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PRAMS Status Report December 2010
For people wanting to know how PRAMS is looking after its first year
PRAMS was first released back in January 2010. Over the following months a number of minor upgrades were issued, dealing with bugs and useability issues. Then just after Easter the system was substantially upgraded to enable small patches and fixes to be applied to the program automatically (ie without a new installation).
Work began during the summer to implement a substantial design and feature upgrade. This was released in October 2010 and has been very popular. The most recent release has implemented a new reports system which is faster and more flexible than the first.
Current status and issues
Some users reported, after the first release, that they were unable to complete the installation. The error reported was 'Connection Unavailable'.
The cause for this was identified as being due to the use of proxy servers - usually by users working within organisations such as local authorities, or with equipment hired or loaned from a larger employer. This issue is now resolved - users can enter their proxy server details in the PRAMS launcher screen. Any users who have had the 'Connection Failed' message should upgrade to the latest version of PRAMS by visiting this page.
PRAMS for Mac
We were unable to provide a working version of PRAMS for Mac users for some considerable time. However, this issue is now also resolved, although due to Apple's policy of not allowing newer versions of Java to be used on older operating systems, you will need to be running the Snow Leopard version of Mac's OS.
Features added with PRAMS 2
You can find an overview of PRAMS on this page, including a link to a video overview, but for those who are still using the first PRAMS version, here is a list of the most significant new features:
New and much more flexible appearance, with navigation much improved.
Image library feature, to allow evidence in the form of photographs to be added and managed.
Notes and images can now be added to any judgements made.
'Refinements' can be optionally used, to break down age bands into accomplishment levels - eg 'emerging' 'developing' and 'secure'.
Analysis tabs give extra information for individual children, such as whether they are achieving outside their actual age bands; whether they have been left unassessed for two or more assessment periods.
Hints and tips for observations you might like to carry out in those areas you haven't recently assessed for a child.
New Reports System
For those of you who have been waiting to use the new Reports system, this is now available. PRAMS should notify you that it is available next time you open it. You can find some documentation and instructions on the initial set of reports available here, and also a practitioner's eye view of how you may find them useful.
We'd like to hear from you about PRAMS. Feedback has already led to many enhancements, and only with your encouragement and involvement will we be able to improve the program in the ways it needs to be improved.