Waterford will release an automatic software update on December 5, 2016. See what’s in this release in the list below. If you have any questions, our Support Team is always happy to help!
- New Clever syncing. Clever functionality has been enhanced to decrease the amount of time a sync takes. Some other changes you may notice:
- We have added a New indicator on students who have been added to a class via Clever, so teachers can see immediately if a new student has come into their class. This indicator stays with the student for 24 hours before going away.
- Students can now be automatically deleted from Waterford. Students will remain in an archived state for 150 days. If they are reinstated within that time, no data is lost. If they are not reinstated within that time, the student will be hard deleted from the Clever system. If that student returns to the district after a hard delete has occurred, a new record will be created with a new unique ID.
- Teachers will continue to be updated as before; deletion of teachers is still a manual process.
- New WebGL activities. WebGL allows you to play the activities we developed for iPad on the web browser. These activities will replace existing activities in the current sequence, and are improved graphically and instructionally. With this release, we will be piloting this change to just a few districts. A general release will occur soon!
- Note: To play the new activities a computer must be running in 64-bits. See updated system requirements here. Computers that are not running on 64-bits will continue playing the old activities and have the same experience they had before. This process will be automatic.
- Sequence update. Based on school feedback, we removed the Mental Math activities from all of level 1 of Waterford’s math sequence. Students can still access these activities through custom playlists or when they reach levels 2 and 3, but they were found to be too difficult for younger students to remain in the level 1 sequence.
- SmartStart reports. For students who complete and then restart the SmartStart sequence, progress reports will now display each round through SmartStart along with the dates in which each round took place. Teachers are better able to see overall improvements each time the student goes through the sequence.
- Bug Fixes
This release also contains several bug fixes that will improve functionality for activities and reports. Contact support if you have questions or need assistance.
Waterford will release an automatic software update on October 25, 2016. See what’s in this release in the list below. If you have any questions, our Support Team is always happy to help.
- Usability enhancements in several activities:
- Above, Below, Next to, On Instruction
- Position Extra Practice
- Fractions of Groups Assessment
- What’s Your Name?: Hen
- Lesson-themed Homelink Newsletters added to offline materials.
- Improvements to Clever sync functionality.
- New activities unlock in FreePlay for UPSTART participants.
In this release, users will see two significant changes: the role of “administrator” is now called “district administrator” and there is a new option in the reports generator to include or exclude transfer students. This release also contains several bug fixes.
The “district administrator” role will have the same privileges and functionality as the “administrator” role. The only change is the name.
Transfer Students Filter Option
Teachers may choose to include transfer students in progress and placement reports. Transfer students are students who have changed classes within the report period. Read more about how the reports handle transfer students in the Reports help guide. By default, the option is not selected.
Updates to the new SmartStart PreK sequence create individualized learning paths that are more appropriate for pre-K learners. This is an automatic update for all SmartStart users.
What’s Been Changed?
- We’ve removed activities from the sequence that research shows are not developmentally appropriate for four-year-olds, such as ecosystems, seasons, physics, and earth and space science lessons.
- We’ve added more robust lessons in areas like music, visual arts, and health.
- Many activities, like the nursery rhymes Jack and Jill and Mary Has a Little Lamb, have been updated with improved animations and new interactivity.
- Some activities, like the daily chicken observations, have been moved to different places in the sequence in order to keep children engaged throughout the year.
What This Means
- Classes that have already started SmartStart PreK will be reset and start over at the beginning of the sequence. Some children may notice that they are no longer seeing the daily chicken activities right away, but teachers can assure them that those activities will come up again later in the year. Starting over and replaying some activities will not have any negative effect on pre-K students. In fact, research shows that pre-K learners thrive with repetition.
- Playlists will not be affected. Though some activities were removed from the sequence, they are still available in Classroom Advantage. All activities that were in the previous version will be in the new version.
- Reports will not be affected. The names of the learning strands have not changed, so reports will have the same color-coded strands as the previous version.
Later this week, Waterford will release a software update for all cloud products: Waterford Early Learning, Classroom Advantage, Waterford SmartStart, and UPSTART. This release includes some major new features for teachers and students as they start the 2016-2017 school year.
- New Courses Available on iPad
Waterford SmartStart and Waterford Early Learning’s Math & Science are now available on iPad. There are over 450 new activities, many available only on the iPad student app. Many of these activities replace a lot of the older activities, adding new graphics, fun touch-screen interactivity, and implementing the latest educational research. Watch one of our new math activities and learn more about these improvements.
You will need to download the new update of the Waterford Early Learning app from the App Store before students can play a Waterford Math & Science session on iPad. If you haven’t updated the app, your students will see Update Required on the course button. Reset the Waterford Student App to get the iPads ready for your new classes. Check out the help site for a reminder on how to do that.
- New Help Site
The new help site is now available, which means support for all of our products is now located in a single location: help.waterford.org. The updated look and feel matches our recently redesigned site, www.waterford.org, and allows for easy viewing on phones and tablets with its responsive design. The previous help sites will still be available until all content has been updated and moved to the new site. Watch the walk-through video to see how the new help site is set up and how to use its new features.
- Offline Materials in Manager
Last year, we offered printable classroom materials for SmartStart users through our help site. This year, we’ve put these resources, along with many new ones, directly into Waterford Manager. Go to Curriculum, click Search, and select the Teacher Materials tab to see masters, practice pages, audio clips, and more available for download. Currently, we have over 330 printable materials, many of them available in Spanish and English. Watch the walk-through video for more information.
- Reports Show Student Movement
If you move students out of your class, your reports will now display their information in a Transfer Students table. This is just the first part of new report functionalities around student movement. Expect more updates on this feature in future release notes.
- Home Access Parent Email Updated
The improved format of the home access parent email will make it easier for parents to know how to set up and access their child’s home account.
- Bug Fixes
This release also contains several bug fixes that will improve functionality for creating playlists, UPSTART Parent Manager, reports, and other areas. Contact Support if you have questions or need assistance.
Waterford will release an automatic product update in our 3.0 release on July 5, 2016. This update affects SmartStart, UPSTART, and Waterford Early Learning. New features and fixes include the ability to download multiple Reading and Math & Science materials as well as new search fields for offline materials.