At the recent IB Asia-Pacific Global Conference in Hong Kong, we were pleased to present a comprehensive update of our recent and upcoming releases.

During the conference, we had the opportunity to receive feedback from many PYP coordinators. In this Blog post, we provide a snapshot of the conversations we had about ManageBac’s redesign for the Enhanced PYP, universal improvements for the IB Continuum and looking ahead to 2020 the impact of the new Programme Standards & Practices.

1. What is the ManageBac student portfolio going to look like?

Our portfolio will allow you to capture, share and curate student learning experiences. Both students and teachers will be able to add goals, reflections, media and examples of student work. Teachers can post to multiple student portfolios from web & mobile if, for example, a video or photograph features several students, and make connections with ATL skills, the IB Learner Profile and the new IB Standards and Practices. Fully customisable award badges can be built into the portfolio to record milestones and achievements. Advanced options will enable parents to respond to and comment on their child’s portfolio.

2. How will ManageBac support a holistic, connected and dynamic planning process?

Our new Planner will be a tool through which teachers shape student learning experiences in response to their own inquiry and reflections. We are replacing our linear planning wizard with in-line editing, where each element of the planner can be edited in place without having to switch screens.

A unit index map will allow teachers to move seamlessly between unit sections and toggling makes it simple to navigate between units. Flexible tagging of unit components, including tasks and assessments, will facilitate tracking and analytics, supporting vertical curriculum articulation, and improving horizontal connectivity across the curriculum.

3. How will collaborative planning and reflection be supported by ManageBac?

Teachers will be able to collaboratively plan using ManageBac as changes will be rendered in real-time for colleagues. An autosave function improves reliability and prevents accidental overwriting. The online presence of colleagues will be indicated on the right menu of each unit via a green circle on their avatar. When editing colleagues will appear with an orange circle on their avatar.

Reflection and dialogue between teachers will be supported alongside the planner. Editable prompts can be used to guide reflections and these can be tagged to build connections with other components such as ATL skills.

4. How can you help us maximise teacher time and efficiency during the planning process?

We have taken a number of steps to maximise teacher time by improving overall usability. For example, the in-line editing of the unit planner has greatly reduced the number of clicks required during the planning process and supports teachers in taking a holistic view of the entire planning process.

Our new global search will also allow you to quickly and efficiently find what you are looking for across ManageBac encompassing units, resources, assessment tasks and students. Our Google Docs integration released in Spring 2018 allows teachers to easily share templates with students and student work submitted on Google Docs will be automatically saved in the student’s portfolio.

5. How is ManageBac improving its interface for PYP?

PYP Next is fully aligned with our new user interface released in 2018 for other programmes. This provides schools with a harmonized interface across the full IB Continuum.

Our new interface is more performative (faster page loads), with fewer clicks and a fully-responsive layout (web + mobile + tablet). Furthermore, our PYP curriculum icons have been refreshed to provide visual cues with greater personalisation, for example, teachers can set a background image for their units.

6. How will ManageBac support PYP coordinators to oversee, evaluate and develop their school curriculum?

PYP coordinators will have the option to receive a daily digest email of unit changes, allowing them to maintain visibility across the curriculum. We recognise that each school has context-specific needs and this is why we are introducing greater flexibility to our unit planners, enabling PYP coordinators to add/remove curriculum components, incorporate national curriculum standards alongside PYP requirements, edit hints and guidance for teachers, and reorder sections.

Analytics via our new tagging system will facilitate effective and comprehensive evaluation of the horizontal and vertical curriculum, allowing PYP coordinators to answer questions such as: In what ways does our curriculum develop and assess specific ATL skills over time and across year groups?

Finally, we are supporting PYP coordinators to make IB programme evaluation a process of continuous improvement in their schools, by linking the IB Standards and Practices within unit plans and student portfolios. Furthermore, as the delivery partner for the new IB Concierge (replacing IB Docs) we will be providing drag’n’drop evidence submission from ManageBac, making the evidence gathering process smooth and efficient.

7. How will ManageBac support an integrated and holistic model of assessment?

We recognise the shift in the PYP towards an integrated, ongoing assessment model. Our Portfolio will support the ongoing monitoring and documentation of learning. Evidence from the portfolio will link directly to the Gradebook and flexible assessment options will be integrated, so students can receive feedback on their ATL and IB Learner Profile development. A split screen view means you will be able to see rubrics during grading and assessment criteria for the whole unit can be used across tasks in the unit.

8. Will training be offered by ManageBac for PYP Next?

We will be offering numerous opportunities for face-to-face training during July-November 2019. PYP Next on ManageBac workshops will be held across IBA, EMEA and APAC regions, with dates and locations released next week.

Reservations will be open for Administrators and PYP Coordinators, to assist schools with becoming familiar with the new features of the enhanced PYP, and a smooth transition to the new user interface.

A series of online webinars, starting this month, will continue until the end of 2019 looking at various aspects of our PYP support. Beginning with higher level overviews of PYP Next changes, running right through to training for PYP teachers on unit planning, assessment and general navigation of the new UI.

Our webinars provide opportunities for interaction and immediate feedback, via live polls and Q&A with our support team and guest speakers. For those unable to attend during the allocated times, recordings will be issued to all registrants following the completion of the webinar, with a summary of any FAQs.

Workshops and webinar details will be published shortly on ManageBac Events.

9. How can I find out more?

Keep following this Blog for further updates on our process over the coming months. Please continue to reach out to us with questions and suggestions by emailing support@managebac.com

We will also be conducting a Facebook Live session and “Ask MB Anything” session, stay tuned for dates to be announced by mid-April.

Since January we have been consulting with PYP coordinators around the world via our PYP coordinators focus group. If you would like to participate in the next stage of consultation, starting later this week, email leila@managebac.com

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