FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Kiwi instructional management system Hapara launches on Microsoft Office 365
Tue, 28th Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Instructional management system Hapara has been launched on the Microsoft Office 365 platform, in a move that provides students and educators on the Microsoft platform with a new tool to further improve student learning outcomes and create a safe online learning environment.

Previously only available on Google Apps, Hapara is a New Zealand-developed tool designed to engage students online and help educators tailor individual learning.

From humble beginnings as an instructional management system developed in Auckland for a small handful of schools, Hapara is now used in 44 countries by more than 1.6 million users.

Microsoft New Zealand's Education Sector Manager Evan Blackman says by combining OneNote and Hapara, educators have a powerful tool that helps them focus attention on improving student learning outcomes.

“Hapara on the Office 365 platform gives educators the tool they need to enable visibility, personalised learning, and safety in this digital environment,” Blackman says.

“Educators have long encouraged collaboration with OneNote, creativity and inspiring students to achieve more. Now they can improve that experience through the visibility of student work that Hapara creates,” he adds.

Hapara chief product officer, Wayne Poncia, says, “We are thrilled to say ‘yes,' to the many Microsoft schools in New Zealand and around the world who have asked when Hapara will bring its visibility and classroom interaction tools to the Microsoft Office 365 and OneNote platforms.

“The future of education is with great teachers, as it always has been, and the future medium for the daily work of learners is with cloud-based applications,” he says.

“Now, that cloud-based daily work that happens with Microsoft Office 365 and OneNote tools can be organised and more readily accessible to educators with Hapara.” Adds Poncia.

Poncia says one of the key highlights of the partnership for Microsoft educators is the Hapara Teacher Dashboard. The Teacher Dashboard adds an instructional management layer on top of OneNote, giving educators a bird's eye view of classroom activity, allowing educators to easily assess and provide feedback as the work is happening.

Two New Zealand schools, Opaheke and Methven Primary School School, are piloting Hapara on Office 365.

Nikkie Laing, Associate Principal and a Microsoft Expert Educator at Opaheke School, says adding Hapara to the mix of Microsoft apps in the classroom has given teachers greater visibility of student learning and enabled them to engage students more easily and keep them on track.

“We are very excited by what we can achieve with Hapara and Office 365. We can oversee student work more effectively, and intervene to guide a student when they're struggling to grasp a concept or is wandering off track,” says Laing.

“Hapara with Microsoft is the perfect mix of empowering our kids to achieve more, and encouraging student agency, while maintaining a safe and focused learning environment,” she adds.

Key benefits of using Hapara include:

●      Easy access and visibility to learner work:

o      View a quick summary of learner progress across OneNote organised by classes and subjects.

●      Improve skills development:

o      Organise learners into groups and provide individual feedback and support to improve skills and mastery of topics.

●      Quickly share documents with learners:

o      Share documents, assignments and resources quickly with individual learners, groups and the whole class.

●      Individualise learning by differentiating assignments:

o      Track progress and submissions, provide feedback and guidance.

●      Promote student agency and responsibility:

o      Give learners an easy interface to manage their assignments, customise their submissions and participate in learning and collaboration.

●      Activity visibility tools:

o      Allow teachers to see learner screens and class browsing activity.