Introducing Firefly 6
We're proud to announce our most significant upgrade to Firefly yet - Firefly 6. We've been listening carefully to your feedback over the last year about how Firefly could fit in more closely with your workflow, provide sophisticated tools for managing tasks and support formative feedback. That’s why we’ve been hard at work the last few months and here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come.
During the last year we've been collating and analysing all the feedback we receive from teachers via the helpdesk, planning and training in schools and carrying out in-depth research. We encapsulated everything we learned in a set of principles that guided the design of Firefly 6:
- Find the information you need
- Do it your way
- Show off your achievements
Using these design principles and building on the success Firefly 4 and 5, we focused on better combining our content and workflow tools to take homework-setting and marking to the next level. We also redesigned our web interface and the app so that switching from one to the other is now completely effortless.
Here's a quick rundown of the main highlights of what's new in Firefly 6.
Find the information you need
We've completely redesigned the menus you use to navigate the site. All your great content is still there, but the menus are now much clearer, with the things you want to do more readily to hand. We've also made the navigation of the website and the app simpler so if you're familiar with one of them, then you already know how to use the other.
We've also redesigned the iPad app dashboard to highlight the information that's most important to you.
Find out when your next lesson is or check up on tasks that are due soon with a quick glance. The dashboard shown in your browser and in the app are now one, unified platform.
Do it your way
Firefly 6 is designed with flexibility in mind, so it supports different teaching styles, workflows and pedagogies. You can set quick homework tasks in just a couple of clicks, or get more involved and ask students to respond to feedback you've given them.
Here's a selection of some of the new things you can do your way in Firefly 6.
Create rich tasks
There are no limits to the complexity of the work you can set. It's still just a few clicks to set a task, but you can now also add files and write descriptions without any character limits. On the web, you can add rich resources to your task description, such as images, galleries, videos, and questions.
Give effective formative feedback
Give your students feedback the way they like to receive it. You can mark and annotate submitted work directly in your browser or in the Teacher Planner without ever leaving Firefly. You can even record your feedback as audio and video in the Teacher Planner.
Annotate and comment as many times as you like and ask students to resubmit their work. Firefly keeps a track of every submission so that you, your students, and even parents can see how the work develops. It's simple to share all this evidence with your colleagues too.
Work online or offline
Whether students submit work online or on paper, you can easily upload their work into Firefly or take a photo in order to keep their work and your assessments all in one place.
Plan your lessons
The Firefly iPad app knows your timetable and creates slots where you can add lesson plans. Write lesson plans with the editor, then take a look at all your lesson plans in a single view. You can choose to sort them by class or by day.
Show off your achievements
We know providing evidence of your work takes a lot of your time so Firefly 6 helps you to easily record each student's work as they go, whether they submit their work online or offline.
Follow the progress of individual students or entire classes by using the markbook, which updates automatically every time you give feedback on Firefly. The full history of every single task is shown, demonstrating the evidence of all your feedback. Each of your interactions with your students is displayed, as well as a timeline of the work they've submitted. Each lesson plan you create on Firefly is recorded and builds up into an ordered and dated list, showing your lesson development.
Watch this space over the coming weeks and months for more insights into what's coming.
Viviana Doctorovich, Senior Product Manager