Deliver a personal, daily schooling experience to your pupils at home and in the classroom
Features for Teachers
Teach with self-paced learning activities and webinars. Accessible to learners both in the classroom and at home on any device with an internet connection, including computers, smart phones, tablets, and smart TVs. Schedule online video meetings with parents.
Express yourself and your personal teaching style, and stay connected with pupils through Calibrae's communication tools. Start the day your way with a daily welcome message. Engage with pupils through messaging and live webinars. Discuss tasks and assignments. Liaise with parents.
Monitor pupil activity and participation and receive notifications at key intervals, including file-uploads or assignment completion. View detailed metrics about the learning progress of each of your pupils. Enable admin access for school management and generate reports and updates for parents.
Create a unique, daily course of study with a variety of learning activities. Hit the ground running by integrating and using tools you already know and use, including PowerPoint, Word, Google Slides, Videos, PDFs, and many more.
Utilise resources from across the web to support your learning activities. Whether it's YouTube videos for your geography lesson, BBC news articles for your history class, or embedded content from educational sites, Calibrae brings the full resources of the internet right to your virtual classroom.
Scaffold self-paced activities for differentiated learning. Create assignments for pupils to complete independently. Track group and individual progress throughout each stage of the task or assignment and receive notifications when milestones are reached. Assess and provide individual feedback with ease.
Avoid "teach to test" and facilitate real learning with Calibrae's smart exercise engine, which generates an infinite stream of unique learning scenarios, enabling learners to attempt, review, refine, and repeat until it really *clicks*.
Digital learning is great, but there are also times when we want learners to step back and do something away from the computer. With Go and Do activities, provide pupils with instructions on what to do and how to report their findings.
Just as schools and educational communities around the world strive to meet the individual needs of their pupils and students, our straightforward pricing model ensures that Calibrae is accessible to schools of every shape and size. Teachers and staff go free, and pupils are billed at just £0.99 per month.
A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an online tool used in Education through which teachers provide a teaching and learning experience for their pupils over the internet. Pupils typically access their learning on computers, tablets and phones - in fact, any device with a browser that can access the internet.
Teaching through a VLE is typically a blend of...
self-paced learning activities that pupils work through independently at their own pace and in their own time, and
teacher-lead sessions where teacher and class meet in a web-conference for live instruction and discussion, often supplemented with screen-sharing.
Virtual Learning Environments typically also provide tools for tracking pupil progress.
What should I look for in a VLE?
Be sure to choose a VLE that caters for the needs of your school. Features you need might include...
Easy set up of virtual classrooms, including adding teachers and pupils
Separation of roles. School admin to administer class setup, whilst teachers focus on teaching and learning
Easy to organise learning content, including the ability for teachers to re-use existing content and tools such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, Word, PDFs, video and audio files
Easy to seamlessly include content from the web, including YouTube videos, BBC Bitesize articles, wiki pages, etc, all without pupils having to leave the virtual classroom
Ability for teachers to create worksheets and assignments that can be marked through the VLE
Ability for pupils to upload work for the teacher to mark
Ability for teachers to create assessments
Ability for teachers to provide feedback and message pupils and parents
Ability for teachers and school management to track progress of pupils and classes
Tools to facilitate the teacher/pupil relationship for nurturing and encouragement
Ability for teachers to create and organise work for subsequent days/weeks/terms, and to be able to easily enable work at the appropriate time
Built-in webinar conferencing and desktop sharing tools in every virtual classroom
Ability for pupils to post questions and discuss topics asynchronously
A VLE venfor that can help get started and provide training and support
Why choose Calibrae as a VLE?
The Calibrae Virtual Learning Environment is perfect for delivering a daily, remote learning experience for pupils. It includes all of the features listed above, is easy to use and is loved by teachers, pupils and parents alike
02. Can I... on Calibrae
As headteacher, can I check-in on virtual classrooms and monitor progress?
Yes. Headteachers and other school managers can access all virtual classrooms in the school VLE, from which they can review lesson activities and monitor progress. Managers have charts to monitor progress of indivual pupils, classes and the school as a whole.
As school admin, how easy is it to create new virtual classrooms and add pupils?
Its simple. A virtual classroom is created in a few clicks. Just choose a class name and allocate a teacher. The teacher will be notified of their new virtual classroom and can set to immediately organising learning activities for the class.
Pupils can be added at any point, including bulk upload/import from a CSV file.
As a teacher, can I re-use my existing content and tools, including PowerPoint, Google Slides and PDFs?
Yes. The VLE is designed to facilitate use of your existing teaching activities, including easy upload or embed of PowerPoints, Word docs, Google Slides, PDFs, videos, audio files, images.
In fact, as teacher, your main task is to create a daily sequence of learning activities for pupils to work through. The journey typically consists of teaching activities, interspersed with exercises and 'doing' activities.
Can I write teaching activities directly in the platform?
Yes. There are many different activity types, including the Article activity. The Article provides a rich text editor in which you can writearticle text and include images from your image library. Pupils then engage with your article, studying its content.
Can I include content from the web, like YouTube or BBC Bitesize?
Absolutely. Calibrae provides an 'Embed' activity type. SImply copy the URL or embed code from the chosen webpage resource and use it to create an embed activity. The web-content is displayed seamlessly within the virtual classroom, without pupils having to navigate away to other website pages.
Examples of content often embedded in virtual classrooms include:
YouTube and Vimeo videos
Sound Cloud and other audio streaming sites
Any web page
Quizzlet and other online educational games
Surveys and polls
Files from Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive repositories
As a teacher, how do I maintain a relationship with my pupils?
The Calibrae VLE has great tools to help maintain the teacher / pupil relationship in a virtual, often non-real-time environment, enabling the teacher to ask and answer questions, and provide individual feedback and encouragement. Through the Calibrae VLE...
Teachers post a daily welcome message on the virtual classroom dashboard - perhaps text and images, or a video message
Pupils can post questions relating to each learning activity. Teachers are notified and can respond with an answer. Other pupils can also respond and contribute to the discussion thread
Teachers and pupils can communicate in text chat using the built-in messaging service. Chat sessions can be upgraded to an instant live video-conference session to talk in real-time
Teachers can use the messaging service from the marking screen to provide individual assignment feedback
Teachers can open the virtual classroom's webinar room at any time to live teach the class or a group of pupils
Can I create worksheet assignments?
Yes. Through the Calibrae VLE you can create many different types of exercise activities, including worksheets.
Author your instructions. Include text, image & video. Choose the required response type:
Rich-text. Pupils then have space on-screen to write (and format) a response, including images. Rich-text worksheets are great for creative writing, maths, science experiment reports, etc. Rich-text worksheet responses can be pre-populated with 'first steps' content.
Plain-text. Ideal for assignments where the response is just a sentence or two.
File-upload. Ask pupils to do something then upload a file for you to see. Draw a picture and upload a photo; use an art package on your computer and upload the image; create a slide deck and upload the PowerPoint file; etc.
Link to an online resource. Ask pupils to research a web page on a given topic, or find a YouTube video that explains a given principle. Ask pupils to provide a link to a document or file in an online repository like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive.
All activities, including assignments, can also be populated with file resources for pupil download. Perhaps instruct pupils to download a Word doc worksheet, print it out, complete it and upload a photo of the page for you to mark?
Can pupils upload work for me to mark?
Yes. As described above, one response option for the assignment activity is a file upload. Pupils can upload any type of file for you to mark: photos, images, text, Word, PowerPoint, video, mp3, Etc
Can I create auto-generated-question exercises?
You bet. In fact, this is a feature you won't find on other VLEs. Organise data in Calibrae's Exercise Engine and let it auto-generate an endless stream of learning scenarios, each different from the last. The concept behind auto-generated worksheets is that pupils have as many question scenarios as they need to attain competence. Auto-generated exercises allow pupils to make mistakes, receive some pointers and have another go with a different question. Having acheived a streak (typically 5 correct in a row), the pupil is awarded mastery and can move on.
Auto-generated exercises are also auto-marked, meaning zero marking. Just view the activity metrics for attainment.
Can I create auto-marked quizzes and assessments?
You can. The Exercise Engine mentioned above can also be used to create auto-marked quizzes and assessments.
Can I teach real-time through web-conferencing?
The Calibrae VLE is great for virtual teaching real-time. Each virtual classroom has its own built-in webinar room that is opened with one mouse click. Once opened, teachers and pupils can meet virtually and enjoy all of the features of regular web-conferencing:
Teachers and pupils can see each other's video stream, and use audio to teach, ask questions and discuss
Teachers can share their computer screen with pupils, perhaps sharing a PowerPoint presentation or live white-board session
Teachers and pupils can use the webinar messaging service to ask questions
Pupils can raise their hand
Teachers can record live sessions
Teachers can also create breakout rooms for interventions, or for groups of pupils to undertake collaborative work.
Can I liaise with pupils and parents?
You sure can. Calibrae has three nice tools for liaising with pupils and parents:
A built-in messaging service for text-chat with pupils and parents
An integrated email service. Email any combination of users: a class; a group; the whole school, etc
A newsletter / info page / blog facility. Write letters, info pages and blog posts all from within the platform, then email links to parents. All letters, pages and posts remain on the system for reference.
How do I organise my learning activities for the class?
The Calibrae VLE provides tools to help you organise your virtual classroom, including which content is made available to pupils. Teaching and learning activities are typically grouped into related content - perhaps the activities for a given day or week, or perhaps for a given topic. A groups of activities (a module) can be marked as disabled until you are ready for it to go live.
03. Getting Started
Is it hard to create a VLE site for my school or college?
Getting started is easy. It takes about 45 seconds to set up your VLE site. After that, you have all the time in the world to create your content and make it available to your learners.
Click any Create a free site button. You'll be asked to enter 3 details: your email address, the name for your school (the name will form part of the initial URL for the site), and a chosen admin password. That done, you'll find yourself on the Admin dashboard, from where you can create virtual classrooms, add teachers and pupils, and perform all other admin tasks.
You won't be asked for any credit card details.
When do I start paying? You'll only start paying when you add pupils to your virtual classrooms. Take all the time you need to explore the classrooms and experiment.
What will happen after I click to create a VLE site?
Having created the VLE site, you will land on the school admin page as the VLE administrator for your school. Don't worry - this role can easily be transferred to someone else at any point. As site admin, you'll automatically be enrolled in the Schools QuickStart course - a Calibrae hosted course that shows how to create virtual classrooms and manage users. Feel free to browse the course, or just dip in and use as a reference when you need it.
From the school admin page you can create virtual classrooms for your fellow teachers. They will then be notified and given access to their classrooms, from where they can organise their teaching and learning activities and interact with their pupils. Teachers are automatically enrolled on a Teacher Quickstart course that shows how to use the classroom tools.
Is it hard to create on-line content? How will I know what to do?
Organising an on-line remote learning experience is super easy. In many ways, it replicates the daily planning teachers use in the real classroom: What will I teach? How will I teach it? What exercises or activities will I have the pupils work on?
In the first instance, teachers might upload PowerPoint presentations or write Articles that introduce topics and explain principles. Teachers typically then create assignment activities, perhaps worksheets, through which pupils apply their new knowledge. When pupils enter the virtual classroom, they view the presentations and study the Articles, then work through the assignments. Assignments are then submitted for the teacher to mark.
As experience and confidence grows, teachers might record and post their own teaching videos, add audio narrative to their PowerPoint slides, or upload an audio recording of a story or an explanation. They might also use some of the more advanced tools, such as including teaching content from the internet, such as video lessons from YouTube, BBC Bitesize activities and educational games.
Some teachers may then go on to create auto-generated exercises, quizzes and assessments.
The platform can be used at any of these levels. Teachers can provide an effective learning journey with just simple presentations and worksheets, then, when/if ready, they can go on to organise more advanced experiences.
How do teachers learn what to do? Teachers are automatically enrolled on a Teacher Quickstart course that shows how to create and organise learning activities and use the classroom tools.
Is it hard to set up virtual classes and add pupils & teachers?
As school admin, creating a virtual classroom is simple:
Click a button to create a new virtual classroom
Give it a name
Allocate a teacher
The teacher will automatically be notified and given access to the classroom.
Adding pupils to the virtual classroom typically comes later, when the teacher has organised teaching and learning activities in the classroom. Pupils can be added to classrooms individually or in bulk through a spreadsheet upload. Once added to the classroom, pupils will automatically be notified and can get straight to work!
04. Pricing & Plans
Does it cost to create a VLE site and experiment?
No, not a penny. You can create a VLE site for your school, create unlimited virtual classrooms, add unlimited teaching staff, create unlimited teaching and learning activities, and generally explore, experiment and try it out, all without paying a penny and with no obligation.
Payment can be per month or per year. Per year payment included 12 months for the price of 10.
Payment can be made either through invoice or credit card.
How easy is it to cancel?
Very. You can cancel at any time through your account admin page. Cancelling a subscription effectively reverts you to the free plan without effecting your course content or your pupil data. Once cancelled, you'll still be able to access and manage your virtual classrooms and assessments, but your pupils won't.
Have a different question? Ask, and we'll get you an answer.