Microsoft Edge compatibility report

Microsoft-Edge-Logo

Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 comes with Edge, a new browser to replace the antediluvian Internet Explorer. Hooray! Technical folk the world over loathe MSIE with a deep and abiding passion, and we are delighted to see it slip into history. What’s more, Edge has had largely good reviews. It’s fast, stable and generally standards-compatible.

Will your school switch over forthwith? Probably not. In the first place, about 50% of our users have standardised on Chrome. A few will move back, but Google is very good at giving them reasons to stay. Secondly, right now at the start of term is not the time your IT technician wants to switch over to a new and untested program. If you are on MSIE, you are most likely doomed to stay with it for the next 12 months.

That has not stopped us from setting up a copy and running the complete suite of Yacapaca functional tests across it. You will be pleased to know that it performed quickly and stably, with two exceptions:

  • The Javascript Quiz player does not start. The JS version is a fall-back only, so this is only important if Flash suddenly stops working.
  • Javascripted charts do not work, though their PDF counterparts do. This is not a killer, but it definitely is an inconvenience.

Edge has a new Javascript engine which may have been launched without some features. We are now investigating to see whether we should just wait for Microsoft to fix the problem, or whether we should change our code. Whichever way it goes, for 99% of users, this will be fixed long before you would otherwise trip over it.

Meanwhile with the launch of Edge, we have dropped compatibility testing on MSIE 7 and 8, though we still test all changes against MSIE 9, 10 and 11 as well as Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Of course if you do hit a problem with Yacapaca on any browser, report it and we will do our best to help.

Reporting PiXL Bands in place of NC Levels at KS3 and 4

PiXL have been promoting an alternative to National Curriculum levels for while, and their ideas have been gaining some traction. We have an ongoing survey (do add your voice!) of our members’ intentions for KS3 reporting, and as you can see it’s neck and neck between continuing with NC Levels and switching to PiXL.

PiXL

So what are PiXL bands? Very simply, they are predictions for GCSE success, based on the forthcoming 1-9 grade scheme for GCSE rather than the old G-A* gradings. The key phrase that converts a prediction to a band is “If continued through, the student may be predicted to Continue reading

Pro tips on uploading student data ready for September

When setting up Yacapaca for the new year, you should have two aims:
  • Minimise your own workload, of course
  • Maintain continuity of student data. Why?
    • …because Yacapaca’s famed ability to individualise the learning experience depends on its existing knowledge of the individual
    • …because the analytics will show useful trends provided their is past data to base them on.
Here’s how to achieve this goal:
  1. If you are a Full Service customer, get ready to send your student data to us for upload. We’ll do everything else, so ignore the rest of this post.
  2. For student sets that remain largely unchanged, simply edit the set name, e.g. 7AX becomes 8AX.
  3. You can easily move students between sets individually or in groups (see video)
  4. If re-uploading students from scratch, include their admission numbers to avoid any future duplication. There is lots of useful analytics data you can add at this point, that will be really hard to add later. See the full list.

An analysis of the effect of using Yacapaca to teach Physics at a British International School

This is a guest post from Matt Baker, who teaches Physics at Bangkok Patana School, one of the leading British International Schools in Thailand, and a Yacapaca Pathfinder school. Matt has been using Yacapaca for several years and has it well-embedded into his Physics curriculum (see here for Matt’s iGCSE course). I asked Matt how he knew that Yacapaca was boosting his results. Good scientist that he is, he laid out the data.

At Bangkok Patana School there are 6 classes of students who study IGCSE Physics and they are split into 3 populations – W, X and Y. Each teacher teaches 2 classes from a given population.

Students are sorted into populations based on KS3 attainment so each population should be of approximately equal ability at the start of Y10.

Last year’s results

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As you can see: