AssignLink is an online school planner that was borne out of a dual frustration with traditional paper planners and the clunky websites that were supposed to replace them. Scribbling down assignments and assessments in a traditional planner at the end of class is inefficient and has the potential for inaccuracies. If you missed class one day, you’re out of luck unless you get in touch with a classmate. In response, many schools have turned to online solutions, but as recent high school students ourselves, we know that they’re no better. Their interfaces are hard to use, they’re built on old technology (and they look it!), and you typically can’t get a good view of all of your homework from all of your classes at once like you can with a paper planner. But the worst part about them is that none of them were built with the student or the teacher in mind. If they weren’t built with no one in mind, they were built for administrators, and that’s not the way it should be.
We wanted something that had the student, the teacher, and their communications, as the focus. We wanted a centralized location where a student could see all of their classes at once, and likewise, a teacher could update all of their classes at once, and we wanted it to be easier to use and more accessible to everyone. And we think that the result – AssignLink – combines the best of technology with the organizational benefits of a traditional planner. Besides just having support for school classes, AssignLink also works with school activities/clubs and athletics to provide a one-stop shopping experience for everyone in the school.
Unlike other solutions, AssignLink is built on the premise of “push” technology, so that the information posted by teachers goes directly to the student, instead of the student having to go and find the information. AssignLink is a web application that is run in a fully hosted environment which means that as a school, you do not have to do any work to download, install, or update the service; everything is taken care for you. AssignLink is run on our state-of-the-art servers, is fully secure, and runs entirely in your web browser. In order for anyone to get access to AssignLink, all they have to do is visit www.assignlink.com and sign in. Students, teachers, coaches, parents, and administrators can all create their own account to get access.
At the core of AssignLink is the page. A page can take one of a handful of forms, such as a class page, an activity page, or a team page. Students can join any page that exists in the domain of their school. While each type of page serves a slightly different purpose, all pages share a basic number of features and interact with each other to create the timeline.
Metaphorically speaking, the timeline is AssignLink’s special sauce. It is what makes AssignLink unique from every other online homework organization and class page creation tool. The timeline draws together every assignment, assessment, meeting, project, practice, and game that a student has coming up from their classes, activities, and teams, and displays them together, all at once, by week, in a consistent, easy-to-read fashion.
Much like with a traditional planner, students need only glance at their timeline to see everything that’s on their plate. Every entry type has its own color – assignments are blue and assessments are orange, for example – so that the timeline is automatically color-coded for extra clarity and organization. To see more detail about a particular entry, be it an assessment or an after-school practice, all the student has to do is click on its visual representation on the timeline. Students can go back in time to view passed or missed work, or go forward in time, to see what’s coming up in the weeks ahead.
Every entry (be it an assignment or an activity meeting) can hold attachments available for download. This is great for distributing handouts and project guidelines, or providing directions to the location of a game. Entries with added attachments are marked on the timeline with a paperclip on the entry block. Each entry can have up to 3 attachments and are limited to 100MB for each attachment.
Students and faculty can interact directly through messages. These are particularly useful for questions about assignments and upcoming assessments, getting in touch to schedule a time for a make-up test if a student misses a day of school, or to help organize a meeting with a particular activity. Teachers, activity leaders, and coaches have the ability to send a message to an entire class, club, or team that they are leading. By way of example, messages are a perfect way for a teacher to easily remind a class to bring a particular book with them the next day, or for a coach or athletic director to inform a team of a weather postponement.
One of the most limiting features of a traditional paper planner is that if the details of an assignment change, or a test is moved to a different day, a student has to hope that the information is relayed to them in due time. AssignLink fixes that issue by introducing a notification system that keeps everyone up-to-date with what’s going on in people’s pages. For example, if a teacher needs to change an assignment or move a test, or if a team needs to move one of their games to a different time or day, automatic notifications are immediately issued to the students affected informing them of the modifications.
Parents and tutors are able to view the timeline of their child or children by creating their own account through www.assignlink.com. Once approved by the child (for security purposes), the parent or tutor will be able to see any and all assignments, assessments, projects, meetings, games, and practices just like the student can. Parents and tutors cannot join any classes, activities, or sports teams on the student’s behalf, nor can they send any messages on the student’s behalf.
Assignments are one of two entry types specific to class pages. Assignments are entered into the system by a class teacher, and then displayed on the timelines of all students in the class. Teachers provide the assignment details (ex., “complete pg. 207, 19-39 odds”), as well the day the assignment is being given and the day it’s due for the student’s organizational purposes. Assignments that last longer than one day, like a longer-term project, are fully supported by the system, and will show up on the student’s timeline for their duration. Students can choose to mark assignments as “complete” for their own organizational purposes. Teachers are able, and are encouraged, to enter homework into the system in advance, so that students can have a better understanding of what’s coming up in class and how they need to plan their time in the coming days. Assignments support attachments and appear on the timeline in blue.
Like assignments, assessments are specific to class pages, and are entered into the system by a class teacher, then displayed on the timelines of all students in the class. Teachers provide the assessment details (ex., “test on chapter 19”), as well as the day the assessment is being given. Assessments support attachments and appear on the timeline in orange.
In addition to entering assignments and assessments, teachers can customize an individual class page viewable to all students in the class. Teachers can display a class description, provide links to websites that students might find helpful throughout the year, and attach documents like the class syllabus in a convenient place accessible at any time. There is also a free-form box that teachers are encouraged to do anything they want with – enter in famous quotes relevant to the class, post an image, or embed a YouTube video.
Meetings are one of the two entry types specific to activity pages. Meetings are entered into the system by a group leader, and then displayed on the timelines of all students and any faculty who have joined the activity. Group leaders can provide information about the meeting (ex., “meeting to discuss our upcoming fundraiser”), as well as the location and time. If they wish, group leaders can easily have AssignLink automatically re-post the meeting according to a specific schedule. So, for example, if a group always meets every Tuesday at noon, AssignLink can automatically enter in a meeting for every Tuesday at noon to save time for the group leader. Meetings support attachments and appear on the timeline in green.
Projects are the other entry type specific to activities pages. Projects are perfect for when a group is working on something in between meetings. Projects, like meetings, are entered into the system by a group leader, and then displayed on the timelines of all students and any faculty who have joined the activity. Group leaders can provide information about the project (ex., “continue to work on your articles for next week’s issue”), as well as a start and end date for the project. Projects support attachments and appear on the timeline in purple.
In addition to entering meetings and projects, group leaders can customize an activity page specific to their group that is viewable by everyone in the group. Group leaders can post a group description, provide links to websites that might be useful to group members, and attach documents like permission forms and fundraising fliers that will be useful throughout the year in one convenient, always-accessible place. There is also an automatically-generated list of upcoming meetings and their times and locations for the convenience of group members.
Games are one of the two entry types specific to athletics pages. Games are entered into the system by a coach, and then displayed on the timelines of all students on the team. A coach can provide the time and date of the game, the location, the opponent, and any other necessary information (ex., “it will be cold, so remember to wear the long-sleeve uniforms, and bring gloves”). Coaches are encouraged to post as much of the season schedule in advance as possible for the convenience of team members. Like all other entry types, if a coach modifies or cancels a game (due to, say, inclement weather), all team members will automatically be notified. Games support attachments and appear on the timeline in red.
Practices are the other entry type specific to athletics pages. Practices, like games, are entered into the system by a coach, and then displayed on the timelines of all students on the team. A coach can provide the time and date of the practice, the location, and any other necessary information (ex., “we’re going to be scrimmaging at the end of practice, so bring your shin guards”). Coaches are encouraged to post practices as far ahead in advance as possible for the convenience of team members. If they wish, coaches can have AssignLink automatically re-post the practice according to a specific schedule. So, for example, if a team always has Tuesday practice on the south field at 3:45 PM, AssignLink can automatically enter in a practice with those details for every Tuesday (this process can be repeated for all practice days if the practice schedule is consistent from day to day or week to week). Practices support attachments and appear on the timeline in yellow.
In addition to entering in games and practices, coaches can customize a team page viewable to all team members. Coaches can post a team description, provide links to any websites that team members might find helpful, and attach documents like an athletic permission form that will be easily accessible throughout the season. There is also an automatically generated list of upcoming games, and their time and place, for the convenience of team members.
The interface that teachers see when they sign in to AssignLink is almost exactly the same as the one that their students see, except that they are able to add, modify, and delete assignments and assessments, and change the information displayed on their Class Pages, while their students cannot. They can see all of the classes that they teach in a timeline, just like students see with their classes, which may serve beneficial to them for organizational purposes as well.
Teachers can view a variety of statistics about their classes through their AssignLink account. For example, they can see on which day of the week they tend to give the most assignments, or how long it’s been since they’ve given an assessment as compared to the average time between assessments from the rest of the school year.
At the end of the school year, when classes conclude, classes are placed into a view-only mode and made available via the class archives. This can be particularly useful for teachers planning next year’s classes, as they need only copy recurring material instead of recreating or rewriting it every single year. Likewise, any attachments distributed through AssignLink can be downloaded through the class archive, and re-used.
Select administrators in your institution should be given AssignLink administrator accounts. It is the responsibility of administrators to approve all requests for the creation of classes, activities, and athletics pages (so that no random student fills the system with false pages).
Whereas teachers can view class-specific statistics, administrators can view school-wide analytics. For example, they can see which day on average has the most assignments due, or which day on average has the most assessments taking place. Administrators can also choose to be automatically notified if, for example, a student becomes scheduled to take three or more assessments on the same day.
Automatic discounts available based on school status and size. Get in touch with us for a full quote specific to your institution.
If your institution adopts AssignLink, we will provide you with instructional videos and easy-to-read instructions for you to provide to your faculty and students. If possible, depending on your location and time constraints, we can also schedule summer-time faculty training sessions, although in our experience they are not necessary.
We will also provide you with contact information in case you have any questions, concerns, or run into any problems using AssignLink. In any such support requests, we would get back in touch with you as soon as possible.
AssignLink is a hosted service, which means that we do the heavy lifting for you in terms of setup and maintenance. You will not need to put together a server on your campus grounds to run AssignLink, or anything of that sort. As such, upkeep, service maintenance, and reliability of the service are entirely our responsibility, and similarly, we store all AssignLink data and take care of all service updates and upgrades. Our servers are located in a secure facility in the Newark, New Jersey area and the data on AssignLink is backed up regularly.
If you are interested in using AssignLink – and we hope that you are – but aren’t yet 100% sure whether you want to jump in with both feet, we’re pleased to offer you the opportunity to run a pilot program in your institution. We will help you get setup with a fully-functional version of AssignLink, and provide you, your faculty, and your teachers with the necessary instruction for them to get started. We will allow you to use AssignLink in as many or as few classes, activities, and sports team as you would like for an entire grading period without charge or contractual commitment (for example, if you run on a semester system, we will help you run a gratis program for an entire semester, or if you run on a trimester system, an entire trimester). When the grading period ends, you will have the choice of entering into a service agreement with us to continue your usage of AssignLink for the rest of the school year with no interruption of service, or if AssignLink didn’t live up to your expectations, we’ll turn off your service for no charge. Hopefully, the pilot program will give you and your institution both the time and opportunity to thoroughly evaluate AssignLink and how it integrates into your community. We believe that once you see AssignLink in action, and the difference it can make to student organization and student-teacher communications, you, your faculty, and your students will want to make it a permanent fixture in your community.
If you are interested in joining our pilot program or want to request more information, please feel free to contact us. Our email address is email@example.com. Alternatively, you may fill out our contact form by pressing the button below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.Contact Us
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