Fronter has been given a new look! The most striking element of Fronter Y11 is the introduction of a brand new design. Navigation and interaction within the new looking Fronter has been altered to make the system more in tune with modern web applications, easier to use and cleaner. Over the next few releases you will see new tools and functionality along with new and improved versions of some of our most used tools. Continue reading to find out more about what you can look forward to in Y11.
We have created two new designs for Fronter, either of which can be selected by all customers. Perfect for primary is 'Play' and ideally suited to secondary users is 'Classic'. These inclusive designs have been developed in accordance with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Double-A guidelines, improving accessibility for users with disabilities. The designs will replace all current designs in Fronter. However, if you have created your own design using the Design tool, we will not replace this with one of the new designs
New/Enhanced navigation in the top bar (indluded in the new designs):
To make the top bar cleaner and less 'crowded' we have replaced the old 'choose room' functionality with a new drop-down listing all your favourite rooms. In the Classic design, a drop-down for all personal tools has been created to make the interface a lot cleaner, giving the user the possibility to add more tools without the top bar becoming very crowded. Finally, we have introduced a drop-down menu behind the user's name which expands to show Admin, Log out, Help and Contact card.
New Entrance Hall images:
As part of the new look we have created brand new images to go with the Entrance hall functionality. Rooms already created will not be touched but the user can of course select a new picture for his/her room. When creating a new room in Y11 you will only be able to choose from the new pictures.
Enhanced ILP/Goal module:
The ILP tool has been upgraded to include: preview of learning goals, description and criteria before teachers select a goal, the ability for a teacher to distinguish between students with the same first- and last name, possibility for the Fronter administrator to decide who can create ILP templates and matrix view for students as default.
New iPhone- and Android app:
In September, Fronter will be available on iPhones, iPads and Andriod phones. This marks the start of our mobile programme and these first versions will be followed up by new and enhanced functionality later in the year and throughout 2012. Currently the apps allow the user to receive information from their Fronter installation i.e. Messages, Stickies, News, Calendar and Notification.
Customers who have purchased the plus pack E-mail hosting will be upgraded to a completely new email frontend with enhanced functionality. The new webmail client is delivered by Atmail and has been integrated seamlessly within the Fronter product.
New sound recorder:
We have replaced the existing sound recorder with a new and more stable one. It will work in all browsers, has an easy User Interface (UI) and will be able to play recordings made by the old recorder.
Enhanced page tool: We have made editing in the Page tool easier, by allowing users to click anywhere inside the container to access 'edit' mode of that container. In addition, we have removed the template screen when creating a page making the create process faster and with less clicks.
New EQUELLA integration: V1.0 of the Fronter-EQUELLA integration will be released with Y11. EQUELLA is a market leading Content Management System (CMS) from Pearson, which is used by large customers and universities around the world who need a full blown CMS. Customers who have both Fronter and EQUELLA will now be able to benefit from the seamless integration between the two systems.
Online Reporting: (UK only) Parents/carers get access to more contextual information on assessments and behaviour comments. We have also improved the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for presenting Hand-ins. Tutors and students will also be able to access the Parental Portal from the portfolio in a room.
New text editor: We have upgraded the FCK editor to the new CK-editor. The editor will also have a new and improved UI. We have also upgraded the child editor with new icons that blend in well with the new Fronter Play design.
Edusharing: (Germany only) Fronter is now fully integrated with the German content repository, edu-sharing using our OpenAPI. Users can launch the edu-sharing search from Fronter and save links to the content back to the Fronter archive or page container. In addition, external files like pdf, doc, etc, can be uploaded to edu-sharing from the Fronter archive.
More improvements to look forward to in Y11:
License Expiry: An option to add a license expiry date has been implemented. This can be set in the import or manually on the users' contact card.
Resource Gateway: (UK only) We have made improvements to the access handling in the Resource Gateway.
Performance: We have made
some changes to the back-end of the Fronter platform to increase
speed, stability and scalability. For example, caching has been
improved by implementing Memcache to make Fronter faster.
New help system: During the autumn we will release a brand new help system. This has been built in a Mediawiki and will provide a better user experience when seeking help.
e1 integration: (UK only)The integration with e1 has been rewritten to increase the overall performance and stability. For example, when using Online Reporting, Fronter Y11 will allow parental accounts to be delivered to parents/carers directly from Fronter. The accounts can be emailed or printed.
Scorm: A new solution for storing SCORM content has been implemented. The new SCORM back-end is faster, more stable and has the scalability to handle increased volumes of data.
Solr: A new version of Solr content search offers improved stability and increased indexing speed. A new layout has been added for searching and presenting search results, offering new filtering options. The Solr improvements will also be made available in Fronter Y10.
SOY: New rooms can be created based on pre-defined exemplar rooms created by Fronter. We have also implemented better support for import/export of rooms larger than 100mb. Schools can also activate the Start of Year room panel for existing rooms.
Time to say goodbye:
Design tool:The design tool (Fronter plus pack) will be discontinued in Fronter Y11. Customers who have created their own designs can continue to 'tweak' these. However, it will not be possible to edit/change the new Fronter designs. A new and scaled-down design tool will be made available in January 2012.