Internet Encourages Development of School Communities

Published November 1, 2000

With such community-building features as e-mail, calendars, bulletin boards, publishing tools, and class home pages, education portals on the Internet are hoping to encourage parents, students, and classroom teachers to share the task of education.

A leader in the education portal industry, Timecruiser Computing Corporation, announced in late September the release of version 2.0 of its popular SchoolCruiser suite.

“SchoolCruiser’s mission is to provide easy-to-use online tools to promote the school-to-home connection as well as academic and community interaction,” said Jeanne Foulon, Timecruiser’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Using SchoolCruiser, teachers, students, parents, and administrators can manage, collaborate, and exchange information on everything from homework, school projects, classes, and events to school administration. Privacy and security are guaranteed through school-generated logins and passwords.

SchoolCruiser permits teachers to write, publish, and archive lesson plans online. The Lesson Planning Tool is template-based, requiring no prior programming skills or HTML knowledge. Teachers needn’t wonder which lessons they used on which days, or how exactly they prepared an English lesson. Their lesson plans are at their fingertips.

Version 2.0 of the SchoolCruiser suite adds Attendance Recording and Grade Book features unavailable in earlier versions. With Attendance Recording, teachers can track and record student attendance online, while Grade Book allows teachers to assign, calculate, and report grades online. Parents can access their children’s grade and attendance information instantly, from work or home.

SchoolCruiser helps parents take a more proactive role in their children’s education by encouraging interaction with teachers and allowing access to homework, school calendars, and lunch menus. Parents can be linked to all their children with a single login, even if they attend multiple schools within the district. Parents can also access their children’s class pages and calendars or create a personalized calendar–on which they can track soccer practice, band rehearsals, and other school-related or personal appointments.

Calendaring functions allow everyone in the SchoolCruiser community to stay abreast of school activities, meetings, workshops, and conferences. Districts can merge single school calendars into a district-wide calendar reporting events at each individual school. With a single glance, administrators can know which events are happening at which schools when. The Free Time Search allows users to search for free time on any merged or individual calendar, easing the task of meeting and workshop scheduling.

SchoolCruiser’s E-mail Filtering Tools keep schools in control of student e-mails by allowing the SchoolCruiser Administrator to block inappropriate messages. Filtering can be configured at the user and school level, allowing the school to set its own email standards.

In addition to the K-12 SchoolCruiser, Timecruiser Computing Corp. offers CampusCruiser, a higher education enterprise portal.

For more information . . .

contact marketing coordinator Denise J. Dagnino at 973-244-7856 ext. 131, or by email at [email protected].