SchoolBench Update: 2018 Autumn Release – ‘Einstein’
We are only weeks away from our Autumn release, and one look at upcoming changes to our digital asset management system for schools means you don’t need to be Einstein to appreciate these smart updates to SchoolBench.
In our Autumn release of SchoolBench, code named ‘Einstein’, schools will soon be able to enjoy:
- Granular control of parental permissions
- Three inbuilt image editing tools
- Desktop access via WebDAV
- Smarter display and management of searches
- A number of power tweaks and fixes
This suite of updates comes from user feedback through our community roadmap where our developers seek input from schools to ensure SchoolBench is fit for purpose.
Granular control of parental permissions
The launch version of SchoolBench supported a parental permission flag for each media item.
The options were:
- Permission granted
- Permission denied
- Permission unknown
As schools have clocked up more hours using SchoolBench, we have received requests to allow for better control in usage permissions.
With these latest smart updates to SchoolBench, the system now offers complete flexibility, so schools can determine what permissions they need to index for each media item, such as parental permissions for:
- Social media publication
- Internal publication
- External publication
- Print publication
- Online/web publication
School communities will be able to add the specific parental usage permissions they need, and SchoolBench will keep that information synchronised across all indexed media.
Three inbuilt image editing tools
SchoolBench is not Adobe Photoshop.
However, there are times when some basic image editing options add convenience and save time.
SchoolBench developers have three new options included in the Autumn update, to enable quick, functional changes to images. They are:
- Cropping. SchoolBench now gives users the option of cropping out a child whose parents have not given publication permission, or cropping out children who were blinking or not in a suitable pose for the image. Furthermore, cropping extraneous features from an image might help create an “almost perfect” image, suitable for publication.
- Rotation. Sometimes, landscape images get imported as portrait, and vice versa. SchoolBench will now make it easy to correct this with a click.
- Watermarking. Your school can now apply, resize, and position your logo or other watermark image to appropriate locations on your media items, to ensure correct branding and ownership are managed from storage to usage.
Access SchoolBench via from your desktop with WebDAV
SchoolBench is a web app and can be used via a browser in a secure session. Some users prefer to use native editors like Photoshop CC and Lightroom to manipulate and manage their photos and other digital assets.
With these smart updates to SchoolBench, WebDAV means you can work in Photoshop, for example, and save your images directly into SchoolBench without having to swap in and out of different programs and apps. Not only will this save time, it lets you work in the environment that best suits your needs.
Through WebDAV, you will be able to open, edit, and manage school assets via Finder (for Macs) and Windows Explorer (for PCs), as you can see in the image below.
Furthermore, this increased flexibility in how you manage your assets still comes with peace of mind because all images are still stored safely in SchoolBench.
Smarter display and management of searches
The SchoolBench reputation has been built on the powerful search technology it uses.
By allowing schools to index all media items with time, date, student name, class, event, etc, it puts a lot of power into the hands of school communication staff who need pictures urgently.
However, sometimes there’s a need to add tags to images in an ad hoc way. That is now possible.
When searching for images or videos, SchoolBench now offers search suggestions that are case insensitive, to help you hone in on the best search terms possible. Likewise, new date facets will help you narrow down searches by date.
Our engineers have also reworked the search results pages, so you can view mixed results of thumbnails and tables, along with the ability to have all results on one page (infinite scrolling) to save you clicking to page two, page three, etc. After reviewing this improved format, we’ve now decided to remove the folder view in favour of our improved search results interface.
A number of power tweaks and fixes round off these smart updates to SchoolBench
You’ll find SchoolBench has even more power for increasing the efficiency of your workflow by enabling you to save and share your configurations.
This means that when you’ve compiled a panel layout and array of facets that make you the envy of other staff, you can share your wisdom and experience to help your school flourish.
We are also supporting better management by improving the way SchoolBench handles duplicate images and we’ve included support for Read Only fields so that student and parent permissions are safely attached to all regular images.
So, here is a summary of the first raft of smart updates to SchoolBench arising directly from feedback through our user community.
Coming Soon in July: Mini Release – Admin Panel
If your school hasn’t started using it yet, we’d love to chat with you and arrange a demonstration. Simply contact SchoolBench and we’ll make it happen.