Independent School Educators network

Hi all,
I am hoping that someone will have some experience with the best practices of Whipple Hill, or maybe better said, the ways that teachers have been most successful using it and most enthusiastic about it. We are rolling out our Whipple Hill site at the end of March and are trying to get teachers to really buy into it. How have your colleagues gotten excited about it? Thanks in advance.

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I found that much of the roll-out depends on your systems before WH. For instance, Canterbury takes attendance for EVERYTHING. Having the attendance feature setup for all classes, activities and sports made it much simpler for teachers to manage attendance every day. Also, the comments submission was streamlined and simplified, which our teachers really appreciated. I would try to highlight the time saving features of the system. Reach out to your early adopters quickly, get them familiar and have them teach other teachers. I also found that the teachers who were resistant to the change were swayed by students asking "why don't you have our syllabus online like Mr. Soandso does?!
Hi Lisa,
We rolled out the WH SIS product this year with reasonable success/acceptance from our teachers. i would echo a lot of what Richard said. Start by adopting the system to your current teacher/advisor/coach, etc requirements with an emphasis on how it can simplify their lives and help them save time. Trying to bite off too much will be overwhelming for most so it is important to make the move in stages.

The only "requirement" we had for our teachers in this our first year was grading so that they didn't feel put upon and feel as though we were just adding to their already extensive "to do" lists. However, we have encouraged and provided training for the use of many of the additional tools (assignments, photos, news, links, downloads and the comment feature.) What we have found is that those teachers who find the additional tools to be of great benefit have begun to use them and that it is viral (for lack of a better term.) When those who are not prone to use technology see how other teachers are using the system in ways that are creative (but also help them save time) they will begin to gravitate toward the other features within SIS (at least this is what we have seen.) It is likely that we will increase the "requirements" by adding requirements for assignments and comment writing next year.

The key is to continue pointing out how these requirements benefit everyone (students, parents, other teachers) by allowing their to be a unified system by which we can all access the important information documented by the system. The comment system in particular has been a great example of this for us. Without requiring teachers to use the comment feature (but encouraging it) teachers have begun to post comments and other teachers advisors have seen how comments posted about their students help everyone be on the same page about those particular students and it has voluntarily begun to flourish. If you build it they will come. :)
Lisa, we are in year three. Richard and Curt have great advice. Teachers will come to value the convenience of using the downloads and links on their course pages so they don't have to write out ugly urls and to increase accountability. Students can read/print materials and link to web sites with no excuses. That appeals to most teachers. What I find is that most teachers need workshops and hand-holding to simplify their class pages. They only need the channels they will be using, and should eliminate those they don't.

Show-and-tell is nice at faculty meetings so teachers can share "cool" things they do with their class pages... like little videos of themselves introducing a project or topic, or embeded voki or relevant youtube video.

Let your teachers know that once something is added to Whipple Hill they can "add existing" next year instead of starting over. Links to online course materials and web sites they will use during the year are great because they can "add existing" year after year and they never get lost. And assignments, downloads, etc. can be added back in too for time-saving.
I'd say getting teachers to use (and customize) their class pages and feel free to post content to them. Parents are looking (if you have set it up) and really enjoy the snapshot views into class life.


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