WHICH SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTIONS RECOMMEND EARWIG?
Earwig is used in more than 300 schools and any one of these would be happy to discuss with you their experience with the Earwig facilities. If you would like to talk to one just let us know and we’ll set up a call for you.
In addition to our users, there are several highly regarded educational software evaluators or resellers who recommend Earwig and partner with us to offer the Earwig package to schools.
The video explains why.
RM Education is the largest reseller of software to schools in the UK. They recommend Earwig and provide it through their Unify portal.
From the creators of Innovate My School, EdTech Impact is an independent review platform for EdTech – designed to help educators find the best products, and push companies to up their game.
School leadership rate software packages for value and effectiveness in improving outcomes at the school. Earwig currently scores a very high 94%.
Earwig works seamlessly with all these School Management Information Systems
WHAT DOES EARWIG COST?
There is an annual licence fee for the software, and a setup and training charge in the first year. However, the savings that you will make in terms of printing, network costs and staff time should more than offset this.
The details, including a cost and savings calculator, can be found in our COSTS page.
ANY OTHER COSTS?
HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO MANAGE EARWIG ONCE IT IS SET UP?
One of the beauties of the Earwig software is that it requires almost no management from the school staff. Pupil and staff information is always up to date because the system automatically synchronises with your school database every night and everything else runs automatically once you or your staff have created a record or graded a pupil.
Earwig also requires no network management time either. It resides in a specially sealed off portion of the “cloud”. So no local server, security, storage, backup or maintenance for ICT people to worry about. An additional benefit is that your server is no longer clogged up with images and video files.
Earwig was set up specifically to save staff time across the school. Here’s how it does this for each element of the organisation.
Teachers and TAs
Big reductions in the time taken to create, manage and present teaching evidence.
Easier and quicker to review class, teacher, subject and individual pupil progress.
Very little time required at setup because almost all the data required by Earwig to function properly is extracted from the school database automatically and updated every day. It does require some time to check the initial data and fill any gaps (e.g. members of the Saturday Club or other groups not supported by the school database). Thereafter, no overhead.
Image sales are all automated, so no management time dealing with photos, payments etc. One report gives sales and commission due. All you need to do is send us the bill.
ICT /Network Managers
If you don’t already have Groupcall Xporter loaded, we will provide it for you. Thereafter, whether you use SIMS, Scholarpack, iSAMS or any other school database provider you give us the necessary login/permissions to synchronise data and you are free and clear. No more time spent clearing you network of all those digital images and videos!
DOES EARWIG NEED TO GAIN PERMISSION FROM PARENTS TO PHOTOGRAPH OR VIDEO PUPILS
Earwig is an education tool designed for use within the school. Parents give approval for this when their children enter the school. The system is a Closed User Group – not available to those outside the school staff and invited parents. Parents are invited, but not obliged, to access the system.
If a parent or guardian objects to their child participating externally in the Earwig process that child is flagged so that all records made for that child are automatically marked as ‘Internal’ and are therefore not available to share with parents.
All images remain the property of the school at all times.
Without Earwig, teachers and others are tempted to use internet photo sites or social media to disseminate images of school activities. So Earwig actually improves the Child Protection situation in most schools.
Earwig automatically wipes photos from phones and other devices after they have been put on the system. No more images on handheld devices or laptops leaving the school. This is a massive improvement in pupil safety.
WHAT ABOUT FAMILIES WHO DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME?
Almost all parents nowadays have internet access, either via a PC, laptop or phone.
CAN INDIVIDUAL TIMELINES FOLLOW A PUPIL FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL AND BE AVAILABLE TO KEEP AT THE END OF THEIR SCHOOL CAREER?
Because school databases assessment structures are all slightly different, it would be impossible to provide a smooth transition from school to school. However, relevant data can be selected and passed from one school to another when pupils transfer, to provide a continuous track of progress.
Parent can download a PDF record of their child’s entire learning journey or just take images from the timeline whenever they like and amalgamate these into photobooks if they wish.
WILL PUPILS BE ABLE TO ADD TO THEIR OWN TIMELINE?
At the Primary School level, children can use school devices to take photos (or video) of their own work or that of groups, which are automatically uploaded to the school Image Bank. Here the teacher or TA can annotate these and turn the images into records which will feature on timelines in the usual way. Or they can delete the images if they are not suitable.
At the Secondary level, pupils can be ‘upgraded’ by teachers to ‘Student’ status. As Students they can not only take the images but annotate these into records which will feature on their timeline. These can, of course, be curated by staff as necessary, but it means that older children can add to their school Earwig record in their own particular style.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE ALL CHILDREN ARE REPRESENTED NOT JUST THE VISIBLE OR SUCCESSFUL ONES?
Teachers can see at a glance how many records there for a particular period in each child’s timeline, and can flick from timeline to timeline to see the detail and determine which children more attention in future. This is particularly important in Nurseries and Primary schools where reticent children can fail to get the help they need in a particular area.
With the Assessment Module each child is tracked automatically and the information presented graphically to teaching staff in relation to every assessment objective, to ensure that no child is left out.
Getting Setup with earwig
CAN WE TRIAL EARWIG FIRST?
Yes, you can. Ask about starting with Earwig LITE.
However, as the Earwig package has several modules and dozens of different features, users generally benefit from some initial training on how to get the most out of the system. So we don’t recommend this approach. We recommend that you learn all you need to about Earwig from your Consultant, then make the decision to go with it, schedule the training and get stuck in. Your Consultant is there to help you.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A DEMO AND WHO NEEDS TO BE THERE?
Earwig software demonstrations can be online or in-school. One of our consultants will discuss the particular teaching and administration issues and objectives at your school and the show you which elements of the package would work best for you.
We do need a decision maker to be at the demo. Usually, the Headteacher , the Deputy or the Assessment Coordinator. Any other staff enthusiastic about using Earwig are also welcome of course! There is no charge for a demo, which usually lasts about an hour.
WHAT ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORKS DOES EARWIG INCLUDE?
You can add any assessment framework, custom or proprietary, to the Earwig platform. We are adding new plans and systems all the time. We currently hold more than 500 in the Earwig Framework Library. The full list can be found here. If you don’t see the one you use, contact us. We’re probably about to load it or can built it for you.
HOW DO I ATTACH EVIDENCE TO INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT IN EARWIG?
When you capture the evidence, and tag a pupil, the relevant assessment plan statements appear. Tag the one(s) you want and the evidence is then attached. When you make an assessment against this criterion the evidence records are available in the form of a mini-timeline.
CAN I TRACK ASSESSMENTS OVER TIME?
Yes you can. Cancel that expensive tracking software.
WHAT ABOUT ANALYTICS AND REPORTING?
Analyse your assessment data by gender, pupil type, class, year group, subject over time. Benchmark it against other framework users nationally. Produce elegant reports by pupil, class, working level, SEN category or for the whole school, with a few clicks.
Technical and Security Questions
Cyber Essentials is a UK Government sponsored scheme to provide the users of commercial software packages that the software they are using is protected, as far as possible, from cyber attack.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE DATA IS SECURE?
The Earwig system is ‘closed’ and secure, with access by approved login only. Within this, each individual school account operates within a virtual partition.
In transit, all data is encrypted using SSL and standard 128bit encryption.
Full backup every 2 hours for 12 hours.
Access controls include individual logins with password protection.
Logins offering limited access are provided only to people authorised by the relevant school.
Earwig Customer Service monitor all activity.
All Earwig personnel hold current DBS certificates.
More detail is available at Earwig Security.
HOW MUCH DATA REPLICATION DO YOU APPLY AND AT WHAT LEVEL OF PROCESSING RESILIENCE?
2 x 120GB SSD (RAID 1) 2 x 1TB SATA (RAID 1) Mirrored Hard Drives
Software RAID 1 – For increased resilience
WHAT ARE YOUR POLICIES ON DATA PROTECTION?
WHERE DO YOU STORE THE DATA?
The Earwig servers are managed by Amazon Web Services in London and Fasthosts in Gloucester. All data is held in the UK. www.fasthosts.co.uk.
WHAT IS THE POLICY RE DATA RETENTION?
Because of the statutory requirement for schools to hold their assessment data and evidence for seven years, Earwig holds school data until seven years after the school has terminated their contract with Earwig. Individual user data is archived once that user is no longer active on the school database. Archived data can only be accessed by way of a written request from the school. Earwig will delete data prior to the seven year point upon specific request from the school Data Controller.
WHAT IS THE POLICY RE REMOVAL OF USER ACCOUNTS BY EARWIG SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS?
The school Earwig Administrator can archive accounts but cannot remove them.
Incorrect data can be corrected at any time by the school Earwig Administrator or, where data is synchronised with school databases, by correcting it in the relevant database. Individual records can be amended by any Staff member until the relevant child leaves the school, when these are frozen.
HOW IS ACTIVITY IN OUR ACCOUNT MONITORED, DOCUMENTED AND REPORTED?
All activity on the Earwig site is automatically logged. Activity logs are only available to Earwig staff, but can be provided to school Data Controllers upon request. Earwig staff monitor these logs for unusual patterns.
WHAT IF I NEED MORE CAPACITY?
Earwig provides unlimited data capacity.
HOW DO I RECOVER MY DATA IF I DECIDE TO TERMINATE THE CONTRACT?
The Earwig website provides facilities for schools to download images, videos, documents, records and assessment data at any time.
WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT AND SERVICE LEVELS IF WE NEED SUPPORT?
First line Technical Support is available by calling 0333 6666 166 during office hours or using the SUPPORT link on the website. Further support is always available from your nominated Earwig Consultant throughout your contract.
CAN I SEE THE EARWIG SCHOOLS CONTRACT?
The contract between each school and Earwig is defined in the Earwig Terms and Conditions for Schools page.
IS MY EARWIG ACCOUNT SECURE?
Any website dealing with images of children must be paranoid about Child Protection, and we are. That’s why each school Earwig account is a separate secure environment. Data is encrypted and each parent login must be approved by the school. Even then, each parent can only see images which relate directly to their child.
Earwig is actually the safest of all image management tools for schools because, whenever anyone takes a photo or video through the Earwig App, the image is uploaded to the (secure) school Image Bank and immediately deleted from the device used to take the image. So no chance of images being left on devices which leave the school.
For more on security, scroll down to the next section.
HOW MUCH WILL MY EARWIG ACCOUNT COST ME?
The basic Earwig Parent account is free for you for the period that your child is at an Earwig school. This gives you access to your child’s timeline for the previous twelve months, the ability to comment on activities or events recorded in their timeline and the facility to buy downloads or prints of your child’s photos or videos.
You can also upgrade to Earwig Parent Plus which provides you with Gallery to store and view your images and videos, free downloads of any or all of your images or videos and an overview of all you child’s records while at the school.
HOW CAN I SEE MY CHILDREN’S EARWIG IMAGES AND RECORDS?
When your Earwig account is authorised by the school you will receive an email which will give you your login and password. Go to the Earwig WEBSITE, log in and you will see your child’s timeline and image page.
OUR SCHOOL IS GETTING EARWIG BUT I DON’T WANT MY CHILD INVOLVED – CAN I OPT OUT?
You can opt to ensure that your child’s image does not appear to you or any other parents. Just inform the school who will ensure that all records involving that child are available only to school staff.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THERE ARE NEW RECORDS IN MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?
Every two weeks we do a sweep of new records and, if there are any in your child’s account you will get an email notification of this.
HOW DO I PRINT OFF MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?
It is not possible to print off the whole timeline, Just as it is not possible to print a Facebook timeline. However, you can purchase photos and video to download, just click into the timeline record and click on the photo or video. You can also purchase a compendium of all of your favourite photos at the end of the school year. Look out for the email offering compendiums towards the end of summer term.
Parent Plus holders can download any image or video, any time.
CAN MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS SEE MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?
Certainly. Simple give them your login and they can see exactly what you see. Be careful with whom you share your login though, it’s important you only give it to someone you trust.
CAN I SEND IMAGES TO FAMILY?
Yes. You can either give them your login and they can view your child’s timeline just as you can. Or you can buy the digital photos, video, printed photos, framed photos or even the compendium as gifts. Just put their address in the shipping section of your order, add your message and it’ll be sent directly to them.
CAN I CONTACT TEACHERS THROUGH EARWIG?
You can comment on individual records. These comments will be seen by the relevant teacher.
HOW DO I SEE OTHER PUPILS’ TIMELINES?
Earwig takes safeguarding extremely seriously and therefore only a child’s parents, guardians and those the parents entrust with their login can see that child’s timeline.