Constructing the page menu
This article continues our intention to pass on our schools' accumulated wisdom when planning the menu. Having created the main section menu, the next consideration is the page menu structure. A typical example is shown here. While the names of the pages may vary from school to school, the concept behind the structure of them is the same.
In common with all the menus in Firefly, the location of each page can be changed and it is easy to delete and undelete pages.
Content and curriculum
One of Firefly's great strengths is that it knows all the relational information from the school's MIS. This means that the menu can be entirely focussed on providing effective navigation to pages and resources. There is no need to have reference to specific teachers, classes or even year groups in the menu as all these people can have relevant content pushed to them specifically using the up-to-date information from the MIS. Dashboard bookmarks, recommended pages and tasks will present specific resources to your students and there is no need to rename any pages at the start of the year when all the classes and teachers change. The page menu can therefore be arranged by broad curriculum topic. This is familiar to teachers, facilitating collaboration and sharing of resources and useful to students as they learn how the whole subject is structured.
Firefly pages vs. files
Pages allow for a much more engaging experience for students as text & media on a Firefly page are viewable on any device. Pages and resources can be dynamically linked and take students on a journey where the context is always clear. This presents clear advantages over merely sharing files as there is no need to wait for downloading and teachers can be confident that students can use resources without being always being taken away from the lesson page or to an app that they don't have. In cases where files are the best way of sharing information, they can be easily linked to on the appropriate page ready for download.
Most of the page menus on Firefly will uniquely evolve to suit the section they are in. The page menu that requires the most thought during planning is the one found within each subject section.
There are a number of strategies that our schools have taken:
- Have each department/year group collaboratively decide on the structure they would like to use [the advantage is that everyone knows where everything is and how the subject will be structured]
- Choose a simple structure and make it common to all departments [consistent experience for students and a helpful starting point for teachers]
- Leave blank and allow departments to grow organically [allows depts. to develop according to their unique approach]
Choose whichever of these approaches (or combinations) suits your school. You can refer any working groups to this article to help frame their discussion.