So you're eventually charging for your homework platform right?
There is no intention to charge at any point. I know the usual drill: Such sites often offer their services for free for the first year to build up a user base, then out comes the price tag. I respect that teachers (or former teachers) have a right to profit from their work that is ostensibly superfluous to their responsibilities as a teacher. I have just chosen not to. There are a number of reasons for this:
- DrFrostMaths has always been free for the 5 years it has been in operation (and I have been a teacher). I get great satisfaction from knowing the resources are used in tens of thousands of classrooms (with downloads in the millions), and from each nice comment I receive.
- My opinion that social mobility is influenced to the greatest extent by educational opportunities. I appreciate first-hand that school budgets are stretched and feel it's important for the resources/platform to be available regardless of schools' or families' income.
- I have existing agreements with both Edexcel and the UKMT with regards to use of their questions, which I made after I decided to stay free. Were I theoretically to charge for some or all functionality, these agreements would have to be renegotiated and likely result in loss of these questions from the database. It's no secret that I'm a big advocate of the UKMT and I'm very keen to support their work.
- I make use of discreet banner ads to cover the running costs of the site. But I am trying to invest in some filming equipment, so any donations would be appreciated.
- Were I to charge for accounts I would likely have to reduce my school teaching hours to dedicate more time to the site and managing subscriptions. I love my teaching job and wouldn't be prepared to do this!
- The 'for profit' aspect of my work is my tutoring business, which already supplements my school teaching income.
Do you advocate a particular learning model in which the platform is used in my school?
Importantly, the answer to this question is no. A strength of this homework platform is that it can be used in a variety of teaching contexts; it may be you're using the platform to register all your students as part of a departmental homework policy, or that you don't set homework but allow students to use it as an independent study tool. It may be that you're just using the database of exam questions as part of a lesson, or using the UKMT/MAT database as part of a enrichment club or for extension material. Perhaps you're using the times/divide tables games as part of your numeracy strategy. Or perhaps you're just using the DFM Live! mode for a bit of classroom fun, or using the platform to generate worksheets consisting of questions on a particular topic.
The DFM Platform is a diverse and powerful set of educational tools that comes with no teaching model or teaching philosophy baggage, except to promote a love of mathematics and support all learners in their studies. The rest is up to you.
How can I contact you?
My school email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a teacher/student who's moving school.
Because of student data associated with your old school, you will need to register as a new account. There will soon be functionality that will allow you to move school whilst automatically detaching yourself from relevant classes.
There will be similar functionality for students soon to change school, but for the moment please email me at email@example.com and I can update this manually.
A student has lost/deleted their activation email.
Go to Manage Classes, click the relevant student then press the Resend Activation Email or Force Activation button. The latter manually activates their account without need for them to activate it by email.
Can I register students if they don't have school email addresses?
Yes! For safeguarding reasons, student email addresses are hidden from teacher view unless they match the school's email extension. Thus students are welcome to use personal email addresses where a school one is not provided (e.g. in primary schools).
You can change your school's email extension here.
As a teacher myself I am commited to student safeguarding, as well as adhering to the Data Protection Act of 1998:
- No student/school data will be disclosed except to the schools to which student data is associated with. Teachers can access the data of students only in their own school, in order to monitor student progress and administer accounts.
- Only administrators can view data from other schools in order to ensure the smooth running of the platform. Currently this is only myself (a full-time teacher) and Mr Dupont-Panon (also a full-time teacher).
- All passwords are encrypted one-way and cannot be retrieved, even by myself. The only personal information stored about each student, other than usage data, is their email address. This is used to provide students with email notifications when homework is set or a deadline is imminent.
- The site server is located at a secure data centre.
- Teacher accounts will only be approved if using a school email address associated with the school's domain name, and clearly where the email address is in a teacher format. In any cases of doubt I search online for staff lists or contact the registering user to provide additional evidence.
- Students whose total 'points' puts them in the top few globally, will be automatically listed on the global leaderboard, with their name and school appearing. This is viewable to any registered user, but will not be published elsewhere. The same applies to the times table time trial leaderboard. If in the fortuitous circumstances that you are on this list but wish to remain anonymous, please contact me.
I'm a private tutor - can you create a school for me?
Sorry, but we strictly only add schools to the database which are government-recognised providers of school education (whether state or private).