Wow! What a busy year for tootoot! We haven’t stopped growing, developing and spreading the anti-bullying message around the world and we certainly don’t plan to stop any time soon! The tootoot journey has only just begun with new schools joining us every single day, all wanting to help protect their pupils and give these children a voice. A recent 2016 study by Ditch The Label found that 1.5 million young people (50%) have been bullied within the last year, with 19% of these getting bullied every day. It’s statistics like these that keep us motivated to work hard & make sure every pupil is given the opportunity to talk about their worries via the tootoot platform. Let’s have a quick recap of some of my favourite parts of tootoot’s 2016…
2016 saw the tootoot team almost doubling with new arrivals in our Support team along with the Development team too. It’s been hard work from everyone all around, and it’s great to see it paying off with all the exciting things that have happened so far, along with fantastic opportunities coming up in 2017.
Earlier this year, Tootoot announced a fantastic partnership with Internet Matters and the Department for Education, enabling us to offer tootoot to 300 additional schools, giving around 150,000 students access to tootoot and helping battle the issue of cyber bullying within the UK. Alongside this funding, these DfE schools will also have access to key resources in order to help UK schools and parents deal with current issues, ongoing bullying and the resulting problems it can cause.
Tootoot has had a great year regarding acknowledgments, nominations and awards, having been shortlisted as a finalist for Edtech Start Up Company of the Year for the 2017 Bett Awards and our founder and Director, Michael Brennan shortlisted for Digital Safety Entrepreneur of the Year. We were also voted the winner for the Best Educational Product or Service in the Digital Safety Awards by Internet Matters! And on top of all that, tootoot has been recently recognised by the Nominet Trust and Social Tech Guide, and achieved a place in the 2016 Nominet Trust 100! All very positive things happening, and it’s not even 2017 yet!
So what’s new for the tootoot platform? Our developers have been very busy behind the scenes bringing in brand new features and constantly working to make tootoot better every day! Based on feedback from schools we try to introduce features that will be most beneficial for our customers. 2016 saw changes to tootoot across all levels, from updates on design to easier category management and developments of notifications for mentors. Many of our case studies in schools highlighted that the facility to export specific student involvement would be useful for teachers. We introduced this feature in Autumn 2016, allowing staff members to print off all cases and incidents that any one particular student may be involved in. Autumn 2016 was a busy time for developments, another one of which was the ability for staff members to create an editable static banner message to all students, providing schools with the option to remind students of upcoming events within the school, as well as reminding students of the hours during which they could expect a reply. In September we successfully launched our very first Pupil Voice Week, to highlight the importance of students speaking up and voicing any worries they may have! This was a huge success with 403 schools across the UK signing up to access resources and activity ideas to promote communication, so you can expect to hear about the next Pupil Voice Week in 2017!
We will see even more developments in the pipeline coming to the tootoot platform in 2017. Android users will have a brand new app, alongside a brand new updated iPhone/iPad app too. This app will bring all the features that you can find on the web platform to your mobile device, as well as push notifications, allowing schools to be constantly up to date with their tootoot platform wherever they are! After popular demand, our developers are working on bringing a mentor tagging feature to tootoot which will allow mentors to “tag” appropriate members of staff in our incident reporting feature without having to re-assign to anyone else. These are just but a few of some of the exciting things to come to tootoot, so watch this space!
If you were tuned in to hear Michael Brennan speaking on Radio 4 recently about the subject of cyber bullying and how tootoot is helping children, you might have also heard our exciting announcement of “tootoot in the workplace!” that will be launched in 2017! Our workplace version of tootoot will be made available to all professional companies wanting to give their employees a way to voice any concerns discreetly and with confidence. Keep an eye out for updates on this, and if you would like more information please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
One thing that really makes all of our hard work worthwhile is when we receive the customer feedback from schools! Hearing how tootoot has played a role in helping students overcome issues that are stopping them from enjoying school and getting the most out of their education really validates what we are doing and motivates us to get tootoot into as many schools as possible. Here are some of our most recent testimonials:
“We want all students to feel like they have a voice to speak their mind without being afraid”
“Parents LOVE that we are doing something keep their child safe”
“tootoot was really easy to set up and roll out to the students”
“tootoot saves us time!”
With everything that’s happened this year, 2017 is shaping up to be another fantastic year, not just for us here at tootoot, but for the schools, staff and students that use our award-winning, safeguarding and incident reporting tool!
A huge thank you to all of our schools who have supported us along to way, helping us make a noise against bullying every day, we wouldn’t be here today without you! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year for a booming 2017… watch this space, and MAKE A NOISE!