Children need an engaging and accessible way to stay safely connected with their classmates, even when they can’t be inside the classroom. That’s why we’re continuing to offer Natterhub for FREE until 12th February 2021.
When we launched during the first lockdown in April of last year, over 2000 teachers from around the world signed up to use Natterhub to stay connected to their pupils. They posted happy news, images and videos to make their pupils smile and sent messages of routine, support and kindness.
If you want to use Natterhub with your own class, this blog will give you all the information you need to get started and make sure your pupils are safe.
Click on a heading below to jump to that part of the guide
How can I sign up to Natterhub?
To get started today and help your pupils stay connected, simply head to our registration page. If you want to know more about Natterhub, the FAQ section of our website can help answer your questions. Alternatively, you can drop us an email at email@example.com
Using the news feed to share positivity!
The news feed is the best (and most fun) way to keep the classroom chats going. It’s where pupils can share news about their pets, shout about birthdays, tell jokes to their friends and post pictures of what they’re doing at home. As a teacher, you can post a quick hello video in the morning to wish them well and send ideas to keep them busy. A little presence from you will go a long way..
The Natterhub news feed looks and works like any other social media platform that you use every day, so it’s easy to get to grips with it and teach your pupils how to use it.
- Posting: When you post a message, all the pupils in the hub will see it. You can tag pupils and staff using the @ symbol.
- Leaving comments/Clapping: Clapping is our way of showing you like a post - perfect for spreading a little positivity. Just click the picture of the clapping hands to show your approval of a post.
- Uploading photos/videos: Click on the ‘Add Media’ box to upload videos, photos and PDF files from your device and add them to a Natterhub post. If you want to add a file you’ve already uploaded before, click on ‘choose from my media’.
- Fake profiles: Teachers have the ability to post under a ‘fake profile’, which can be helpful for you to demonstrate a point or use the news feed to 'role play' different scenarios. Just click the down arrow to the right of the orange ‘Post’ button to see a list of available profiles.
Online lessons to teach digital literacy
Welcome Lessons: Before you can access the other lessons on Natterhub you need to take your pupils through the Welcome Lesson. This sets out the rules and expectations for using Natterhub. At the end of the Welcome Lesson, pupils will sign the 'Pupil Agreement', which can also be re-sent at any time from the My Hub section.
Here’s how you can start using them in your classroom:
- In the ‘Lessons’ section of the platform, you can filter the lessons by year group, by badge, or by certain keywords. When you find a lesson you like, click the eye icon to see the Lesson Overview, including notes for each slide to help you through the lessons.
- Hit the arrow icon to download any lesson resources, including any plans and additional worksheets
- Each lesson works like a slideshow; just click the Next and Back arrows to movie through the slides. You and your pupils can also use the comments box to share ideas, questions and even photos or videos.
Activities to get pupils working throughout the day
The Activities section includes open-ended tasks that can be used for every part of the curriculum, from Maths to Music. They’re a great way to populate the news feed, and get pupils to do some learning away from their screens.
- Find an activity: Typing the name of a subject into the search bar at the top of the Activities page will allow you to filter the activities available. You can click on each activity to get an overview of what pupils are expected to do.
- Posting an activity: When you’ve found an activity that you like, click Post to Feed. You’ll be redirected to the news feed, where you’ll be able to edit the instructions before sharing them with pupils. You may wish to add images or video to provide an example of what pupils will be expected to do.
Find out more about using Natterhub as part of your usual classroom practice.
Tracking progress with the Badges of Honour
Each of Natterhub’s lessons is based around one of eight ‘Badges of Honour’, each based on one of the eight strands of the UKCIS ‘Education for a Connected World’
document. Pupils get badge power
for each one, and by the end of Year 6 all their badges should be at full power. There are three main ways to get badge power:
- At the end of every lesson
- For completing a quiz
- When a teacher 'boosts' a post on the newsfeed
Boosting posts is a great way to promote good online behaviour among your pupils. Click the star icon on the post you want to boost, and choose the badge you’d like to award power to (see ‘The Badges of Honour’ below). You can also leave a comment for the pupil if you want to.
Staying in control
It can be difficult to keep pupils focused at all times; especially when you aren’t in the same room as them. That’s why Natterhub includes some handy features designed to keep your class on task.
- Freezing the screen: Clicking the snowflake icon at the right of the screen will let you freeze your pupils’ screens and make sure that all eyes are on you.
- Muting pupils: If a pupil doesn’t want to share publicly on the feed, you can ‘mute’ their profile. Go to My Hub, find the pupil you want to mute and click the tool icon next to their name. Find the dropdown menu reading “Hide pupils posts/comments from other pupils?” and set it to “Only viewable by themselves and teachers.”
- Deleting posts: Pupils can report any post they think is inappropriate. If you want to delete an inappropriate post, just click on the bin icon next to it. Then you can discuss the incident, just like you would if something happened in the playground or the classroom.
Using the admin area
When you’ve logged into Natterhub, click on the Tool icon at the top of the page to go to the admin area. Here you can manage your school’s hubs and teacher accounts, as well as adding pupils.
- Managing pupils: You can bulk upload pupil information by creating a spreadsheet and saving it as a CSV file, or use the Upload Pupils Manually button to add their information. Using the Organise Pupils page will allow you to move pupils between hubs, and Pupil Rollover allows you to move pupils from one year group to the next.
- Managing teachers: Just like pupils, you can bulk upload teacher information with a CSV file, or Upload Teachers Manually.
- Managing hubs: Click on the pencil icon next to add or remove pupils, set the hub’s opening hours or add a time limit.
Click here for a step-by-step tutorial for using the admin area.
Security is at the heart of the Natterhub experience, and teachers have several ways to make sure that their pupils are always supervised while they’re using the platform:
- Setting a hub to active: The house icon at the right side of the news feed will allow you to choose whether the hub is active or inactive. While it’s inactive (and the house icon is red), pupils won’t be able to post anything or navigate around the platform.
- Opening hours: To make sure pupils can’t use Natterhub unsupervised, you can choose what times of day the hub is available to them. Just enter your preferred opening and closing times in the bar at the top of the screen.
- Time limits for pupils: Balancing screen time is a key part of Natterhub’s lessons. Clicking the hourglass icon will allow you to set a daily time allowance, which you can change depending on what you have planned for the day.
Every Natterhub user is unique, and there are loads of ways for teachers and pupils to express themselves:
- Avatars: Creating an avatar is the first thing you should do when you log in to Natterhub. Click ‘Edit’ under the avatar to go to the Avatar Builder, where you’ll find hundreds of options for hairstyles, skin colour, clothing and more.
- Profiles: On the news feed, you can click on a user’s name or avatar to see their profile page. Go to My Profile and click Edit to customise your profile background, add information about yourself and answer some fun questions to tell people more about you.
A message from Natterhub
The prospect of going back to remote learning isn’t a fun one, especially after the uncertainty of last spring. While internet access allowed teachers to continue working with pupils, there were pitfalls. The average daily screen time for children aged 12-16 more than doubled
. The IWF, which tackles child sex abuse online, saw record highs
in the number of reports they got from the public. More than half of parents in a survey said their children’s mental health was negatively impacted
by being in lockdown, cut off from their social circles.
The next few weeks will be difficult. But we made it through lockdown before, and together we can do it again.
Natterhub is an educational social media platform created to prepare primary school children to thrive online.
Our interactive lessons give children all the skills that they need to stay safe in a digital landscape, and our Badges of Honour help teachers to keep track of their progress.
With a cleverly designed interface that looks and feels like social media, children learn in an environment that feels like the real deal whilst teachers can make use of the extensive Natterhub content library to keep pupils engaged and inspired.
Natterhub is powered by TwinklHive, and is used in over 40 countries around the world. Twinkl, a global educational publishing house, offers primary and secondary resources to 8.5 million members, across 197 countries.