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New Zealand Innovation Awards: Innovation in Education, Training & Development, Linewize

And the 2017 winner of the Innovation in Education, Training & Development is... Linewize!

In today’s classrooms, having laptops, iPads and internet access is generally a given, with digital learning initiatives coming as easily to students as writing with pen and paper. 

However, along with freedom of digital movement for students, can come distraction, security issues, and potentially inappropriate internet use. 

In June, Linewize launched Classwize, a simple teacher dashboard that looks to combat these issues. 

Through the dashboard teachers can have complete visibility and control over internet and app use in the classroom; with such abilities as being able to see which students are online, control access to websites and applications on a class-wide or per student level, and understand application and website use on a class and student basis. 

The classroom tool can go even further with teachers able to reward engaged behaviour, provide immediate feedback on undesired behaviour, identify distracted students and re-engage them with the lesson goals, and treat open classroom internet access (including mobile phones) as a privilege that can be removed if abused.

The product was developed by Linewize after seeing a need for teachers to have better tools to manage student device and internet use in the classroom. 

The uptake of Linewize services is evenly spread across all types of schools – from small primaries through to two of the largest secondaries in New Zealand. It serves 15 percent of the New Zealand student population (130,000 students) as well as a growing number of international customers. 

With Linewize passionate about making student internet management easy, Classwize also provides value by helping teachers become comfortable with integrating devices into  the classroom.

With the pace of technology and a busy workload, it's challenging for teachers to continually upskill at the same pace as their 'digital native' students. And the gulf in technological fluency can put teachers on the back foot and make them hesitant to embrace new digital learning initiatives. 

Classwize helps bridge this gulf by providing teachers a resource that informs them as to what apps student are using. If an app is unfamiliar, the tool provides a screenshot and brief description of the nature of the app or website.

Also, as a way to engage students in discussing and agreeing what they think is appropriate internet use in the classroom, teachers can project the dashboard on the classroom television creating a sense of transparency around student internet use in class. 

For schools with Bring Your Own Device programmes, Classwize helps parents feel secure that the device they're paying for will be used in a constructive and education-focused manner. 

And for teachers, Classwize means more engaged students, a digitally controllable space, and a sense of confidence in their technical abilities. 

Evaluator comments:

The Linewize product directly addresses digital behaviour to ensure students develop as positive internet citizens aware of the consequences of their actions online. This product opens up the conversation and makes it relevant to today's learning environments. 

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