Ucompass Educator, your teaching and learning home, will look and behave somewhat differently beginning next Saturday, March 9th. In order to best introduce you to this, to get your feet wet, the Educator team has setup a limited function (meaning not everything is there) demonstration site wherein you can experience some of the major changes. You should have received an email (Subject Line: Changes on the Horizon) that lets you know where and how to access this preview site. If you lost that email or accidentally deleted it, then you’ll need to contact a fellow teacher for the information or dig through your email trash. So, what’s going on and why? First, I have a related story …
We are planning to remodel the second floor of our home this year. It includes our master bedroom, a master bath, and a closet full of clothes that are certainly not mine. We just want to make the now-aging space function and feel the way we want. Suffice it to say that it’s time to get rid of the water barrels and lanterns.
The project is major to say the least. There will be demolition, flooring, insulation, walls, ceilings, and duct work to boot . The cast includes electricians, and plumbers, and carpenters, and tile setters, and more. There are colors to consider, fixtures and faucets, cabinets with required knobs and handles, windows, and other painful details. Adding icing to the chaos cake, we will need to move out of this sacred space for about three months! Believe it or not, we are not being paid for this inconvenience. We will actually have to write a sequence of checks. Why will we bother? It’s just how we want things to be for the quality of our home life.
The same is true with teaching and learning within Educator. We wanted to improve the quality of life for all users. It’s our hope to end up with something that just feels and behaves better for you and your students. Over the past nine months, the team has been planning and preparing to make Educator a place that is more to everyone’s liking. Fortunately, you will not be forced to move out for three months. The whole change will take place over two hours late at night, and your new rooms will be ready when you wake up on Saturday, March 9th.
The Educator team has committed a great deal of time, energy, and resources to design and build the most massive code changes in the system’s long history. Most of this work is hidden from your view like my wiring and pipes above. What these changes will accomplish is to establish the foundation that allows the development team to execute a lot of the efficiencies and functions already discussed on the Educator Facebook page. Think of it as, “Now we have light switches and water valves where we really want them.” All you will see right now is the new Educator navigation bar and the email system. A long list of features and efficiencies will soon come because the plumbing and wiring are in place. Go ahead and take a look!
Play with the navigation menu. It sports a new look and is better behaved. (Secret: What’s underneath those buttons will make Educator better prepared for mobile delivery.) Be sure to visit your new mailbox. Click and play there, too. The functions are deliberately limited in the preview, but they will be there next week. Create a new message just for kicks. It will not actually send, but you’ll get the idea. Other additions to the email system will be launched when the system actually goes live next weekend, but why wait?
In the words of Bob Vila, “… it’s very timely, and we’re not out of the woods yet.” We have lots more planned, but this was a necessary first step. We really do want to know what you think. Visit our Facebook page. Let us know how you like things so far. It’s what you can’t even see that will really make you happy.