Timetabling Solutions has indicated that they are aiming to release Version 10 of The Timetabler in March 2020.
This is an online version of the software by Timetabling Solutions that will improve many of the current usability issues with the product – particularly with The Daily Org module, when you have people covering the job using different computers.
We believe from discussion with Timetabling Solutions that MyExtras will be fully compatible with this version, however it has not become available yet for testing by us, and we currently discourage our schools being an “early adopter” when the software is initially released.
As with all new software, particularly with such a major change in how the software runs, we strongly recommendwaiting until further testing and debugging by live running schools and by us here at MyExtras.
How does your school manage the end of year for Yr.10 and 11 students? In recent years “Step Up” or “Head Start” VCE programs for the following year are becoming more common in the final weeks of Term 4. This is generally considered to be a very positive development for students.
However, we realise that changes of timetable, in addition to overlapping exam supervision rosters, marking, report writing and restless students can make the end of year very stressful for teachers.
This is also particularly so for Daily Organisers who are often the ones left to try and patch the mismatch of timetables, clashes, and oversights in addition to the busy conference period with absent staff.
It is also imperative that the Daily Organiser does their best to make arrangements that are fair for all concerned. Workloads can be highly variable among teaching staff at this time and this can sometimes lead to resentment. Teaching load data can also often be difficult to collate and may not be entirely accurate. The only way around it is to use the data available to you in your calculations and be open and transparent in your organisation. The complexity of this task is high and not all the data is quantitative. You will most likely make oversights and you are not going to keep everyone happy. However, you can do your best to distribute workloads fairly and efficiently and finish the year on a positive note. With everyone working together as a team the job is much easier!
At MyExtras we consider ourselves part of your team. To help, we have been working on the ability to run two Semester 2 timetables at the one time to help with the generation of extras at the end of the year. This would work by selecting a date that the modified end of year timetable would start on, then importing the new “2nd” Semester 2 timetable. This feature is currently being developed and tested and may not be fully ready for 2019.
If you would like to know more, or be involved in testing of this new feature or to comment on this post, please contact us.
Pope Francis recently addressed a Vatican conference on the use of technology for the “Common Good”. He stated that technological advancement should be in the service of human development, and of the whole person, and for all people.
In our opinion schools have been great leaders in creating such an environment for well over 20 years now. It has been a steep learning curve for many, but teachers generally should be proud of how they have made their classroom environments more interactive and engaging for their students.
Often technological advances, touted to be time savers are actually time wasters. This poses some interesting questions. If they are time savers, how are we using the time we save? If they are time wasters, how can we improve the situation to make the lives for both ourselves and others more enriching and full?
Since 2012 when we first launched MyExtras, we have considered our product to be in perpetual Beta.
Our mission critical feature was to read timetables and produce extra notices electronically. Our original extra notice templates still resemble a very similar layout to what they were seven years ago.
Since then we have added many new features, e-feedback, extras bulletin, statistical overview and more. So while we continue to strive to make improvements in both the usability and function of MyExtras, we remember that software development is a lot like ourselves. Paul Sloane from destination-innovation.com refers to it like this.
“In a sense we are all in perpetual beta. The most dangerous people are the ones who think they know it all and who stop learning. We are not yet the finished article and never will be. So we should open ourselves to learning, to input and to feedback.” 1
In Japanese, the word for continuous improvement is “Kaizen” 改善. 2 Whether software developers, educators or students, Kaizen is something worthwhile for us all to strive towards.