcements. More is on the way so we highly recommend you download it from either the App or Play store and start using it.





Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Sprint to the Finish

Is it just me or does term 4 somehow seem to just flash by? It's already T4 W1 D3 .. next week is a short week .. for schools with Y11+, NCEA exams start not so very long after that (Nov 9). Not to mention After 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 OTJ's looming ...

Also in the Edge SM world report writing will begin not too far away so for those schools needing tweaks or otherwise to their Custom Reports contacting MUSAC Services ASAP to avoid a last minute rush is recommended. (services@musac.io).

Use of the Edge App by Staff, Students and Caregivers continues to ramp up very rapidly. The recent addition of Pastoral functionality to the app for staff to view and enter has been very well received and in practical terms means that from a teachers perspective nearly all regular day to day SMS work can be done on the app . .very convenient.

The number of schools moving across to Edge Library Manager from our own MLM and other library packages is keeping us nicely busy. With the only cost to move being a small amount of training, enquiries are coming through on a daily basis. For those of you who have not seen Edge LM this video will give you a good overview. Edge LM Overview Video

Quick Reminders

  • To speed up your enrolment data entry, use the Admin>Setup>School Settings page to pre-populate selected fields.
  • New Filterable lists can create tables of statistics as well as lists of students. Have a look at the ones created by MUSAC then make some of your own.
  • 2018 calendar - set this up now so it's all ready to go next year - Admin>Setup>Define School Calendar.
  • Need to know which caregiver belongs to a phone number you have? Use Quick Find in the right hand end of the purple banner to do this and much more.



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Spring Break

The gusty winds and sweeping rain have both announced that Spring is here. At least the temperature is climbing nicely. With luck there will be some settled time on the holiday weeks where both staff and students can recharge for the run through to Christmas .. hang in there parents.

We here at MUSAC are still on deck so if you have a query or question give us a call .. 0800 600 159 .. or drop an email to .. support@musac.io .. Otherwise kick back and have a happy holiday.



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Time Saving!!

It's the time of year when lots of pre-enrolments are being added to Edge. Filling out default field values on the Enrolment Settings page (Admin>Setup>Enrolment Settings) can save you a lot of time and help to ensure data accuracy.

Just go to this page and add those values that are common across most or all of your pre-enrollers. These values will then be in those fields every time you do a new enrolment.


How many??

As well as listing information New Filterable Lists is great for giving you tables of totals on the data you have stored in Edge. e.g. Ethnicity by Year Level, Class by Gender by Year Level. 

Select the fields as you usually do then at the end of the field row choose a 'Group by' value. Finally tick Summative in the Output Options area. The PDF output will give you a table with the totals of the fields you selected.

The number you select in 'Group by' determines how the data appears across and down so adjust them if you need to.

If it's a table you might need again give it a name and Save it.

NZPF Conference

Queenstown truely turned on the good weather for the annual NZPF Conference last week, where hundreds of primary school principals have gathered to listen share and contribute.


Great to catch up with so many of you as well as meet new people. Thanks to all those who dropped by the MUSAC stand for a catch up or to find out a few things.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Solutions & Services - Annual Roadshow

Our annual South Island Roadshow is back on in 2017, coming to a town near you. This is a great opportunity to catch up with developments in your areas of interest.


There are three sessions, focusing on two strands, Finance and edgeSMS. You can mix and match your sessions over the three time slots at a cost of $60 per seminar or $180 for the day (plus GST). Full day registration includes a light lunch. Please do not send money with your registration – your school will be invoiced.


To register, follow this link, registration form



Edge Feature Reminders

It's been great meeting so many of you at recent conferences, workshops, road shows and schools visits. Part of your feedback has been about keeping up with the feature updates in Edge and the best way to use these. So here is an overview of some of the recent additions:

- Enrolment Settings - Admin>Setup>School Settings .. enrolment officers can set up default values for a range of student core details such as Date Started Here. This can save a lot of time when pre-enrolling students.

- Custom Categories - Admin>Setup>Category Setup .. Edit/View on the Custom Categories tab on the Student Details page .. these are school defined fields for holding information such as Internet Permission, Sports Choices and How Getting to School.

- NCEA - Unattached Standards - Achievement>NCEA>Unattached Standards .. on this page unattached standards can be viewed, removed or withdrawn as required.

- Mail to Greeting - People>Students>Student Details>Caregivers .. a Mail to Greeting field is now available on each caregiver. If a Caregiver has a Mail to Greeting, this is used when Financial Documents are sent.

- Announcements - Admin>Setup>School Announcement .. you can now send an announcement to more than one portal at once.

- Billable Items (Teacher Mode) - My Class>Finance Details .. a Year Level, Class and Group filter has been added as well as ‘only show my students’ .. unless the Show All Students right from School Settings has been enabled. This will help teachers see who has paid for a school trip or similar.

Finance Bulk Discount/Reversal - Finance>Processing>Bulk Discount/Reversal:  The ability to bulk discount or reverse billable items has been added.