LP 365 Version 7.0 First Look!

Learning Possibilities is delighted to announce v7.0 of it’s LP+365 platform. The platform was initially launched in 2005 and is now the leading cloud-based solution for transforming Office 365 into a learning and collaboration app for schools and colleges.

‘We are exciting that v7 will be launched in August’, said Mandeep Dhillon, CTO at Learning Possibilities who led the development team, ‘with significant new features’.

The new platform offers an exciting and modern new look and feel, with one-click access to key features on each dashboard. ‘We have significantly improved performance’, added Dhillon, ‘so that those with poor connectivity or devices have a better user experience’. The seamless integration with LP+ ADOPT, with single signon, means that courses, scorm content and exams can now be added to the platform.

The dashboard tiles also offer a download feature, enabling access to content when offline, and our e-library – with over 10,000 refence books – is built in.

For a first look, view our video:

For further details email info@lpplus.com

The current pandemic has forced many to learn from home, without access to their school or public libraries.

We are delighted to provide the LP+ Reference eLibrary integrated into our platform. The eLibrary is a curated collection of more than 10,000 reference books that cover all stages of learning and include literary classics from around the world, foreign language and text books etc.  The Reference library is only available through the LP+365 platform and can be made available on request.

The eLibrary has many features;

  • All books are available to download and take anywhere.
  • ‘Collections’ of recommended books.
  • ‘Favourites’ allows you to mark books for later use.
  • Perpetual links are easily available so books can be added to assignments or shared directly.
  • Book discovery tools help teachers and students find the right material for them.
  • Ministries are able to add their own books into the collection.

For further details, please contact us on LP365support@lpplus.com.

Parent and Guardian access

OneNote

The Class Notebook is a feature packed part of LP+365. You may already know that each student is automatically provided with their own private section including class notes, Quizzes, Handouts, e-Portfolio and Homework. Teachers can also add additional sections to reflect different requirements within the school curriculum and there is also a collaboration space and content library. The class notebook can also be used offline and has its own dedicated mobile App for both Android and IOS.

What you may not know about the Class Notebook is that teachers can generate a unique link for each student that can be shared with the students parent or guardian, allowing them to follow their child’s progress throughout the academic year.

Teachers can generate the unique links by following the 5 simple steps below.

1. Select the Class Notebook icon on the Class Notebook tile.

2. Select Manage Notebooks.

3. Select the Class Notebook.

4. Select ‘Parent and Guardian links’.

5. The Teacher can now generate links for individual students or the whole class and share them with their Parent or guardian. The links are read only and no account is required to access them.

Using the link, the parent or guardian can now access their child’s class notebook and follow their progress throughout the academic year. In the example below the parent or guardian can see the students most recent homework.

Microsoft now offer new options for applying custom styles and colours to sites that make it easier to define and manage themes across site collections. More details can found here.

The default theme has also been changed resulting in a change of colour to the LP+365 dashboards. You can change the colour back to the original blue by signing in as the Administrator and following the instructions below.

  1. Select any class from the class menu.
  2. Select the Announcement tile title. 
     
  3. Delete everything in the URL after “sharepoint.com” and select enter.
     
  4. Select the “setting cog” and “change the look”.
     
  5. Select Theme.
     
  6. Select the Blue theme and select save.
     
  7. Return to the App homepage, refresh the browser and the App will have changed back to the original colour.

LP+365 supports all teaching methods including ‘Structured courses’ which some teachers may have used previously on other LMS platforms. ‘Structured courses’ allow teachers to present all of their learning resources and activities together to their students, in one simple package. Watch ‘How to create a Structured course in LP+365’ below to find out more.

To read an independent paper evaluating LP+365 and Moodle, click here.

How do we think about data

At Learning Possibilities we have handled data for millions of young people. Protecting learner data was paramount in the design of the LP+365 platform, and continues to be our #1 focus area. Our initial selection of a Tier 4 data centre, and subsequently the Microsoft Azure Cloud were based predominantly on security considerations.

Today, we continue to embed data security and access management into our platform. This includes data sovereignty to ensure that the location of the data, even within the cloud, is guaranteed.

We ensure that the data is encrypted at every level, and with strong identity management, access is limited to appropriate functionality and resources. Every user has an individual login ID and password which provides access to the platform. This can be strengthen by adding multi factor authentication.

Every system that has human interfaces also has potential vulnerabilities. However, our tiered approach is designed to minimise these, to ensure the safety and security of our learners, whilst they benefit from our learning and collaboration platforms.

LPPlus365 Design

In initially designing LP+365, we took our inspiration from many places. In this blog I wanted to share some of our thoughts during this process.

Firstly I have been a long term user of the iPhone. I see from my own experience, as well as those of other iPhone users, that they use their iPhones for long periods during the day. However, not all iPhone users have the same apps on their phone. Its this ability to select the apps that you want that makes us heavy iPhone users. From an app perspective we all use different apps, but from a phone perspective we are heavy phone users.

Similarly we wanted to ensure high levels of adoption of the LP+365 platform and so we designed it with a selection of tools, rather than a process for teaching. Therefore you will find in LP+365 that there are many ways to do most tasks, and we let the teacher select the tool that suits them. For example, an assignment may be set on the Quiz tool, Assignment tool, Class Notebook, or as an emailed Word Document. A teacher will select the tool that is most appropriate, perhaps based on the tool’s features, or the devices and connectivity available, their own IT-confidence etc. They are not limited to a process, or a single tool. In this way each teacher will use the tools they want, but the app itself sees heavy and regular usage.

Secondly of all the apps on my iPhone, I probably use ‘WhatsApp’ most frequently. I have never had to learn how to use this app, and I find that new features are both instinctive and simple to use. I see that even my mother, who has little experience of technology, has mastered it. We wanted to make LP+365 similarly simple and so all the tools are presented in simple tiles. In addition all features are simplified, with 1 minute – ‘how to’ videos added to each tile, and a selection of languages to use them. Many teachers tell us that as soon as they have mastered one tile, they are able to use the other without formal training.

Does it work? In practice, we see even in very large deployments that more than 90% of schools use LP+365 regularly, and as a result evidence shows that learners gain key digital skills.

LP+365 languages

At LP+ we are always looking for ways to drive user engagement and reduce the barriers for both teachers and learners. Over the past 10 years, we have seen that adding language options that allow each user to choose a language for the app interface drives usage and access. This in turn makes the app friendlier to use. All users are, of course, free to add contetn in any language of their choice, regardless of the language interface. In addition to English, our current language selection includes; Arabic, Bangla, Gaeilge (Irish), Filipino, Marathi, Tamil and Sinhala. New languages are being added all the time! To see the LP+365 app, see our solutions site here.

LP+365 is integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing teachers to access Teams from anywhere within LP+365 application through the menu bar. (See image)

Teams includes a Staffroom where Teachers can collaborate and communicate with other Teachers within the school. ‘Conversations’ allows Teachers to communicate via instant messaging and video meetings. ‘Files’ allows files and folders to be shared and the ‘Staff Notebook’ includes a collaboration space, content library and a private section for each member of staff.

Teams also allows Teachers to schedule video calls with their students when they need to Teach remotely. Video calls allow full access to LP+365 and include the options of sharing desktops, turning webcams on and off  and the recording of the class to share later with any absentees.