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How do you use Shortcodes on Aladdin?

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Aladdin is Ireland’s leading Student Management System and offers schools the ability to do almost every administrative task one can think of. I have been using it almost since it was launched at an IPPN Expo a number of years ago and can safely say that it has become part of everything we do in our school. One of the many great things about Aladdin is how it keeps on improving as time goes on.

Lately I’ve been messing around with their documents module, which allows you to create and store documents on Aladdin. For example, for the last few years, if we have an injury on yard, it is logged as a document on the child’s file. We also have a similar document for behaviour that needs to be documented. This year we’ve even decided to scan in Psychological reports and other reports for children on their files, which saves us a huge amount of time and hassle. However, another aspect of documents that I’ve been playing around with is the ability to create documents with shortcodes.

Shortcodes are “snippets” of code. These codes correlate to a piece of information. For example, the shortcode {{ first_name }} can be typed in or selected from a list and the document will automatically replace with shortcode with the child’s first name. There are tonnes of shortcodes that Aladdin provide and this can make document making very useful. There are two types of documents in which I like using shortcodes: Merge Templates and Student Document Templates.

The first is for letters or documents that I need to email to parents, such as letters home. The latter is for documents I simply want to store in the child’s profile. I’m going to give an example of both below. The first is a letter home about absences from school.

merge template

I’m going to create this letter to the parents of any child who has missed 20 days of school.

Dear Parent(s) / Guardian(s)

It has come to our attention that {{ first_name }} has been absent for {{ absent_count }} days of school so far this year.

Please make sure to contact us to explain the reasons for these absences if you haven’t done so already. Below is a table of {{ first_name }}’s absence record.

{{ absence_table }}

You’ll note the shortcodes I have used and you’ll also note that they are fairly obvious in what they do. If I want to send this email to any family where they have missed more than 20 days, I need to go to the attendance statistics and find the list of children who have missed 20 or more days, select them all and select the mail merge option as shown here.

mailmerge

Next you select the mail merge template so here’s mine:

select template

Once you click OK, you will have a new screen (which I can’t show you for confidentiality reasons) that allows you to send this template to all the families of the children selected.

There are loads and loads of different shortcodes that you can use with Aladdin including personal information, test scores, POD data and even more complex data.

For student documents, it’s pretty much the same story except you select Student Document Template rather than Mail Merge. Here is our End of Year Review IEP with shortcodes. It automatically adds in the child’s name, the date of the report and so on. There is also a way to add in test scores automatically, which is very useful.

I.E.P. REVIEW

End of Year Report  {{ school_date_end_long_form }}

Carlow Educate Together N.S.   

Student: {{ first_name }} {{ last_name }}         Date:   {{ current_date }}       R./ L.S. Teacher(s):

Progress to date

Target 1:

Target 2:

Target 3:

Target 4:

Academic Assessment results

 

MIST BIAP Phonics MICRA-T SIGMA-T Dolch list Schonell reading age Schonell spelling age Numeracy/ Ballard

Social, Emotional, Behavioural Assessment

Assessment Taken:

Outline of Results:

Areas for continued Improvement/New Presenting Difficulties:

This is a handover document that teachers can print / save for some of the children in their class with SEN.

Name of child:     {{ first_name }} {{ last_name }}

DOB:           {{ dob }}

Class: {{ class }}

Integration class:

Irish Exemption:{{ pod_irish_exemption_code }} {{ pod_date_exemption_granted }}

Medical Information:  {{ med }}

Diagnosis:     {{ c_sen }}

It’s all very simple stuff but super for saving time!

* Please note that this article has not been sanctioned by Aladdin not have I received any personal financial gain for doing so. I am simply gobsmackingly impressed with the product and its fantastic functionality.

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