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.

Online Room Booking System

Every school should have a good online room booking system such as Freeperiod.

Ten years ago when I introduced Freeperiod I met with a small amount of resistance from some teaching staff. The grumblers tended to fall into two categories. The first group believed the good old ring binder in the staff room met all their requirements. Dispatching students to the staffroom for room availability was good for the student’s health.  The second group were the spreadsheet lovers. They created beautiful tables hidden somewhere on the school network. If only staff would leave their lovely sheets alone.

Ironically I recollect that the same individuals who seen no need for an online room booking system went on to become the biggest advocates of Freeperiod. I remember one occasion when there was a problem with the School’s Internet and Freeperiod was unavailable. “How can I work in these conditions”, one of the ex-grumblers said.

If your school does not have an online room booking system then either you are not managing your resources well or some poor individual is doing a lot of manual work. Give Freeperiod a try.



Teachers and Technicians, they love you then leave you

I had some negative feedback from Teachers and IT Technicians when I first created Freeperiod. Some commenters on the TES forums asked “Why should we pay for an online booking system to manage our school’s IT resources when our current solution is free?” Maybe a better question to ask is, “How much of my time will this free solution take up and can my school manage the solution if I leave? Continue reading