Meet the new "Helloclass"
By the time schools introduce the new Curriculum 21, computers will be an integral part of every lesson. But the core of the lesson – all the planning involved – is still of a purely "analogue" nature in a lot of places. A growing number of Swiss schools are discovering the benefits of "Helloclass", Swisscom’s new, free digital planner.
Roger Baur, 23 April 2018
An overflowing fridge door was what led to Helloclass. "Timetables, test announcements, excursions, parents’ evenings – the whole door was plastered with school information letters," explains Michael In Albon, Head of "Schools on the Net" and a father himself. When adding information about another project week, the entire collection of letters and post-its fell to the floor and Michael In Albon started to do some calculations. "Paper consumption, time, postage – it was clear that we had to do something." The result was "Helloclass", software whose development was spearheaded by Swisscom.
The workings of the Internet-based program can be explained as fast as it takes to learn how it works: The teacher uploads the timetable online, every pupil and their family get a login and from then on can see any additions or homework related to individual lessons, cancelled lessons and appointments and additional appointments. Pupils, parents and teachers can exchange ideas using a comment function.
"Helloclass does not need to be installed or implemented. It takes very little time to grasp, making it ideal for the school setting."
The teacher can create any number of groups – and so, for example enter appointments only for a limited number of people, such as half-classes or project groups.
Michael In Albon: "Helloclass doesn’t need to be installed or explained. You can grasp how it works in a matter of minutes, which makes it ideal for use in a school. And the best part is: the teacher saves the CHF 30–40 it costs for the class planner."
Teachers Nik Günther from Kehrsatz and Lukas Gfeller from Bolligen talk about their experiences with Swisscom’s "Helloclass" digital planner. Video total length 01:49 min.
Hundreds of classes already use Helloclass and access it tens of thousands of times a day. Lukas Gfeller’s primary school in Bolligen is also using Helloclass. "In the past, the kids had to write a list of their homework themselves here in the classroom – this led to questions because sometimes parents couldn’t read their kids’ writing. Now both parents and pupils have access," says Greller. And teacher Nik Gunther from Kehrsatz adds: "You can also upload files that parents and students can access from home. This also relieves us of a certain amount of responsibility."
The schools themselves get the program for free. A new enhanced version will be available from summer that includes the option of importing lists of files and an iPhone app – it will cost CHF 5-9 per class teacher and year. It is easy to use and is available now at www.helloclass.ch. Simply log in using the demo account and try it out.
Helloclass enables pupils, teachers and parents to maintain an overview of homework, tests, projects and important deadlines at all times. The digital planner from Swisscom saves paper, is suitable for the youngest to the oldest pupils and is free of charge.