Share. Go Mobile. Be Beautiful. 10 fantastic features for 2012.

2011 has been a big year for Haiku. We introduced Google Apps integration and the Haiku Course Catalog, and we’re nearly ready to unveil an open beta version of Haiku Mobile. We more than doubled the number of teachers and students in 2011.

2012 promises to be equally exciting, and it’s full steam ahead!

10 Fabulous Features You’re Gonna Love

When we reviewed requests, we quickly discovered common themes that in turn helped us identify ten features to focus on:

  1. Haiku Mobile (for Tablets). Access your Haiku LMS classes in a sleek interface designed specifically for mobile devices. Mobile will be a rolling release, so we’ll update it often just like we do LMS.
  2. Haiku ThemeMaker. Make a Haiku LMS class truly yours by choosing colors and graphics with a few quick clicks! No need to know HTML or CSS. The same is true for the Portal and ePortfolio. What’s more, a teacher’s view of Haiku will match the students’.
  3. Resource Library. You’re ready to get going with Haiku, and you face the potentially daunting moment: a blank page. How should you structure your class? What pages should you make, and where can you find really good content? That’s where the Resource Library comes in! Search the pool of content (classes, pages, and content blocks) that other teachers and resource librarians add to the collection and bring it into your class!
  4. Manage Assessment by Individual. Not everyone learns at the same pace, so they shouldn’t have to be tested on that basis. Open an assessment for a single student, a group of students, or the entire class, and provide additional time for students who may need more time to complete the assessment.
  5. Dropbox Enhancements With Grid-Based Gallery. Fine arts and media teachers will find this particularly helpful: View many documents at one time in a grid layout. Make feedback a class activity by allowing students to review peers’ work and to rate and respond to custom criteria on entries. Students and teachers can even post their entries for public feedback (when enabled) via Facebook and other social media.
  6. Student Work Summary. As a teacher, you can see which students completed an assignment, but you can’t see which assignments a student completed. Get an aggregated view of a student’s work to quickly identify what’s missing and what’s below an acceptable threshold (which the teacher sets in order to receive alerts!)
  7. Progress Reports/Report Cards. You have all your grades in Haiku, but to produce progress reports you had to venture outside the LMS. No longer! Teachers and/or schools can create customized progress reports directly in Haiku!
  8. Soft Delete. You spent time and energy to create a page and wonderful content, and despite all that careful attention accidentally deleted your work! Relax: You can undo that.
  9. Haiku Chat. Instant communication can be a great way to collaborate when students aren’t in the same physical classroom. Easily connect everyone in your classroom in a few clicks. And since instant messaging can become just another way for students to distract each other when you want them to focus on the material, you can turn off Haiku Chat as you see fit (say, when an online test starts).
  10. Haiku Push API (with Intelligent Papers Integration). With so much happening in your Haiku class, how can you easily keep the other tools you use in your classroom up to date? Third-party developers, approved by your school, can automatically have information pushed to them as you work on your class (e.g. creating assignments, adding page content, or updated grades).

Even More for You to Love

The top ten is just the beginning. We have more in store! Document QuickView. Save (more) time. Get a glimpse of what’s in a file without spending the time to download and open it. Proctor Passwords for Assessments. You’ve created an assessment for students to take in a proctored setting, but what’s to keep them from starting the test without you? Guarantee that the proctor is present by providing a password just before the assessment begins. Additional Assessment Enhancements. “We really like Haiku’s Assessments feature, and it would be so much better with _____ !”
  • Multiple Multiple Choice
  • Randomized Pool of Questions
  • Grading short answer/essay responses by question instead of by student.
  • The ability for students to see one question at a time when taking an Assessment.
Gradebook Enhancements. The Gradebook is great for recording scores. Now it’s time to further extend with Drag & Drop organization, printable gradebooks, and a variety of other upgrades to help teachers identify areas where students need improvement:
  • Print class grade chart
  • Export and print grades by Roster Section
  • Display Gradebook category subtotals
  • Autofill scores for Gradebook entries
  • Flag underperforming students and notify the teacher
  • Display graphs per assignment to track student performance (e.g. average, median, max, mean, and breakdown by grade notation)
Embed the Web™ Enhancements. With so many widgets on the web, why does Embed the Web™ have a limited set? Well, that limitation keeps your classroom data secure from hackers. By improving the way we separate third party code from your class data, you’ll be able to safely embed any widget you wish, including Twitter and others that are currently blacklisted. Drag & Drop File and Folder Uploads. You know that file you want to give your students - the one you have to dig through folders and folders to find? Instead of clicking an “Upload File” button in Haiku and navigating to the file, just drag and drop it (a file or a folder) from your computer to Haiku’s HTML5 compliant uploader. WikiProject Templates and Versioning. You assign a WikiProject. Your students create a WikiSite. Give them a jump start -- a basic template they can update with text, video, audio, and so on. As the teacher, you can see which students made changes and roll back to earlier versions of a WikiSite. Discussion Enhancements. With so many topics and responses, surely there must be a way to read them easily! These improvements are coming down the line:
  • New threaded discussions view
  • Subject lines on posts
  • Filter and search
  • Faster performance
If your school subscribes to:
  • TurnItIn...make use of their anti-plagiarism and notation tools.
  • Jigsaw Webconference or Adobe Connect...use their tightly integrated webconferencing services.
  • Google Apps for Education...use Gmail instead of Haiku Inbox for your intraclass communications and Google Calendar to add events to your Haiku class (and vice versa).
Oh, and you can have multiple calendars in each class, too! (And for those of you using iCal, integration is on the way.) Domain Control Application Tab. Domain Administrators can easily turn on and configure third party services like SIS integration from the Domain Control. Organizational Admins. When you have multiple organizations, you need a way to give someone the ability to control one or some, but not all of them. Enter the Organizational Admin, which limits the person to working with a particular set of users. Class Statistics Enhancements. Get your stats faster and fancier. The data loads quickly and displays in an attractive graph so you can get the whole picture. And those graphs are generated in HTML5 so they’re available on mobile devices! Under the hood. Our hardware infrastructure will receive attention to improve redundancy, speed, and robustness.

We plotted our path in a spirit of collaboration.

Deciding how to advance Haiku is an intensive process. Previous years’ intelligence gives us a general direction, and as we gather feedback from our teachers, administrators, students, and parents we track trends in education. We sift through every single entry in our UserVoice feedback forum. We identify themes. We shoulder-tap educators. And then we spend four days hunkered down as a team to plan the major roll outs for the next year. We each champion different features based on our conversations with teachers and others, and though we don’t exactly come to blows, we do engage in lively debate until the way forward is clear! The updates you see above are those that made the cut. Still, we each continue to advocate for features we know will make educators’ lives a little easier, and as we’re able to add to our roadmap we’ll work these in:
  • Haiku Mobile Responder
  • Rubrics
  • Standards integration
  • Objective-Based Gradebook
  • Badges and uBoost Integration
Finally, we must give honorable mention to a few ideas that we heard loud and clear and yet simply couldn’t fit into the roadmpap: ePortfolio Enhancements (mainly Dual Templates) and Comment Aggregation.

We conclude with gratitude.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you using Haiku. You continue to inspire our team’s creativity with yours and help us evolve Haiku to meet the changing needs of the modern classroom. We tip our hats to you!