FirstClass Overview

FirstClass is a powerful, integrated communications platform combining:

• Email • Contact Management
• Group Calendaring
• Shared Workspaces
• Automated Workflow
• Bulletin Board style conferencing
• File Sharing • Document Management
• Secure Instant Messaging
• Personal and Corporate Web Publishing
• Unified Messaging
• Learning Management System
• Integration with Directory Services
• Organization wide web publishing



FLEXIBILITY AND EASE OF USE

FirstClass’ flexibility and performance offers significant benefits to both users and technical staff, including:

Easy-to-navigate user interface reduces the learning curve and training requirements for new users.

Client software that is quick and easy to download and install - and it's free.

Multiple platform support — including Windows, MAC OS X (PPC or Intel), Linux Client and web browsers — enables anytime, anywhere access to the system.

Minimal hardware, staffing, and administration requirements significantly reduce the time and effort needed to support the system.

YOUR PERSONALIZED PORTAL: THE FIRSTCLASS DESKTOP

All FirstClass users are outfitted with a personalized desktop that is presented each time they log in to the system. The FirstClass desktop acts as a portal, providing:

A summary view of all applications a user has been granted access to. One-click access to all features and components of FirstClass.

A customizable desktop for unique background graphics (eg. school logos, images, etc.) that can be easily set by individual users or applied to a large group of users by an administrator seeking to maintain and control a consistent theme across a school district.
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EMAIL & INSTANT MESSAGING

FirstClass offers fully functional email capabilities that enable users to safely and securely communicate within the education community or, if desired, with a managed set of external Internet destinations. FirstClass offers an incredibly powerful suite of messaging features that includes:

Message grouping and previews.

Mail automation tools, message tracking and status.

Message notification for mobile users.

Integrated instant messaging that enables users to check if another user is online and instantaneously share messages, graphics, files, and even voice communications.

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COLLABORATIVE CONFERENCES & WORK SPACES

At the core of FirstClass’ collaboration capabilities are FirstClass Conferences (for large groups) and Work Spaces (for smaller teams) — permission-based shared spaces that facilitate topic based discussions, email, group calendars, peer editing, classroom resource sharing, lessons, assignment drop boxes, and more.

Collaborate on a wide array of topics such as professional development, communities of practice, online courses, administrative forms and processes, and peer discussions. Every conference can be customized with background graphics, layouts, resources and workflow tools.

Permission-based controls ensure that only appropriate people have access to each conference, and that the role each person can play within the conference is well-defined.

A selection of pre-formatted templates enables quick and easy set up of new Work Spaces.

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CALENDARING & SCHEDULING

FirstClass offers comprehensive calendaring, scheduling, and time management capabilities that are tightly integrated within the FirstClass environment. Features include:

A wide range of viewing options, including weekly, monthly, and flexible multi-day views.

Robust scheduling with “at a glance” access to a participant’s or resource’s availability for booking and calendar conflict resolution.

Support for repeat events, formatted text, and attachment of files and messages.

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CENTRALIZED USER DIRECTORY/PRESENCE MANAGEMENT

FirstClass includes a central user directory system that automatically makes contact information and a rich set of supplementary information available to all users on the FirstClass system. The directory provides users with:

A powerful tool for interacting with others on the system by highlighting in bold the names of users who are currently online.

FirstClass Résumes — user profiles that can contain contact details, personal information (ie. special interests, hobbies, etc.), pictures or graphics.

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CONTACT MANAGEMENT

FirstClass enables users to effectively manage both their personal and shared contact
databases with an easy-to-use set of contact management tools. Features include:

Flexible import/export of contacts.

Personal/group mail lists and contact sharing.


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ARCHIVING SERVICES

As regulatory and institutional authorities come to terms with the importance of electronic messaging in the modern organization, it is becoming increasingly critical to provide reliable long-term storage of historical messages. FirstClass Archiving Services provides comprehensive archiving, retention and searching capabilities for all FirstClass messages.

The Archive Server is only accessible to the site’s Librarian, requiring a special user ID and password. Messages in the Archive Server will be automatically retained for the period of time specified by the Administrator, based on the class of the user, and may not be deleted until the retention period has been reached.


WEB PUBLISHING, BLOGGING & PODCASTING

FirstClass enables schools and school districts to easily create, update, and maintain web pages, as well as create blogs and podcasts, directly from within the FirstClass system — without the need for any knowledge of HTML coding.

Maintain a consistent brand across district-level and school-level websites and effectively communicate with parents, students, and the community.

Easily create teacher websites to post content such as course materials, assignment schedules and deadlines.

Develop parent portals to keep parents informed on school updates,
classroom activities, special events, and their child’s performance.

(This Website was developed with standard FirstClass Web Publishing)
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PORTABLE FILE STORAGE

To enable greater efficiency and security, all user data in FirstClass resides securely “on the network” rather than left exposed on individual personal computers, resulting in:

Portable content — FirstClass content can be accessed anywhere, anytime, from any type of Internet-enabled computer or handheld device.

Easy storage of files of any type through simple “drag and drop” from a local computer or through the Upload/Download tools within FirstClass.

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21st CENTURY TOOLS FOR IMPROVING LITERACY

FirstClass enables students of all ages to enhance their literacy skills by turning readers and writers into editors and collaborators. Students from schools across a district can connect through FirstClass conferences, email, or instant messaging to discuss literature or curricular topics, peer edit and publish their written work, and expand their roles beyond that of simply consumers of information to become content producers and co-authors.


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