It would be hard for some of the younger generations to envision life without technology. Take the example of the education sector. There was a time when the only way to do research was to read books. Yes, books! You had to go through a number to get the information you needed.
Nowadays, all you need is a computer and internet connectivity. Type in the relevant search query. Within seconds you will get thousands of responses.
Now, take a mental tour of the admin block. Do you see that harried admin who has to write everything by hand? She has a room full of files containing all the information.
Woe unto you if you needed an important file.It would take hours, depending on the filing system, to find what you need.
Now, all she has to do is type everything into a computer. Classifying files is easy in folders. Anytime she needs to look up information, it only requires inputting the file name.
And, cloud storage services mean the school can store as much data as they need to. Imagine not worrying about having to build or lease a warehouse to store files.
And, it only gets better with school management systems. Such have taken over so many menial, time-consuming tasks. With automation, school admins can manage attendance and communication.
They can also run the daily organization processes, and even marketing. Teachers can use the same platform or tools to set up courses or classes. They get tools to create lessons, exams, and mark attendance.
SMS alerts and chats help with communication amongst the different stakeholders. The accounts department can handle fee collection on the platform. Other areas are income, expenses, and payments on the same platform.
Everything happens on one streamlined platform. Getting access to information is as simple as logging into the system. There is security of information. Only those with credentials can gain entry.
Our article explores ways school management software is good for your institution. But first, let’s start by defining what such software is. We will also touch on what you need to consider when shopping for one.
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School Management Systems; What Are They?
School management system covers any app, tool, or computer instructions that automate processes. Digitalization of tasks results in higher efficiency and productivity.
The market has so many systems. It helps to know what to look for when shopping for one. Start by determining the needs of your institution.
There is no point in buying a system with features you will never use. Write a checklist to act as a guide. But, at a minimum, you want some of the following features.
- Reliable and high-performing. You cannot afford a system that generates erroneous output.
- High speed and accuracy for higher efficiency and productivity. The institution will also save a lot of time if it can complete the processes faster.
- Outstanding security features to keep the institution’s data safe.
- Easy to use. Technology should make life simple. Don’t frustrate the team with systems that have them scratching their heads.
- Accessible on different devices, browsers, or operating systems. Mobile access is of utmost importance. More and more people are using smartphones to complete a wide range of tasks. It is convenient and within easy reach all the time.
- Proper secure storage. The best option is those that are cloud-based. You get tons of space, security, and control over your data.
- Employee and attendance management features. It is important to know that everyone; both staff and students are where they should be when they need to be.
- Report generation, which can be a tedious process if you have to do it using human resources. Excellent communication options. These should include chat, SMS, email. It should also give alerts and notifications to act as reminders.
- Extra features like admissions, finance, and inventory management.
- Technical support is a crucial consideration. If for any reason the system goes down, you want the teams available to correct it at once.
Now you know what to look for in your school management system. Let’s dive into why you should be out shopping for one this very minute.
1. The World Is Going Green
One of the lessons you may have is environmental consciousness. You talk to the students about minimizing carbon footprints. Everything should lean towards sustainable practices. After all, we want our kids, their kids, and all future generations to have a place to call home.
But, look around your institution. How many reams of paper do you go through every single day? Do you realize how much you would save if you went digital?
School management systems can turn your institution into a paperless one. Ok, maybe not completely, but you get the point. If everything occurs online, one ream of papers can take a whole month to go through. No more printing of reports or documents.
You don’t even need to buy flash disks to share information. Emails and online collaboration tools like Microsoft Onedrive are all you need. Everything is on cloud, all you need is to grant access.
2. It May No Longer Be an Option
Some feel that technology is a double-edged sword. By taking over some of the tasks, people will lose jobs. But, the harsh reality is the world is moving forward.
Technology provides an opportunity for reinvention. It comes with emerging opportunities that result in job creation. Further, it would be hard to find a place where technology has not had an impact.
You find it in industries, healthcare, beauty, and the fashion industry. It only makes sense that the source of the brains behind the innovations lead in technology adoption.
Also, think about it from the employee’s perspective. It would be hard to attract the right talent if you are still using legacy systems. Staff members will appreciate anything that makes their work simpler.
There will be higher morale resulting in higher productivity. Indeed, living in the 21st century removes the option of whether to adopt technology or not.
3. Streamlining or Bridging Communication Gaps
Managing communication in any organization can be a challenge. In a schooling institution, it gets tougher. You are dealing with young minds who can get very creative. Take the example of needing to talk to a parent about their misbehaving child.
You hand the very same child a note to take home. You want the parents to come to school for a meeting. He already knows he will get into more trouble.
So what does he do? Simple, toss it in the nearest bin. He may even flush it down the toilet, just to make sure it never resurfaces.
School management systems are fantastic communication aids. You have options like SMS, Whatsapp, chat, or email. You talk to the parents one-on-one, without involving the child unless you need to.
Parents can keep track of their children’s progress. They will realize better engagement in the academic life of their kids.
Students can also communicate better with teachers. They don’t have to wait for a face-to-face meeting to get help.
If a student needs reading material, the teacher only needs to upload it on the platform. From a smart device, the student gets the material in a matter of seconds.
The same applies to staff members as well. Streamlining communication improves efficiency and assists with managing workflows and processes.
4. Easy Task Management
Think of all the tasks that go into running an institution. Without a doubt, they are a lot. But, you find that most are repetitive and time-consuming. Manual handling can also result in human errors. Such could occur due to boredom or even inattention.
The impact of some of the errors would be quite significant. Imagine wrong calculations of a student’s marks. What about the accountant who miscalculates something.
Automating such tasks will be a big relief for anyone who has to manage them every single day. It also frees up employees’ time. They can then concentrate on other areas needing their attention. Here are some areas that you will see greatest benefits with automation.
● Attendance Management and Reporting
Every day, teachers have to mark the register to know who is not in. The same applies to employees who need to sign in. school management systems can manage this task for you.
Some use biometrics, fingerprinting, or even card swipes. The admin and teachers get instant reports on those in attendance. If a student does not turn up, the parents get an instant SMS alert.
● Monitoring Transport
When the school transportation is out, do you have a system for tracking it? How do you ensure student safety if you cannot account for their whereabouts? The management system helps with monitoring the transport system.
● Managing Admissions
Admissions processes can be tedious and time-consuming. Data collection and management form a big part of it. Data handling, storage, and access are critical considerations.
Further, security is a top priority. Information falling into the wrong hands can have profound implications for the institution. The school management system provides an effective way of managing such.
● Managing Inventory
There is a lot of inventory to manage in any typical institution. Books, learning aids, kitchen stock, and sanitary items to name a few.
Your librarian will love the ease with which she can track books with the right system.
The storekeeper does not have to do a manual inventory check. The management system tracks inventory. It will send alerts when stocks are running low.
5. Financial Management
What is a typical scenario every first day of the semester? Well, you can expect to see parents line up to pay fees. It could be at the school if you accept payments. The other option is to line up at banking halls.
Management systems can make everyone’s life simpler. You provide a platform where parents can check the fee structure. Using the same portal they can make payments. The accounts department gets an instant report of the transaction.
Using the communication tool, any parent who has not paid will get a notification. No more calling or writing emails on such issues.
The accounts department can manage many of the jobs from the platform. Team members who need access get all the information right from the dashboard. Different departments can generate reports in a matter of minutes.
Staff members can request for items, without filling lengthy forms. The institution will enjoy higher efficiency and streamlining of the processes.
School management software helps with better resources allocation and use. Things like maintenance and repairs can happen on pre-set schedules. No one will claim to have forgotten to take the bus for servicing. You also don’t waste time and money on adhoc repairs or replacements.
6. Better Quality Education
A teacher who has the right resources will find her work easy. She can plan her time better. Any student who may need extra help can get her attention. Some students may not want to speak in front of others.
With management systems they can still access the teacher via the communication portals. The teachers can offer tutoring from remote locations. Video tutorials and smart classes result in better engagement.
Even in the absence of a teacher, students can use pre-recorded sessions. It ensures they keep on track with the requirements of the education system. Students are also able to interact better with learning material.
Animations, multimedia, and visual content bring in a fun element to learning. All the information is available on the cloud. That means any student who needs it can get it.
The administration can also track students’ and the teacher’s performance. It provides an opportunity to arrest and correct any issues early.
A school that is performing at maximum efficiency will offer better quality education.
School management systems bring tons of functionalities and benefits to institutions. Every stakeholder will see improvements in processes. Teachers can concentrate on core teaching jobs.
They can now let automation take over other tasks like admissions. No more depending on students to take notes home. An SMS or WhatsApp message provides a direct way to communicate with parents.
Students have easy access to learning material. They can also interact better with teachers at any time. They don’t have to wait for school days to get feedback on the presentation.
School administrators can let go of repetitive, tedious manual tasks. Directors and principals have access to reports Generated by the school management system. They can use the insights for better decision-making.
Parents also have an easier time tracking the performance of their children. Automation in any process results in higher efficiency and productivity. The institution will also realize greater morale amongst staff members.
There is a lot to gain with school management systems as we have highlighted above.