What’s New in Twine September 2020

Ashley BellomyNews, Product Features

Bringing in new features based on user feedback is an important step in our process at Twine. This fall, we’ve got several modifications and adjustments to tools that students, parents, and staff already know and love. 

Class and Group Conversation and Notification Feed

The Feed has been rejuvenated with a new look, making conversation simpler for everyone, and more accessible for young students:

  • The reply and like options are always visible and are represented by icons rather than text.
  • All other options are available under the drop-down menu.
  • Conversation threads are styled by indenting the replies and adding a subtle horizontal line.
  • The timestamp now appears beside the person’s name. The date and time can be seen by clicking or tapping on the timestamp.

Notifications

While parents have been able to see notifications upon logging in for some time, school faculty will now have the same ability. Teachers will still receive notifications for messages regardless of their notification setting changes, but now can also opt to turn on notifications for the following:

  • Replies & likes on my posts (groups and classes)
  • Grades commented on
  • Assignments due soon
  • Class calendar reminder
  • Upcoming tests
  • Digest 
  • Group calendar reminder
  • Class feed activity, posts, replies
  • Group feed activity, posts, replies

These settings can be updated or changed at any time by navigating to your account settings.

Unread tracking for evidence, learning story, portfolios

Students, parents and teachers will all see an unread item count on evidence, learning story, and portfolio items, to draw attention to new submissions or comments that have not yet been read. 

For teachers, the count appears at the top:

Whereas students and parents will see the counter in the sidebar:

Attendance Enhancements

Student’s and parent’s view of attendance has been enhanced to give them access to the yearly attendance summary and a list view of lates, absences, and other absences such as school activities. The report gives students and parents a clearer view of attendance patterns by class, period, and day of week. While the yearly report provides better visualization of the attendance, no additional data is provided to either the student or parent. The attendance summary report is available by clicking on the Overall total on the Classes panel.

Attendance Incidents and Bus Route filter

A Bus Route filter has been added to the Attendance Incidents page. The filter enables the

attendance office to create a planned absence or bulk late slips based on a bus route. Bus route information is supplied by the Student Information System.

Content builder show progress

The content builder is where teachers build out their lessons and develop the flow of materials students should access and activities that should be completed. With both in-person learning and online-only learning, this tool is useful for teachers to provide actual content to students. 

Now, the content builder allows teachers to track what pages and pieces of content students have looked at and interacted with, giving teachers more insight into how their students are using Twine to complete their work or get extra help on difficult concepts. The report also shows the student-provided reaction to the content, so teachers can have a quick formative assessment of student work.

Embedded content in notes and journals

Now, when teachers have content from the following sites, it can be embedded and played directly within Twine, rather than requiring students to click links or navigate elsewhere:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • SlideShare
  • SoundCloud
  • Google Docs

 

Online tests

With online testing being used more than ever, teachers now have the ability to change the number of retakes for a specific student. By clicking on the assignment cell in a student’s gradebook, teachers can increase the number of attempts, allowing for student technical issues or retakes of tests for individual students as needed.

 

Perspective and my work graph

This graph is full of useful information and has now been redesigned for ease of viewing and the addition of the ability to zoom in and out, as well as download the graph for offline viewing.

My Students Zoom and group invitations

By far, the quickest and best way for teachers to communicate with students and parents is

through a class. However, teachers have requested the ability to create smaller work groups for their students. Teachers of very young students communicate more with parents and have requested a way to invite a subset or superset of parents to a group. 

The My Students and My Parents Zoom has been enhanced to enable teachers to invite their students or their parents to an existing group where the teacher is a moderator. Clicking the Gear icon enables the teacher to select people and the option to Invite to Group and Remove from Group appears under the drop-down menu.

 

The My Parents and My Students Zooms include a list of parents and students that the teacher is currently teaching. The ability to create groups and invite students and parents to groups has been part of Twine since 2011. Previously, teachers needed to search and add people one by one. Adding the ability to invite students and parents from the My Students and My Parents Zoom helps the teachers choose their students and parents faster and in the case of similar names, with more accuracy.

 

Group Invite picker

Previously, when inviting people to a group, the Group Zoom would open and the Moderator would select the group they wanted to invite people to. In this release, the list of groups appears within the Invite/Add to Group dialog.

Monitor Groups and bulk additions

Students can be added to Monitor Groups through the Students Zoom. When adding students to a Monitor group, the Invite/Add to Group dialog automatically removes the Invite button and includes only the Add button. Students do not know they belong to a Monitor group, therefore only the Add button is needed. When inviting faculty to join a Monitor group, the Invite option is available. The Invite button gives faculty the opportunity to accept or decline the group invitation.

Group Knowledge Bases

Prior to this update, groups used a special feature called Knowledge Base to upload information. Now, for ease of use and continuity, groups will have the same content builder that classes use. Existing Knowledge Bases will automatically be converted to the content builder system, and new groups moving forward will have content builder included.

 

New message “Send” option

People can now choose between two methods of sending a message – clicking the Send button or pressing Enter to send. Adding this option aligns Twine with a growing list of products that include this option. The default remains the same until changed by the user. Click or tap on the three dots to change the preference.

 

Mobile clients and badges

A new iOS mobile app is available in the App Store. The new version supports badge notifications. In the device Settings, tap the app and enable badges notifications.

The current Android version of the app supports badges. Go to Settings, select the app and enable App icon badges.

Notifications are set by navigating to the Accounts Settings > Notifications. To see badge notifications, include Mobile in the list of “Notify activity via:” options. Enabling both options will give people a Badge notification on the app icon and a list of the specific notifications under the notification bell on the navigation bar. Notifications are found in the Account Settings.

When the device Settings has badges enabled and the account setting includes the mobile notifications, a badge notification will appear on the app.