Tintern + EdSmart = dealing with multi-dimensional challenges
Across the course of 2020, Tintern Grammar was one of the Australian schools that, due to its location in the State of Victoria, endured one of the longest periods of mandated remote learning in the world.
The demands such a lockdown placed on students, parents and staff were considerable but, as Principal Bradley Fry admitted to EdSmart, it also unlocked an appetite for change and a willingness to try anything that has now permeated through the school culture and demonstrated they can climb metaphorical mountains if the need arises.
LMS, SIS & SOS – the three pillars to school success
In tackling the hurdles of the pandemic, Tintern Grammar already had the foresight to establish a powerful three-pillar technology stack. This gave them the capacity and agility to respond quickly and in a manner that went beyond the physical constraints of their campus:
EdSmart's School Organisation System (SOS) – administration
Synergetic's School Management System (SMS) – data
Schoolbox's Learning Management System (LMS) – learning
Given all three technologies are agnostic and interoperable, located in the cloud (making them accessible from anywhere) and familiar to the school, they were able to create a sense of continuity and 'business as usual' despite major disruptions to normal procedures.
These combined technologies took them off-campus within the blink of an eye, and without the hysteria that some other schools experienced.
Managing off-campus demands
One of the ways in which EdSmart shone for Tintern Grammar was in managing the demands of moving different cohorts of students from on-campus to off-campus and vice-versa, which often occurred with little more than a moment's notice.
For instance, at one stage, the Year 10 students were on-campus for three days and off-campus for two. EdSmart's automated workflows enabled teachers and the school's administrators to monitor their students' attendance and, consequently, accommodate any additional support or facilities they may need for their on-campus days.
EdSmart's technical flexibility and user-friendliness meant creating the slips, forms and associated workflows that Tintern specifically required was never a problem, even if it was for a purpose the school had never attempted before.
Stability through community cohesion
Keeping the wider school community calm, united and working together has been an ongoing challenge during lockdowns. Tintern took a priority-one attitude to their community, which went a long way in ensuring morale remained as high as possible and learning continued unabated despite the disruptions.
Tintern used EdSmart to converse with the community; not just with one-way broadcasts but by engaging them in proper dialogue, asking them questions and listening to their responses. Despite the stresses the pandemic caused, the feedback Tintern received from their community was very positive in terms of this 'new' school experience.
The time is now for EdSmart
Tintern's positive experience with EdSmart – and the platform's integration with their LMS (Schoolbox) and SMS (Synergetic) – goes a long way in proving 'the time is now' for schools to move their technology forward.
Tintern Grammar's acknowledgment of EdSmart being a fantastic tool, "and never more so than during the various stages of lockdown", indicates that the best school technology solutions tend not to draw attention to themselves, until they're needed most.