ZeSchool Features

This dynamic article (i.e. will get updated as we add more features) provides the full detailed features list of ZeSchool.

First, ZeSchool was designed to be the only actual application (i.e. not a webpage) you use in the classroom. It integrates with everything else that you may use, including:

  • School Information System - integration via SSO / LDAP / Data dump
  • District infrastructure
  • External platforms such as Google Apps and Microsoft 365
  • Publisher content and OERs

Devices

ZeSchool works as an Application on all major platforms, including:

  • ChomeBook (and any desktop or laptop using Chrome browser)
  • MS Windows Desktop / Laptop
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Mac Books / Mini
  • iPads and iPhones (we recommend larger iPhones if you must use a smartphone)
  • Android tablets and smartphones (again, large screen recommended)
  • Barnes and Nobles Nook (since it is spin off of Android)
  • Amazon Kindle Fire (another Android spin off)

Design Philosophy

1. Simple

ZeSchool was designed to be super simple to use, with an intuitive and friendly user interface, while being a complete ecosystem for your classroom. The rationale is simple:

  1. Teachers don't have the time to open a 200 page manual, it has to be intuitive.
  2. Within the classroom environment (and at home), it simply has to work.

ZeSchool is the single place where you can run all your classroom activities.

2. Flexible

Furthermore, we have designed it to be easily extensible, so we can add features quickly (a matter of a day to make most changes) based on district / school / teacher feedback or needs.

3. Zero-Maintenance

Thanks to hot-code pushes, 99% of the time, updates are pushed to all users with no App downlaods from the digital App Stores, reducing the burden on IT staff.

Detailed Features List

  • Classroom management:
    • Connecting students based on course / period
    • Student auto connect as soon as they go online
    • Real-time reports
    • Real-time screenshots (i.e. Student screen)
    • Real-time Teacher-Student chat with infinite and persistent history
  • Roster Synchronization:
    • Real-time integration with SIS or other data systems
    • Teachers can edit / rename sync-ed courses and customise at will
  • Built-in secure browser (based on Chrome / Safari):
    • Built-in annotation & tagging of any website (that's right ANY website)
    • Teacher control over student browser
    • Multi-tabbed (up to 5 simultaneous tabs)
    • AutoLogin to automatically login to any online resource
  • Deep integration with third-party applications (including content):
    • Clever integration including launching Clever apps from within ZeSchool
    • Google Classroom integration
    • Teacher can show and hide applications real-time on student screens
    • Teacher can force application on student screens (and even direct to specific location real-time)
  • Offline capability:
    • Offline access to content at home with internal smart cache
    • Content is updated automatically upon network access (e.g. at school)
  • Course management:
    • Easy add and removal of students to courses and groups (using uploads, manual selection and codes)
    • Groups with deep nesting for in-classroom and offline differentiation
    • Wikis, allowing for history management, collaboration among students
    • Blogs
    • Assessments, including assessment banks, automated assessments, in-classroom assessments
    • Questions such as MCQ, drag and drop, align, click, formulae, auto grading of essays and so on
    • Calendar with third-party calendar integration and auto-reminders
  • Parents:
    • Easy integration of parents via codes
    • Read-only view of student resources (teacher can fine tune what to display)
    • Aggregated Parent-Teacher communication with infinite persistent history, via built-in chat (all guardians of a student are part of the single chat for centralized communication)
    • Notifications (via badges, emails and messaging) of incoming messages
  • Wizards:
    • Built-in hands-on tutorials covering all the basic functionalities
    • Covers step-by-step the most critical actions performed by the teacher
    • Links to more advanced material and videos (including this blog)
    • Automated emails based on proficiency level to update the teachers on best practices
  • School- or District-level customization:
    • Server-side rules engine that allows for easy deep customisation
    • Custom applications (e.g. SIS)
    • Custom settings (e.g. prevent course changes, linking of parents etc.)

Infrastructure

We have designed the infrastructure (i.e. server back-end) to be extremely robust and reliable.

The back-end of ZeSchool is a group of multi-core clustered servers, with SSD disks, hosted in the US. A smart load balancing system allows requests to be evenly distributed to the clusters for optimal and near real-time performance for all users.

To update the entire back-end, it is a matter of less than a minute from the moment the update is launched meaning zero disruption to the classroom.

All data is stored in clustered DB servers. Data is pushed down to the user reactively (i.e. as things change, what is pushed changes real-time) and on as-needed basis, with local persistence and caching to reduce needless data exchange.

As the load increases, it is a matter of seconds to spin up new clusters which get automatically detected and added to the current cluster pool for real-time load relief. During the converse operation, as servers are brought down, the client gets automatically reassigned real-time to other servers. This entire cluster worker reassignment happens real-time and in the background, not felt by users.

Privacy & Security

Privacy and security are paramount and designed-in from the blueprint.

  • All server communication is over secure (SSL) connection with strongest encryption.
  • Our servers are hardened with best-in-class security and monitoring.
  • All data is saved in secure infrastructure in the US (international schools can opt for local infrastructure, please contact us to discuss).
  • ZeSchool passwords hashed and encrypted with long salt.
  • We are signatories of student communication pledge (we do not share student / teacher emails, or attempt to contact students directly, or sell them any product).

Conclusion

As you can see from this article, no effort was spared to build the best classroom application available today. It has all the features you need, is extremely well-designed, and is backed by our iron-clad promise of superior service.

We do not rest and keep adding features and improving functionalities, thanks to the your feedback and that of our many users. As always, we welcome and appreciate very much any feedback we get and we take it to heart.

Shameless plug: If you haven't already launched your digital classroom, give ZeSchool's FREE pilot a shot! Once you use it in your classroom, you'll never look back.
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