Chat is a new module in ManageBac released July, 2022.
Note: A premium version will be available later in 2022. Chat is currently available for Web and iOS devices. It will be available for Android users later this summer.
Introduction to Chat: KeyChat
ManageBac Administrators can enable the feature via Settings > Services Manager and configured via Settings > School Settings > Chat.
Once Chat is enabled by an Administrator, users will be able to access Chat by clicking the Chat icon in the top navigation bar. You can access the Chat Overlay, which lists all active conversations and allows you to read/respond to messages without leaving the page.
Clicking on a particular Chat will open up the conversation.
To open the Full Screen mode, click the Full Screen arrows button in the top right corner.
Full Screen Chat
The Full Screen mode gives you access to more options (e.g. Pin, Archive, Mute, Revoke Chat Access, Delete), and it allocates more space on the screen, useful for lengthier conversations.
Pinning a Chat
Pinned Chats will always show at the top of the Chat list for easy access. This option is available for all users. All other conversations are shown in descending order of latest activity and will be hidden from the list after two weeks of inactivity.
Please note you will need to pin the Chat from within the Full Screen mode. Pinning a message will highlight it for reference.
Archiving a Chat thread
Chat archival allows you to close chats once no longer relevant. Archiving is available for Teachers and Admins. If you wish to close a chat and prevent further messages from the user, you can use the Archive functionality.
You can archive a chat under the Full Screen mode, by clicking on Show Archived Chats > click on the conversation > Unarchive.
Note: Once a user is archived, all their chats are marked as archived and messages can no longer be sent or received.
Mute a Chat thread
Chat messages are sent via mobile push notifications. If you wish to stop receiving notices, you can choose to mute that individual chat. You will be able to see which chats have been muted by the icon next to the users name in the Chat Overlay and Full Screen mode.
Report a Concern
Allows users to report inappropriate messages to the Safeguarding team.
Revoke Chat Access
School Admins are able to revoke individual users’ access to chat. This will make the revoked user a read-only chat member.
Delete a Chat
Users are able to delete their own messages. Admins are able to delete their own and other users’ chat messages and they’re able to delete entire conversations.
Editing a message allows you to correct any mistakes in the text. To change an uploaded file, you will need to delete the existing file and re-upload it.
Note, all edited messages will contain “(edited)” next to the timestamp.
By clicking the emoji icon, users are able to open the emoji picker and react to messages with an emoji. ManageBac has filtered out inappropriate emojis. If you have any concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By clicking the microphone icon in the bottom right, any user is able to record and send an audio message, via Mobile or Web browser, which will be playable in the chat without having to download.
Please note, you will need to grant the browser permission to use the microphone once prompted in order to record the message.
Clicking the plus icon in the bottom left will allow you to attach up to 10 files or images to a message. Uploaded photos will be opened in the photo editor before it is sent to the chat.
By selecting some text and clicking the Add Website button, you are able to mask links with text (ie Hyperlink) to make their message more readable.
When you click the Create Drawing button, a blank canvas is created for you to draw using a range of editing tools.
Depending on where you share a link from, most links will appear as a preview, allowing users in the Chat to preview the website name, page title, description, and image.
Chat Permissions Management
ManageBac Administrators will have several options when it comes to managing permissions. It is highly recommended to review this after enabling Chat.
Built-in restrictions that are not editable include:
- Students cannot message other students or parents.
- Teachers cannot message students that they are not teaching or supervising. The acceptable conditions are:
- Class teacher (ie Student is a member of a class the Teacher is also a member of)
- Programme Advisor (ie Student is in a programme such as IB DP, and the Admin / Teacher is defined as the DP Coordinator on your account).
- Homeroom teacher (ie Student has the Advisor assigned to them as a Homeroom Advisor).
- Year Group member (ie The Student is a member of a Year Group, which the Teacher/Admin has joined as a Member also).
- SL/PBL advisor (ie Student has the Advisor assigned to them as a CAS, EE, TOK Advisor etc).
Admin can configure which user roles can start a new chat.
By default, only Teachers and admins will be able to start chats to prevent unwanted messages from students and parents. Please note, that this only refers to the process of creating a chat. Once a chat is created, both users can chat freely.
Grade Level Permissions
The permissions allow Admins to specify which programmes or grades can use Chat. By default, Chat is permitted in all programmes, except for students in Early or Primary Years Programmes.
Students who have their Chat access restricted through this permission, will not be able to read or write chat messages.
Using the dropdown, any Amin can specify the minimum grade level required for a student to participate in chat. If MYP 5 was selected that means that all grades below MYP 5 will not be able to use Chat.
Admins can choose to disable Chat for the entire programme by selecting the “Chat Disabled” option.
Revoking Chat Access
Admins can revoke any users (apart from other Adminis) access to Chat. This can be done by clicking on a message the user sent and selecting “Revoke Chat Access”
Revoking Chat Access in Bulk
Review Chat Access in bulk via Settings > School Settings > Chat > Users without Chat Access.
Revoking access this way will prevent users from sending messages to others but they will still be able to read and receive messages.
Reporting a Concern
To ensure a safe experience for all Chat users, you can report any message you feel is inappropriate. To report a message, click the 3 dots, Report a Concern, select one of the report categories and add a comment.
Incident Report PDFs
Once the report has been submitted a PDF incident report will be generated and sent to all the Safeguarding Officers at the school.
The PDF incident report contains basic incident details, such as
- The Reported User
- Category of report
- The Reporter
- Date of Report.
- Chat transcript of up to five messages prior to and after the reported message.
This transcript allows the Safeguarding Officer more context surrounding the report.
The Safeguarding Officers are individuals (Teachers or Admin) selected by the school Admin to receive email notifications every time a report is submitted. The Safeguarding Officers are set via Settings > School Settings > Chat > Safeguarding.
Note: Incident reports are also visible to all other Admins on this page. Only the Safeguarding Officers will receive the email notifications.
Incident categories are customisable by any Admin. A range of default categories is provided. Any non-used category can be deleted. Create additional categories via Add Incident Category, entering a name and Save Changes.
Chat features an in-built profanity filter that prevents messages containing profanity from being sent. The profanity filter’s vocabulary consists of English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, and Thai. For any further questions, please contact email@example.com.
Chat Premium - Coming Soon
Future phases of Chat will look to expand to the following features:
- Multi-user chat (Class, Year Group, Groups)
- User mentions (using @ to tag someone in a multi-user chat)
- Web push notifications
- Integrations with Messaging systems
- Video Calling