Hero Co-founder, Paul Sibson, reviews the last 12 months of development and maps the heroic journey ahead for 2023!
12 Months of Product Highlights
The last 12 months have been really exciting from a product and development perspective. As well as regular tweaks and improvements to help make life easier for school staff, we have been able to add some super new features for our youngest heroes. Student self-assessments, in particular, are a potential game changer for many schools wanting to further extend the options for developing student agency.
We have also spent a great deal of time working on further enhancing our security position both technically and through internal policies and procedures. We were certainly put through our security and privacy paces by the New South Wales and New Zealand Department/Ministry of Education and we are really proud to be the first NZ Student Management System to achieve the ST4S badge.
Security and privacy highlights from a product perspective included the addition of Single Sign-on with Google, and deeper access controls to ensure that confidential information is only visible to those who should be able to view it.
Bookings is a feature that we have been polishing for the last few months, and it is looking fantastic. This is something that I would have loved when I was a principal, and I know that schools are going to love it when we release the final version in a few weeks time.
New Reporting Options
One of the most requested features from Hero schools has been the ability to control the order in which subjects appear on student ‘report’ pages. Stage one of this was the ability to sequence subjects so that they were ordered that way for the reports. Now, we are extending this to give schools the option to control the ordering of all content, pages, assessments, attendance, graphs and goals can now all be reordered to meet each schools’ needs!
Improvements to the printed version of these reports are on the horizon so that schools can give parents this option, if they need it.
Optimising Efficiency and Performance
Delivering for scale has been a key part of our development strategy and 2022 has been another big growth year for Hero, with many more schools joining the journey. Our site reliability team has done some outstanding work this year and our performance monitoring statistics are incredibly strong. Clever tools, such as auto-scaling and early warning systems, have been highly successful in helping us to preempt heavy loads on our servers and mitigate these before they cause any problems.
Delivering On Our Word
One thing that we value, as a team, is delivering on our word and being attentive to the needs of our users. When our consultants visit various regions, they share features that schools could expect this year and seek feedback on these. We will continue to listen, add and enhance Hero features.
As we now head into the final quarter of the year, the New Zealand Ministry of Education has released the changes required for the roll returns process. Our development team will concentrate on implementing these changes and working through a thorough testing process with the Ministry.