This Is the Future
It’s almost 2020. Wait — read that again. 2020. How futuristic does that sound? In the movie Back to the Future, “the future” was portrayed as 2015 — which was almost five years ago! If we’re in the future, then why are so many of our schools stuck in the past?
So Do Teachers Still Want Apples and Coffee Mugs at the End of the Year?
The internet abounds with subjective blog posts about what teachers really want for end-of-year gifts and what their back-to-school aspirations include (i.e. another Starbucks gift card, a more organized classroom). But studies from DonorsChoose and the like tell an altogether different story: that teachers. want. tech. (period).
Aside from the obvious device-supported learning endeavors and personalization that classroom technology enables, not much thought is given to the school-wide impact of effective technology use. School safety and security are among this decade’s top concerns: being “in the future” comes with increased dangers, and yet schools that haven’t evolved are facing compounding problems using the same, outdated methods from, well, the past.
Threats Are Abated with Widespread Tech Use
At Eduspire Solutions, our mission statement and purpose are to transform education through technology. With responsible tech tools like e-hallpass, our digital hall pass application, schools all over the country have reported improvements in the areas of school safety, classroom culture, and behavior management. Here is a short list of security concerns that can be resolved with the use of a digital hall pass:
- Student Safety: pinpoint students’ whereabouts outside the classroom, building-wide
- Vandalism: protect school property and prevent costly damage
- Bullying, Drug Use, and Other Misbehavior: restrict certain students from meeting in the halls at the same time, or disable certain hall passes altogether for a set time period
- Hall Pass Abuse: restrict excessive bathroom and water fountain passes and see a live timer with location notifications to prevent aimless wandering
- Lack of Actionable Data: gain access to real-time insights and regular reporting that provide crucial information about students’ hall traffic patterns
Don’t think tech like this exists? Think again — we’re in the future, remember? If your school is still using paper hall passes (or some random object), it’s time to hop in your DeLorean and park in the year 2020 with hundreds of other schools that are using e-hallpass.
Added bonuses that teachers really love: it’s sanitary, and it virtually eliminates classroom disruptions. Preserving instructional time and seasonal immunity? Yes please!
Back-to-School? You Mean “Back to the Future!”
Eduspire Solutions offers free pilots of this in-demand tool that was recently featured by PBS. It’s been called a “no-brainer” by EdTech influencers, and it’s a cost-effective way to seriously bring your school out of the stone age. Contact us today for a demo, and make sure you’re going back to the future when you go back to school in September!
There’s an App for That!
e-hallpass, the digital hall pass tool from Eduspire Solutions, is now available in the Google Play app store for Android users and the Apple app store for iOS users.
While the mobile app provides added convenience and ease of use, the browser version of e-hallpass remains accessible on any device/platform.
For more information on how to get started, visit the e-hallpass website!
Citrus High School will be featured on PBS for its innovative use of digital hall pass technology. The school’s 1:1 device initiative makes the new digital hall pass system a natural fit. The digital hall pass tool promotes student accountability and streamlined classroom management with fewer interruptions, and provides the school with increased safety and security as well as proactive intervention for potential behavioral issues.You can view the TV special online here, or to learn more about this security tool, e-hallpass, contact Eduspire Solutions for a free pilot.
Eduspire Solutions, an EdTech startup founded by a tech-savvy teacher in 2016, has developed a web-based software solution that has garnered national acclaim. E-hallpass, praised for its ability to improve classroom management and safety, has transformed thousands of classrooms across the country. With access to real-time, cloud-based hall pass technology and insights, schools are able to better keep track of student activity, behavior, security, and more.
Enhancing School Safety
Imagine being able to pinpoint the whereabouts of any student, anytime. E-hallpass gives teachers and administrative staff that ability. At a time when many schools are increasing security budgets, e-hallpass provides the peace of mind needed. “It’s an additional security measure,” said Adam Knaresborough, assistant principal at Thomas Jefferson High School in Pennsylvania. “Let’s say we had to evacuate and a teacher says, ‘Two of my kids are in the bathroom. I don’t know where they are.’ I could look and see who they are. I could see a picture of them, and it gives us that data real time of where they are so we can go find them.”
So How Does It Work?
E-hallpass is a cloud-based web and mobile application that allows teachers and students to create a digital hall pass at the click of a button, on any device and operating system. Instead of stopping class to scribble a paper pass, teachers can now acknowledge students’ pass requests virtually hands-free, with minimal disruption to instructional time.
The device can be left in the classroom and does not have to travel with the student. From the teacher’s dashboard, active passes show real-time hall traffic data, such as where a student has gone, how long they’ve been out of the classroom, and when they’ve reached their destination. Alerts and notifications make it easy to check in on students who are taking too long or abusing hall pass privileges.
E-hallpass also features reporting by student and time period, so that teachers and administrators can more easily notice trends in hall pass activity among particular groups of students and stem potentially problematic behavior.
Real Situations Call for Real Solutions
In addition to the everyday classroom management benefits of e-hallpass, even the unthinkable becomes easier to mitigate. When a Pennsylvania high school underwent evacuation due to a 2017 bomb threat, all students were accounted for and safely evacuated within ten minutes or less, thanks to the school’s mandate to use e-hallpass.
Additionally, troublesome and expensive issues like vandalism are easier to investigate with e-hallpass, which provides the insights necessary to determine the locations of specific students at specific times and correlate that data with known incidents.
Thoughtful Features Simplify the Lives of Teachers
Because e-hallpass was designed by a teacher, it is in a constant state of evolution as innovative, practical features are added. “Appointment Pass” is a special feature that allows teachers to schedule students for any future time, while “Auto Pass” makes it easy for students to self-initiate a repetitive pass request (such as the restroom, locker or water fountain) with minimal involvement from a teacher.
Backed By Strong Partnerships
Hundreds of schools nationwide have installed e-hallpass building-wide, which has led to support from tech companies like Clever, Amazon Web Services, and Troxell, to name a few. Eduspire Solutions and e-hallpass tour the country by presenting at conferences like ISTE, FETC, and TCEA, and their products have earned attention from notable EdTech sources such as Educents, Getting Smart, EdSurge, GoGuardian, and others.
What’s the Catch?
There is no catch! Eduspire Solutions offers free pilots for schools who are interested in seeing how e-hallpass can strengthen their security protocols or solve their efficiency problems. E-hallpass is a cost-effective way to make a smart investment in the long-term success of schools who are serious about instructional time and ensuring that students stay in class. Eduspire Solutions representatives facilitate demonstrations with administrative stakeholders on an ongoing basis, and tiered pricing and volume discount options are available. Contact Eduspire Solutions today to set up a call, or visit their website to download literature to take back to your school.
We are pleased to announce that students now will receive a 20-minute and a 5-minute text reminder for their Appointment Pass(es) if you have chosen to allow your students to receive text messages with Appointment Pass.
To Activate Text Messaging
- As an Admin, go to the Control Panel ➔ Module List and make sure the SMS Notification is checked.
2.Please have your students update their profile information with their mobile phone number
1. Awaiting Approval for Appointment Passes
a. Now as an Admin under the Control Panel ➔ Pass Setting ➔ Pass Times, the Appointment Pass Awaiting Approval time can be customized for your school.
b. The default is set to match your school’s current Awaiting Approval time.
The Appointment Pass will still be sent to the teacher dashboard 5 minutes prior to the student’s appointment time, and then the NEW Awaiting Approval for Appointment Passes time will be added to the student’s appointment time,
giving teachers a longer time to approve the pass.
i.e. If the student’s appointment is for 1:00 PM and you have an Awaiting Approval for Appointment Passes time of 17 minutes, then the pass will move to teacher’s dashboard at 12:55 for teacher’s approval and will time out at 1:17 PM, if it is not approved by the 17-minute Awaiting, Approved for Appointment Passes Time which your school has set. If the pass times out, the Appointment Pass will change to blue and become a Missed Appointment.
2. Creating Appointment Passes Directly from Appointment Pass Dashboard
With the removal of the create button from the Appointment Pass Screen, it now requires fewer steps for a teacher to create an appointment pass for a student.
a. Click on Appointment Pass on the Left Navigation Menu Bar
b. Fill out information for your Appointment Pass
c. Click Submit to save the Appointment Pass
3. New Color Legend for Appointment Pass
Pink – Future Appointments Yellow – Today’s Appointments
White – Waiting for Student/Teacher to Activate Green – Activated
Olive Green – Already Active Pass (can’t send new pass) Gray – Ended Pass
Blue – Missed Red – Cancelled
4. Teachers will receive morning agenda emails for their Appointment Passes as well as students
This August 2018 article on triblive.com lists the improvements being made at West Jefferson Hills School District in Pennsylvania, including this statement about our e-hallpass software: “The district also will utilize digital hall passes to better track students and provide data on pass usage.”
In this post from March 2017, GoGuardian published our guest post about common administrative problems in schools and how our e-hallpass software could solve them.
New Release: e-hallpass Updates
We’ve received consistent feedback that our digital hall pass software, e-hallpass, is easy to use, but we are dedicated to enhancing the user experience at all levels. We are excited to announce the following new features in the e-hallpass app.
New and Improved Graphical Interface for Student Hall Pass
The interface for students to create a hall pass is more graphical. We no longer have “Pass Tabs” on the student hall pass creation screen. Students can also define up to 10 of their favorite “from” locations and up to 5 of their favorite “to” locations:
Adding and Editing “Favorite” Hall Pass Locations
a. To add their favorite “from” locations, they will simply type the locations from which they most frequently request hall passes and click the star to the left of the text field. Upon clicking the star, an icon will appear representing that location. This can be clicked in the future to streamline the hall pass creation process. If you import a photo of yourself, that photo will be utilized as the icon the students will click on (if you don’t, the icon will just be the first letter of your last name):
b. If students want to edit their selections, they can click on the blue pencil/”Edit” text in the upper right hand portion of the “Where are you” section and delete the icons you no longer wish to have. When they are done, they would click “Save” to save the changes:
c. To define their favorite “To” locations, they will go through the same process. They will want to click on “Choose from Admin selected teachers/locations” to see if their favorites have already been defined by an icon (these are the same icons you see in Proxy Pass):
d. Students can edit their selections the same way. They can click on the blue pencil/”Edit” text to delete any selections and then click “Save” when done:
Defining System-Wide Hall Pass Icons
In the new interface, admins can now define shortcut icons to be used to speed up the process of creating a new pass. In the example below, one of the school’s admins has defined icons for both the locker and water fountain hall pass locations. You will notice those icons displayed and you can click on them when creating a Proxy Pass for the student, or students will have them available when creating their own passes:
Ability for Staff to Associate Themselves with a Location
Students might notice that certain office locations can be defined as a “From” location. If you are a staff member, you should associate yourself with a room in your profile in order for the room to be available for the student to select. In the past, students had to know the person’s name, but now a location can be selected instead, as long as one staff or admin user has associated themselves with that location in their profile:
Student Photo Display (Optional) for Easy Hall Pass Identification
For our clients that send us student photos, we will now display those photos on the dashboard for active passes. This will help identify students, especially for hall monitoring situations to make sure the student’s photo matches up with who they say they are. To view the photo associated with the student, you would just click on the student’s name (in blue text) on the dashboard:
You will see the student’s photo upon clicking on the blue text:
SMS Notifications for Student Hall Passes
Your school may have enabled students to receive same-day text notifications for Appointment Passes that they have not yet acknowledged by email or within the application. If this has been enabled, students will need to enter their phone number and mobile carrier in your profile in order to receive these texts. They will also need to select “Yes” for “Do you want to receive text message reminders when you have an upcoming pass?”
We hope that these graphical updates, in addition to the ability to easily manage favorite locations, receive SMS alerts and add photos, greatly enhance your user experience (and that of your students)! Leave a comment below to let us know whether you’re enjoying e-hallpass, or complete our contact form today for a free trial!
Exciting Updates to e-hallpass Digital Hall Pass Software
Eduspire Solutions’ classroom revolutionizing digital hall pass software has undergone another release, in which a series of updates greatly enhance usage for admins, teachers, and students. Keep reading to learn about our new features!
1. Auto Check-in PIN
The Auto Check-in PIN feature in e-hallpass allows an Administrator or Staff user to implement a room specific check-in PIN that students would use to ‘check-in’ at designated locations on their own. The student would be responsible for entering the room specific check-in PIN into e-hallpass (EHP) to show that they have arrived at the destination. Procedures for all other points of approval or PIN entries remain the same.
The Auto Check-in PIN feature is an optional feature for school Administrators to activate if they choose to do so. Admin and Staff personnel using e-hallpass will determine which locations will utilize the Auto Check-in PIN functionality, typically where there might not be a staff member immediately available to check a student in. This number could be changed as frequently/infrequently as the admin deems necessary.
Possible Use Cases:
a.) The nurse is too busy to manually check-in every student the moment they arrive in the waiting room. The “check-in PIN” feature could allow the Nurse to post the check-in PIN on/near the seats in the waiting room. When students arrive, they would use this posted “check-in PIN” to check themselves into the nurse’s waiting room in e-hallpass, thus allowing the sending teacher to get an accurate timestamp of when they actually arrived.
b.) The librarian may want to post a check-in PIN to allow all students arriving in the library to automatically check themselves in. This may help in reducing lines forming around the librarian’s desk.
c.) The guidance office has students arriving and waiting for their guidance counselor to become available, who may be finishing with another student. The check-in PIN will allow the sending teacher to know the student has arrived even if they are still waiting to be seen.
To visualize how this works, watch our brief training video.
2. Pass Limits
Pass Limits provide an Administrator with the ability to set limits on the number of passes for students. This can be done for all users, by grade year, or for specific students (either individually or by uploading a CSV list of students). The date or date range is specified, along with the number of passes allowed during the designated time period. The admin can also set the limit to reset daily or weekly or monthly.
Pass Limits can be set for the following:
- Set for All — a limit is set for all student users
- Selected Students — a limit is set for specific student(s), who are added to the system individually by searching the student name
- Grad Year Students — a limit is set for all students of a specific Grad Year
- CSV Student List — a limit is set for all students on a CSV list, which is uploaded to the system (the file only needs to contain a list of the student email addresses)
Other information about Pass Limits:
More than one pass limit can be set for the same time period. The most ‘limiting’ parameters will apply. For example: A pass limit is set for all users at 5 passes per day. An additional pass limit is set for Student A at 2 passes per day. Student A will only be allowed to use 2 passes in the system.
To see what appears on the various screens for different users, please watch this brief video.
3. Pass Blocking
Pass Blocking provides an Administrator with the ability to block passes for all users for a specified period of time. This can be done for any specific type of pass (Student Initiated Pass, ProxyPass and/or Appointment Pass) or all passes. When a Pass Blocking Period is created, users will not be able to initiate a new pass of that type. The Admin can create a message for students already out on a pass, with specific instructions on what to do during the pass blocking period. (For example: “Please go to the nearest teacher.”)
To view additional screens and watch Pass Blocking in action, watch our short training video.
4. Out of Office
The new Out of Office feature in e-hallpass provides any Admin, Teacher or Staff user with the opportunity to indicate that they are not available for a designated period of time to approve passes in the system. The system will notify and stop the student from creating a pass to the user that has set an out of office notification. The user will indicate the date and duration of the out of office time period as shown below. An Admin can set their own Out of Office or they can set an Out of Office for another user. Admins can also see all Out of Office notifications that have been set by Teachers and Staff.
To view more screens and see how notifications work, please watch our short training video.
5. Summary Reports
The reporting options in e-hallpass have been enhanced and now include a menu option titled “Summary Reports.” Admins, Teachers and Staff users all have this new reporting menu in e-hallpass.
Simply input the desired search criteria and click Search. The search results will be shown on the bottom half of the screen. There is also the option to Download the results to a CSV file. To start a new search, click Clear Filters.
This new reporting feature allows users to aggregate information easily by the following options: highest pass users, highest pass granters, or highest pass destinations. Other filters can be added to select information on specific users, pass types or locations, and date ranges.
6. Pass Reason/Comment Improvements
There have been enhancements made to how the Pass Reason (or student comments) and comments from a teacher, staff or admin user function in e-hallpass. When a student initiates a pass, some passes require that the student adds a comment, as shown below. (The Admin determines which passes ‘require’ a student comment in the system.)
For visual aids on how this process works, check out our brief training video.
Be sure to speak to your Project Coordinator if you have questions about how these updates affect student usage.
Happy with the new features? Want to request additional updates? Comment on our post or submit our contact form and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.
Introducing Appointment Pass!
Appointment Pass is a new e-hallpass module that allows staff to create “future passes” for appointments with students. We see this working for guidance counselors to build out their calendars (eliminating the paper chase), scheduling students to come to the office (eliminating call-downs over the PA), or any other time a staff member needs to see a student.
Impressive Digital Hall Pass Capabilities
With Appointment Pass, teachers can now create passes on behalf of students, which is an extremely useful feature.
And with the improvements we’ve made to the teacher/admin interface, both current and upcoming appointment passes show up in the teacher dashboard as well.
We didn’t forget students — the student interface has been updated, too!