Apologies today for the longer than expected maintenance. The required downtime for this important deployment exceeded our initial estimate of 2 hours, but maintenance was completed at 5:23 pm GMT today.
There was a minor unicode (UTF-8) issue involving smileys who would have thought? But that required us to begin a 2nd maintenance session at 3 pm GMT.
We are delighted to announce that ManageBac is now running on the latest version of Rails 4.2.
Our R&D team has been working very hard on this upgrade for the past 11 months, and while the front-end interface for ManageBac remains the same, this was an essential technical upgrade (akin to replacing the engine) encompassing the following:
Reduction of over 20k lines of code. Generally the more (or same) functionality in the least amount of code the better.
Automated test coverage now stands at 86%. This improves application reliability and allows us to run a suite of continuous integration tests on every new build to catch bugs and fix them before you ever notice them.
Memory usage improved by 4x, this greatly improves the ability of ManageBac to handle a higher load.
Thank you for your patience and understanding! As some of you who have submitted feature requests know, we had to pause major feature updates during code freeze because of the MB Rails 4 upgrade. From next week onward, we will be resuming normal feature development.
We’ve made the following improvements to the system this week:
PDF Exports of all forms have improved spacing and formatting. All options for Checklist and Multiple Choice fields will appear on the PDF Export.
PayPal Express Checkout is now a payment integration option in OpenApply. You can enter your API credentials via Settings > Payments. Families are able to pay by credit card without requiring a PayPal account.
Tags rules to automatically apply to an applicant based on which field value has been selected on a given form.
For example, Does your child have any of the following allergies?
If “Legumes” has been selected on the form, automatically apply a tag called “Legumes Allergy” for the student.
Analytics: Enrollment Summary analytics to track the application status of all students in the system by date.
Analytics: Checklist Completion analytics to track the status of completed, ongoing, or to-be-completed checklist items per programme.
We’ve made the following improvement to the system this week:
The Transdisciplinary Skills that have been covered within each Unit of Inquiry can now be displayed on the report card. This can be enabled within the report card template via the Summary of Achievement tab.
On December 12-13, 2014, we hosted our first user group conference in the Middle East in Dubai, at GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis. We were thrilled to welcome over 90 participants from 20 different IB World Schools.
The day began with a keynote presentation by Principal and CEO Michael Gernon entitled “Are We There Yet?” The talk challenged participants to think about 21st century learning, and if their schools were helping develop the right skills and attitudes needed for the 21st century.
The keynote was followed by a general presentation from GEMS World Academy and our company updates. Our slides are available to view here.
After lunch, participants went into programme-specific breakout sessions, including:
Admissions: The Customer Journey by Sally Rummel, Director of Development and Admissions at Raha International School
Three Perspectives on the IBCC by Alexander Harrison of GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, Peter Stoddart of Emirates International School Jumeirah, and Michael Worth of Greenfield Community School
MYP Next Chapter and Implementation by Carolyn Mason Parker of GEMS International School – Al Khail
Curriculum Planning, Assessment and School-to-Home Communication in PYP by Ali Ezzeddine of SEK International School Qatar
Establishing In-House Protocols by Brycen Davis of Istanbul International Community School
The day concluded with a hosted dinner at The Imperium at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
On the second day of the conference, our keynote address was given by Lance King, founder of The Art of Learning, who led a spirited discussion of ATL skills.
The morning breakout sessions included:
Cross-Cultural Harmony in Admissions by Nivin El Aawar of ISL Qatar
DP Coordinator Meeting by Nausheen Arif of Emirates International School – Jumeirah
Further ATL Discussion with Lance King
Using ManageBac to Support PYP Learning by David Gerber of GEMS World Academy
Implementing ManageBac (and other technologies) by Farah Misquitta of Ecole Mondiale
The afternoon breakout sessions included:
Managing Expectations Across Admissions by Natalie Kvackova of International School Prague
Reporting for Diploma by Joe Hamkari of ISL Qatar
Assessment and Reporting in MYP by Andrew MacRae and Rhonda Zaharko of GEMS World Academy
PYP Reporting by Kirsten Anderson of Faria Systems
Flipping the Classroom by Frank Peterson of Raha International
We had a wonderful time connecting with our schools in Dubai! We were available throughout the conference to lend support, answer questions, and hear feedback. We are also very grateful to GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis for hosting us in their wonderful facilities.
At our user group conference in Dubai this past weekend, we provided a general company update, including a review of our service in 2014 and what we have planned for 2015. The slides are now available below.