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Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?

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Graham Quince
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:31:00 am

I work for Frog Education, an LMS provider (mainly schools) in the (mainly) UK

Before two weeks ago, our biggest challenge was from “free” services offered by leaving by MS Teams and Google Classroom. My role is to support and advise schools in how to use our product to its fullest. When Covid-19’s impact was becoming clear, we offered up our quiz system with question-bank and video lessons free to any school affected. Loads have jumped on the offer - (still open if you know a struggling school, no obligation, not a sales tactic)

Two weeks ago the phone stated ringing asking me to recommend web conferencing systems (which we don’t do directly but can integrate with). Trouble with web conf is its hard enough to get 4 people to connect with mics, headsets and bandwidth. Getting 30 kids is near impossible. Those same schools have been calling this week asking for other options. I’ve been involved in creating tools to make it easier to get started, making it so you can teach with no prep.

Several things have been really rewarding / surprising.

1) The schools using Frog well, have stepped up their game. The head teachers / principals have issued instructions/ guidance on how all remote lessons should work and what is required. One school has said there has to be homework set which involves a video, resources, task and assessment for every lesson plus homework. Another school that every lesson has to use a noticeboard to share resources (this is apparently the first time the senior leaders in school know what is in each lesson).

2) Several Trust have approached us because of the Quiz offer and said “no we need more and here’s the order for 20 schools, and we need the see the staff trained by this week”. Normally we spend a month working with a school.

3) Schools who were cancelling their contract have changed their mind and asked to renew.

I start remote working from today. I’ve done short bursts of home-based before. Because we’re web-based I can work from anywhere. I will be accessing some files via VPN. We’re using Slack for team comms. The big challenge is our telephone support. We’ve set up a redirect system for phones and schools know to email. One issue we have always had is that schools block a lot of web conf services. I have to cycle through Uber conference, jitsi, whereby etc. as they can’t install Skype or team viewer.

One tip I have picked up from a school, which is applicable to everyone. Get your network manager to disable auto-force password resets. If your network forces a password change every 6 weeks, you’ll have to visit the site to set a new one! - Free FX for amateur films - FX blog

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