Maybe we can help with blended learning?

Blended Learning

“Maybe we can help with blended learning?” is not a great blog title. Not like, “The Ultimate Guide to Blended Learning”. That is a great blog title. The problem is there is much confusion about blended learning as schools return following the lockdown. No one is feeling ultimate. Please take a few minutes to read about what we do at Freeperiod. We may be able to help your organise your blended learning.

Freeperiod is a room booking system used by schools around the UK and Middle East to share rooms and resources. We started out sharing rooms then realised we could put any name to a timetable. So now schools share rooms, laptop trolleys, iPads, swimming pools, gyms, minibuses and much more.

School Timetable

So why do schools need a room booking system when they already have timetabling software? Two reasons; timtable systems like Capita SIMS do not support the booking of free spaces. Secondly, the explosion of IT exacerbated the first reason. Schools can’t afford to have computers in every classroom. Teachers need access to other rooms and resources to deliver the curriculum.

Important information is gathered in Freeperiod when a teacher books a room or resource. Freeperiod records the date, time, teacher, subject and yeargroup for each booking. The “Additional Info” field below is a custom field schools use to collect any other data which they see as important.

Room Booking

An important developement in Freeperiod was the ability to attach multiple resources to a specific period. One of our schools needed a system where they could book random numbers of desks and chairs in their school library. It wasn’t enough to just book the library. Staff can now book quantities of desks and chairs in the library until they are all used up.


Reporting is another important feature of Freeperiod. Without reporting you have anecdotal views on the availability and usage of your resources. “I can’t deliver the curriculum as the IT rooms are always busy”. This may or may not be true. Reports will give you the answer.

Timetable Report

Freeperiod is already solving the problem of sharing rooms and resources for many schools. If you have identified a blended learning problem we can help with please get in touch. We hope you manage to work through the next six months with as little stress as possible. The Covid-19 lockdown has given parents a renewed appreciated for educationalists. Thank you for all that you do.

Contact tracing software for pubs and restaurants

Qr Code Access Pub and Restaurant

The government has asked pubs and restaurants to help fight coranavirus by keeping a temporary record of customer visits. Whoohaz records visitors to your premises and can be used to assist NHS Test and Trace.

When a customer visits your premises they scan a QR code with their Smartphone camera. This scan updates the Whoohaz website. Your customer’s email and time of visit is recorded. This information can then be used to assist NHS Test and Trace if required.

Customer data is stored on the Whoohaz system for 21 days. Data is deleted after this time inline with data protection guidelines.

Reservation systems generally collect the details of the individual making the reservation. Whoohaz can collect the details of all your customers. For example, you could create a unique QR code for each table. Every visitor can then scan and record their visit.

Alternatively you may want to capture all customer details using a single QR code. A QR code could be placed at the entrance to your premises, the waiting area, or at your till. This is a good option for businesses who do not have booking and reservation systems.

Email if you would like further information on how we can help your pub or restaurant.

CSI Network Manager

School Laptop
School Laptop

Before I created Freeperiod I was an ICT Network Manager. There is a CSI element to the role of Network Manager.

As a Network Manager you get calls to come and investigate some upsetting scenes. ICT rooms in a total mess, laptop keyboards with keys removed, grafitti on computers and the theft of mice balls. Thankfully optical mice solved the problem of ball-less mice. I do remember however lamenting with the Technology & Design Technician when a student decided to cut through the lead of one of his soldering irons while it was still plugged in.

I took a zero tolerance approach to damage. I discovered that if I left damage unchecked the problem got worse. For example, if there were one or two keyboards in a classroom with grafitti the problem would spread. Removing the grafitti or keyboard nipped the problem in the bud.

I also discovered another fauble of managing rooms. Putting chairs under the desks at the end of the lesson resulted in the next class doing the same. As people we seem to respond to our environment accordingly. If we come in to a messy room we show it less respect and vice versa.

So hats off to those who manage our school’s resources and create postive environments which say, “we write in our excercise books here, not our equipment”.

Are your school iPads in the cupboard?

In the UK schools have invested a great deal of money in iPads.  Are these iPads being put to good use or have they been put in the cupboard alongside the Raspberry Pis?

When working in education I observed the feel good factor of buying new IT equipment. If your school had lots of IT equipment then it must be really good at IT. It is true you can see a school’s value of technology being demonstrated by their investment. It is also true that the same technology can be put aside after the initial wave of excitement.

Schools using Freeperiod can measure their investment in iPads. I just checked with one of our Freeperiod schools and a sample report shows they have shared one of their iPad trolleys forty seven times in the last four weeks. This seems pretty good in my book. Are you able to measure how effectively your school iPads with the same degree of detail?



Freeperiod propel!

Freeperiod is delighted to have been accepted on to the IgniteNI pre-accelerator programme, Propel.

The Propel 2020 cohort;


Library Room Booking

School Library

At Freeperiod we understand the importance of the School Library and the important role it plays in schools.

For this reason we have integrated the needs of Libraries with our online room booking system from the very start. For example, Freeperiod enables Librarians to control who can book the Library and it’s resources. Some schools chose to allow only the Librarian to manage this space. It’s entirely up to the school.

Here are some reasons why we believe School Libraries are important and need to be part of the school’s online booking system;

  • :: Libraries are often an IT resource with many computers.
  • :: Libraries are often used for student study which requires administration
  • :: Libraries are often used to run school events.
  • :: Libraries are often used for meetings for teaching staff and governors.

Try Freeperiod for free now and simplify your Library’s management.