Monthly Archives: November 2021

How To Get Parents Engaged in Homework with Microsoft Teams

We partnered with Haldor to deliver a free session for schools and multi academy trusts focusing on boosting parental engagement in students’ homework using Microsoft Teams.  

While there are some great advantages to parents and guardians being engaged in their child’s learning and homework assignments, it can be a challenge for schools and trusts to find an easy way to connect and communicate with parents. 

During the webinar, we shared our top tips on getting parents more engaged with homework by using the out-of-the-box tools in Microsoft 365 and how to enhance this with Haldor’s dedicated homework app.  

Below is a summary of what we talked about. 

Set up a weekly email digest for parents. 

An automatic weekly assignment digest can be set up within the standard Microsoft 365 package.  

Parents receive a summary of their child’s assignments once a week, and this provides a quick overview of set assignments, completed work, overdue homework and upcoming deadlines.

To use the weekly email digest, your school needs to be using Microsoft School Data Sync. Cloud Design Box are Microsoft SDS Advanced Partners, contact us for an SDS managed service.

An example of a weekly assignment digest email

“There are a few limitations to this,” Darren Hemming Cloud Design Box’s Operations manager, a parent and former teacher explains.  

“It’s only sent once per week, and we know some parents want to see this more often. The email digest is also limited in terms of the information provided – there are no grades or scores.”  

Additionally, it’s a static email and parents do not have the ability to log into Teams whenever they’d like to check up on their child’s homework progress.  

Enhancing parental engagement with Haldor Homework.  

Haldor Homework bridges the gap and allows parents and guardians to log in on-demand and find out what has been set in Teams and the current status of assignments.  

Haldor gives a more in-depth view of assignments, showing homework details, rubrics and grades.  

“It’s really useful for parents and guardians to be able to read the rubrics and grading criteria. It really involves the parents in their child’s learning,” says Darren. 

Haldor Homework App

What’s more, there’s no additional work for schools and admin teams as it links directly with Microsoft School Data Sync – there’s no need to create parents’ accounts or reset passwords.  

Parents simply sign up themselves and gain access to their child’s homework information. If they have multiple children at the school, they can flick between profiles in a few taps. 

Haldor Homework Assessment Criteria

On top of this, Haldor Homework is integrated with Microsoft’s accessibility tools, making the app inclusive and accessible for a broad spectrum of needs.  

Microsoft’s Immersive Reader enables the user to change the style and appearance of the text to help with reading comprehension.  

Parents can also use the Read Aloud tool to get the information read to them via their speakers or headphones.

Meanwhile, the Translate tool and Picture Dictionary are particularly helpful for breaking down language barriers.   

Haldor Homework Immersive Reader

“During the pandemic, we saw many parents teaching their children from home and becoming very engaged in their child’s learning. Now the schools in the UK have gone back to the classroom; it’s exciting to see a tool like Haldor Homework continuing the blended learning spirit,” Tony Phillips, Founder of Cloud Design Box adds. 

Please note: to set up the weekly assignment email for parents and use the Haldor Homework app, your school or trust will need to use Microsoft School Data Sync, the industry-standard way to automate your Class Teams and pull through parent/guardian contact details. If you need support with this, please get in touch with a member of our team.  

Add students’ upcoming assignments to your school’s SharePoint home page

We have launched a new SharePoint web part exclusive for Cloud Design Box customers called My Assignments, allowing students to see all their current and upcoming assignments from their SharePoint homepage.  

Your school’s SharePoint homepage should give students a quick overview of what’s going on in the school community, and their classroom.  

Popular features of a school intranet include the latest news, an announcement from the headteacher and maybe even a word of the day/week to get students thinking.

But, a common question we get asked by our customers is Is there a way to show upcoming assignments on the homepage? and thats why we created this new web part.  

Schools can now add My Assignments to their SharePoint’  pages 

SharePoint home page with My Assignments web part showing students upcoming assignments.

The student can see what assignments are coming up, what class theyre for and when theyre due. The ones that are overdue are highlighted in red.  

Whats more, the student can click the assignment and be taken directly to that assignment page in Microsoft Teams.  

My Assignments SharePoint web part showing students upcoming assignments.

The My Assignments web part has been designed to make it easier for students to keep track of assignments and take more ownership of their learning.    

If you’re a Cloud Design Box customer, you can edit your SharePoint home page and add the My Assignments web part to the page. Please get in touch with support if you need assistance with this.  

If youre not a customer but want to find out how we can help your school or trust achieve more with Microsoft 365, get in touch with a member of our team right now