virtual summit

How to Host a Virtual Summit in 60 days – The Complete Guide

Intro & highlights of our first virtual summit

In marketing industry, we see emerging trends & tactics which aid in boosting the lead generation, customer engagement, brand awareness, better visibility and much more. But most of the time the implementation of such strategies, cost a good amount of money, due to which most of the organizations are not able to adapt it to their operations structure. But when my team saw this new concept, we knew that this was going to be the next big thing in our marketing strategy, as it has been rolling out & espoused by several other industry marketers and everyone has experienced positive results, this new trending and intriguing concept is termed as a Virtual Summit.

Virtual summit helps in creating the brand awareness, lead generation, revenue generation and much more. No matter which type of organization it is, a startup or a well established one, anyone can launch a virtual summit. The main idea behind it is to attract lots of new prospects at zero cost, educate them and create an effective impact on the target audience, which would eventually turn them into your business promoters.


For the first time launching the virtual summit, that too in 60 days was a crazy idea, but we were fanatic about it. So, we began the journey of our first Virtual Summit – “BETTER 2018: School Operations Development Virtual Summit.

Before sharing the planning & strategies to host a successful virtual summit, let’s first dive into the “BETTER 2018: School Operations Development Virtual Summit” analytics:

Highlights of our first Virtual Summit:

 

Number of visitors Conversions Conversion rate
4848 1686 34.8%

highlights of virtual summit

I have taken the above-mentioned screenshot from our Instapage account. Let’s have a look at the speaker landing page analytics as well, i.e. Chetan Bhagat’s Interview page:

Chetan Bhagat virtual summit landing page performance

Next chart is about the survey, which was performed during the recording of the interview for the virtual summit. In this survey, the client speakers have shared their ratings on the Fedena’s USP:

Institute Name Fedena Features Training / Support User – Friendly Report management Value for money Recommendation (to friends to colleague)
Al Manara Pvt School 7 9 8 7 8 9
Zuwena International School 6 8 7 8 8 8
American Ways 7 10 9 8 7 8
QuickStep School Limited 8 9 10 10 8 10
TSiBA Education 6 8 7 4 10 5
The AB’s Rowland School 8 8 9 6 8 10
Gandhi Institute for Education & Technology 9 9 10 10 8 10
Raja Ram Mohan Roy School 9 10 10 8 10 9
Zaka Public School 9 7 9 9 7 9

virtual summit survey graph

Steps to host a successful virtual summit

Phase 1

1. Goal of the summit

This can be either brand awareness, lead generation or revenue generation which varies from company to company. In our case, we were launching the summit for the first time, so we decided to keep our goal as brand awareness and lead generation because we’re not in event management sector so we were aware of the possibility of mistakes therefore to avoid them we kept our goal which was easily achievable, measurable and manageable.

2. Topic & Theme of the summit

While deciding on topic and theme for the summit, it is crucial to understand the existing problem (in your industry) you are hoping to solve through this summit; what you wish to teach your attendees and how launching the summit would help you in accomplishing the business goals. Along with this, instead of choosing a generic topic such as the importance of education or software for school management, it is beneficial to consider a niche topic in your industry so that only refined targeted audience will attend the summit.

After finalizing the topic, you will get an idea about the potential speakers and partners.

For our summit, we kept the theme “school operations management” because it is relatable to our product and the content was totally focused on school operations, such a summit has not yet been launched by any other organisations in the similar domain.

3. Live or Recorded

Deciding on whether the launch of the summit should be live or recorded is a crucial thing to consider when you are in the initial stages of event planning. It is obvious that conducting the summit live, imparts greater engagement opportunity and better real-time interaction with the attendees but it also involves considerable risk, such as losing internet connectivity in the middle of the interview session which causing a negative impact on the 2-3 months planning and may also affect the brand’s reputation. But with the recorded interviews, you just have to focus on the actual recording of the interview and release it on the day of the summit.

4. Tech Tools

Listed below are the tools we used during our summit:

5. Deciding the date

While deciding the date of the summit it is crucial to ensure that the teams have adequate bandwidth to complete the tasks, and to make sure the launching would not clash with any other events.

6. Asset require to promote a summit

At this point, you may have an idea how to start with your virtual summit plan. Now the next step is to promote and widely spread the event among your target audience and build the awareness. The assets which can be used to promote the event can be either or inclusive of the landing page, email campaign, social media post, engaging content, and promotional material etc.

Phase 2

1. List building of speakers

Create a list of potential speakers and reason out why they should be the part of your virtual summit. The speaker categories for our event was divided into two parts one comprised of eminent and motivational speakers (Chetan Bhagat and Sandeep Dutt) in the education industry and the other was our existing clients. You might be thinking why existing clients? They act as a catalyst for other institutes as they showcase how they benefited from the technology and the impact it had on their institute’s growth and productivity.  

2. Screening process

After listing out 50 to 100 names, next step is the screening process. In this process, sort out the most qualified speaker who fits best for your summit. As our event was launched for the global audience, so to bring the diversity, we shelled out the speakers from each geography. But onboarding eminent speakers from outside the country was a no-win, as mostly their time costs quite an amount of money, so to bring melange in our summit we onboard the existing clients as the speakers. After creating a list we screen out the speakers according to our target attendees. But the major hurdle was to onboard the education leaders as speakers on the platform.

3. Outreach & communication

The most effective way to communicate with the speakers is via sending a personalised email on which you can include the basic details about the event such as the aim of the summit, benefits, reasons to attend the event, who is the target audience, date of the event and much more. 

In our summit, the response we got from the existing client speakers was great but after reaching out to EdTech orators we faced some disappointment as the speakers we were hoping to onboard to our summit were charging a high speaking fee, which was quite expected. After 3-4 weeks of outreach emails and calls, we hit the most enthusiastic speakers in EdTech industry.

Phase 3

1. Landing page & Content Planning

Once you are ready with the finalized speakers the next step is to create a great content for an attractive landing page, to gather maximum visitors and potential sign-ups. Key elements to consider while creating a page are:

    • Compelling Headline: Concise, descriptive and attention-grabbing headline which clearly explain what an attendee expects from the event.
    • Effective Media: Such as event promotion video, a collage of speakers which act as a magnet to attract the potential audience.
    • Strong CTA: Clear and compelling call-to-action button. Which showcases they would get a full access to attend the summit after they click a particular button.
    • Lead Capture Form: Form where visitors submit their basic information, but the length of the form should be short just the include the necessary details.
    • Speakers: Headshot of every single speaker along with their name and topic about which they talk about in the summit.
    • Event Details: Nitty-gritty details of the event such as why attend this summit, what would you learn, agenda of the summit, what are the other thing stored in the summit apart from speakers videos.

Below have the screenshot of our virtual summit final landing page:

school operations development virtual summit 2018

2. Promotion on all digital channel

The achievement of an event’s goal relies on the promotion method. As it not only helps in widening the reach and creating a brand awareness for an event but also helps in the lead generation process.

There are various channels through which the event can be promoted such as:

  • Paid promotion
  • Social Media channels
  • Email
  • Event promotion website
  • To gain wider reach of the event and make the post ubiquitous, you can also leverage the Speaker’s digital platform

    3. Lead Magnet

The lead magnet can be used to attract the customers and retain their interest in attending the summit. For our summit as a lead magnet, we used the idea of Masterclass of our product and shared the Future plans of Fedena.

4. No Live interviews, then record the interview

Recording an interviews is a time consuming process therefore after finalizing the speakers, the first step to do is schedule a meeting with the speakers, choose a topic for the interview, prepare the interviews questions, share it with the interviewees so they can prepare themselves, record the interview and finally edit it to make it look more professional.

Phase 4

1. Promote & Execute the summit

Finally comes the event launch week.

One to two week before an event launch, continuously promote the event and send the event joining link through newsletters so that on the day of an event they will not feel hassled and bewildered. When we launched out summit we had some trouble communicating the process of joining the summit, due to which we received several phone calls about how to join the event. But finally we overcome such problems and everything went smoothly thereafter. Hence, as a rule, continuous interaction with your attendees is very crucial.

You can also educate your attendees by doing regular posts on social media, blog posting, publishing posts on speaker’s digital platform and newsletter about the agenda. Make them feel engaged and excited by maintaining proper communication during the event.

Phase 5

1. Follow up

After 1 -2 weeks of an event, send thank you note to your attendees. Our keynote speakers were existing clients so to appreciate their contribution, time and hard work we honoured them with a “Certificate of Appreciation”.

Benefits of Virtual Summit

  • Brand Awareness

Sometimes it becomes very challenging to create a brand awareness for the product for which there are several competitors in the market who are doing the same efforts. But with the help of virtual summit, putting your brand on everybody’s lips become easy, that too at a zero cost expenditure. When recognised & renowned public figures share their opinions then it automatically attracts thousands of people towards your website which helps people start recognizing your brand and this impact remains for a longer time.

  • Lead Generation

Every day marketers perform several kinds of marketing tactics with an aim to generate more and more leads. But generating leads is not always easy and sometimes it costs a good amount of money. But what if you could do the same without spending bucket loads of money to generate important leads. Yes, with the help of virtual summit lead generation become easy and effortless, as the speakers & partners also become the promoters helping by attracting their followers.

  • Revenue Generation

Generally, conversion from prospect to leads and leads to the paid customer takes a lot of steps, but with the effective & impactful interviews of renowned speakers on interesting topics in virtual summit attract lots of qualified leads. As, when the well-known speakers & existing clients share their experience in a form of interviews, it captures the trust of the target audience and eventually increases the chance of conversion.

Recap: How does school management software help institute in saving money?

What is coming next?

I wouldn’t say that our first virtual summit was an astounding success but, it was a great experience and we learned a lot from our mistakes. Therefore, to turn our fruitless journey to fruition, in the coming months we are again coming with another exciting event.

BETTER 2018: EdTech Summit & EXPOThe confluence of education and innovative technology

The main aim of this summit is to bring together school’s decision makers and EdTech leaders, so the institutes can grasp the significance of technology and also envision how can the technological transformations aid towards leading and shaping the future of education system.

Follow the link to know more: https://fedena.com/erp/edtech-summit-expo-better-2018

 

 

school management software helps institute in saving money

How does school management software help institute in saving money?

First and foremost a school management software system can reduce a lot of the paper thus help you save a lot of money that you can spend for other fruitful purposes. With the help of this system, a school can easily stop paper-based processes that are needed for various tasks. Some examples of such tasks would be refund processing and employee reimbursements.

In their stead, a school can come up with paperless choices such as online class registration and electronic billing for paying tuition fees. When you have document management facilities in your school management software you can also lessen the usage of paper in areas such as accounts payable.

In general, with electronic tools such as these at your disposal, you can reduce the amount of printing that you have to do as a school. Apart from paper and printing supplies this way you can save money on postage as well.

Below highlighted the various ways through which school management software helps institute in saving money:

1. Streamlining business procedures

With a good software system for the school, you would be able to streamline your business processes as well. Quite often you may need to hire business process specialists in order to look at ways in which your overall operations can be made more efficient.

It is true that you can save a lot of money that way as well. However, things can get even better if you were to switch to an electronic processor such as the one we are talking about over here. For example, you would be able to streamline processes such as purchase orders, maintenance requests, and payroll to name a few.

Some of the functions that can be performed seamlessly with these systems may be mentioned as below:

  • employee management
  • fee submission
  • payroll management
  • analysis of fee structure and defaulters
  • payroll form creation
  • management of fee payment
  • automatic calculation of loss of pay
  • income and expenditure management
  • payslip generation
  • categorization of income and expenses
  • leave management
  • fee receipt printing
  • payslip approval
  • financial report generation
  • fee classification
  • liability and asset management
  • fee collection date designing system
  • donation management

Apart from these, these systems also help you perform functions such as inventory management and placement at a lot less cost.

2. Special purpose applications

With the help of a top class school management system, you would be able to better manage critical areas of your operation such as food services, textbooks, usage of rooms, school buses, and utilities like electricity and heating and cooling. This way you can save a whole lot of money as well.

3. Reduction in cost of communication

With a top of the line school management software system, you would be able to save a lot of money in the area of communications. For example, you would not need the phone on every desk system that was once the norm in every school in the days gone by. The main reason for this is the fact that these systems use unified communications tools. Examples of such tools would be Skype and voice over internet protocol (VOIP).

They also utilize business processes like setting up communication technologies and centralize the buying process of a school. As most of the IT (information technology) executives working in schools would tell you, the biggest benefit of unified communications is that it is capable of reducing operating costs. At the same time, it leads to better productivity and communication also become a lot more reliable as well. Apart from that, with systems such as these, you can put a phone in every room of your school. This, in turn, can make your school a lot more secure than before.    

These systems come with inbuilt messaging systems and can easily help you send many messages in the shortest span of time to other people who are connected to the same system. This makes it easy for you administrators to have effective communication with all the stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and students. No longer do you need to communicate separately with them – a process that can take up a lot of time and cost you a lot of money as well.

Recap: Why Does Your Institute Need An Attendance Management System?

4. Easy to use systems

The systems that we are talking about over here are very easy to use. They come with facilities like inventive search bars that allows just about anyone to use the software within a few seconds of logging in. It also helps that they have been designed in order to provide a great experience to the users. The interface of these systems is user-friendly and this means that just about anyone with basic knowledge of computers can use these systems. All you need is a little bit of training to operate these systems.

This means that as a school you are not spending a lot of time – and thus money – on training your resources. Since the systems are easy to use you also do not need to hire experts, who are normally costlier, to operate them. This easy to learn and master feature thus makes it convenient for you to save money that you would otherwise incur.   

5. Reducing the cost of admissions

As we all know, admission is a major headache for all schools. There is a lot of data that has to be taken care of and there are plenty of resources that have to be engaged to make sure that the entire process happens without mistakes. In a nutshell, all this costs you plenty of money for sure. However, with these new age school management software systems you can perform all these functions smoothly and save a lot of your resources as well.

Resources, in this case, include your money as well. With these systems, you can create unique IDs for all the applicants, create detailed admission forms, and customize them just about the way you want them. This means that you do not need to use up a lot of your employees, spend a lot of time and money printing forms that could very well have mistakes, and spend a lot of time in managing the entire process.     

 

 

attendance management system

Why Does Your Institute Need An Attendance Management System?

Understanding the benefits of an attendance management system in educational institutes

One of the foremost memories that all of us have of school is the morning attendance, where the teachers would ceremoniously call out to our names, while we replied in affirmation to prove our attendance. A long and tedious routine, in colleges, many of us manipulated the manual attendance system in a number of ways.

However, the digital revolution has introduced the student’s attendance management system that is transforming the routine of attendance in schools.

What is an attendance management system?

An attendance management system is an essential part of the school management software that uses the biometric attendance management system or an access card to maintain a quick and accurate record of the student attendance and provides timely summaries and records when needed.

Why does your institute need an attendance management system?

1.  Speed and Accuracy

Using a students attendance management system module in your school management software eliminates the need for manual attendance with is a long and cumbersome process. Students can simply log on to the attendance using the online system and thus save teachers the extra effort and time that would usually go into marking attendance. This system is faster and more accurate than a manual attendance system, avoids incorrect data entry, duplication and helps reduce mundane paperwork.

2. Automatic Report Generation

Very often teachers need to access the attendance reports of students – either for disciplinary reasons or for parent- teachers meetings. Using a students attendance management system ensures that reports are created at the click of a button. School authorities can also access summaries, trend reports related to the attendance records.

3. Enhances Punctuality

While the manual attendance conducted daily by teachers enforces daily attendance, using a cloud-based online attendance software ensures that the arrival time of each student is accurately recorded so that the monitor tardiness and teach students the importance of punctuality.

4. Alerts to Parents

Using an online attendance management system makes it easy for parents to get automatic alerts of days that their students are not in class. This would not be possible in a manual attendance system but using the school management software, that stores all the communication data of the parents, it is easier than ever for parents to stay updated on their child’s daily school attendance. This also helps parents stay abreast of the number of classes missed by their child.

Recap: Why must School ERP have Document Management System?

5. Staff Attendance Management

The attendance management system can also be used to track the attendance of the teachers and the various staff. It also allows for easy calculation of leaves and tracks working days and hours with ease and accuracy using either an access card or biometric attendance management system.

Today, attendance management is an essential requirement for every school, college and educational institute. Automation of the attendance system frees the teaching authorities from mundane tasks and saves precious classroom time that can be invested in teaching the students.

document management system

Why must School ERP have Document Management System?

Does your School ERP System need one?

What is a document management system?

As the name might suggest, a document management system is a feature or plugin helps in managing the institution’s documents. These can range from a student’s homework assignment waiting to be graded by a teacher to confidential report cards being archived for posterity.

Why do we need an online document management system?

In today’s paperless world, documentation is usually electronic in nature. Most students, teachers, and administrators are increasingly shifting away from older filing systems and pen and paper documentation to electronic documentation. Whether it is a presentation, an essay, official records, or fee receipts documentation is unavoidable in an educational institution. Embracing change and moving towards the digital version of this necessary process is the first step towards greater transparency and accountability.

The Advantages of Using a Document Management system

1. Integration with existing school ERP system

Schools are increasingly going digital in every way – from admissions to notes to parents to the way the school curriculum is taught. Is it not time that documentation caught up? Having an electronic copy of paperwork that is easily created, saved, stored, and shared is key to bringing your school into the 21st century. It also means more seamless integration with your existing school ERP system, which means easier one window engagement for all stakeholders.

2. Easier processing

When document management is integrated with your school ERP system it means all-around easier processing. Whether it is filling in of admission forms, issuance of certificates for leaving or transfer, or even sharing of grades and report cards – these processes do not require the use of documents in the physical world. Instead your school ERP system’s document manager handles all of these with ease.

3. Environmentally friendly

Environmental science classes in school keep us well informed about the perishing of our world’s environment – a big portion of this is that we consume and discard paper at an alarming rate. Going paperless is therefore just kinder to our world. Your school ERP system is a big boon in this regard, since it helps digitize many processes including the increased use of electronic documents over paper ones.

4. Greater accessibility

We are all working towards building a more accessible world. Students have differing needs and instead of expecting all of them to conform to rigid and archaic processes, why not embrace assistive technology in a meaningful way? Document managers empower students with various challenges to access materials that might have been out of reach. Electronic documents are now easily processed by text to speech programs, image readers for the visually challenged, or even those who use assistive devices to read. Your school ERP system does not just cater to the model student, but every student, empowering them to maximise their potential and create the kind of world we all can thrive in.

Integrating document managers into your School ERP System

Why not just use existing document managers? What is the point of integrating it into your school ERP system? A simple reason is that it makes logical sense on many fronts – from ease of access to security. Having a secure platform through which multiple stakeholders can access relevant documents in a productive fashion is a boon to any school. A school ERP system makes this possible in the easiest way.

Know more: How it Works: Document Manager plugin by Fedena

The Fedena School ERP System Advantage

Okay, you are convinced about the advantages of a document manager integration into your school ERP system. But what is the Fedena school ERP system advantage? Fedena allows you to really maximise your use of a document manager for all your school needs, whether you are a student, teacher, management or non-educational staff. Find out more here.

IoT in education

Significance of IoT in Education

Learn how this new tech impacts your school

What is IoT?

IoT stands for the Internet of Things. It refers to a network of physical devices (other than the usual laptops, mobile phones, computers, etc.) that help integrate the physical world with the internet through the exchange of information. Essentially, it results in more seamless integration of every device around us with the internet and all its capabilities. Imagine your fridge telling you that you are out of milk and you then being able to tell it to order some more. Or even set up a regular schedule for the ordering and delivery of repeated items. This is possible through IoT, or Internet of Things. It is one step closer to living in the future we saw depicted in films.

Where is IoT usually used?

IoT has been used across industries and sectors, but one of the most visible uses of IoT so far has been in retail. Think of Amazon’s Dash buttons that allowed you to order more laundry detergent from the site at the literal push of a button. Or integrations into a Smart Home. But IoT is not limited to just ordering things off of the internet. It has seen an application in manufacturing, energy management, environmental monitoring, agriculture, medicine and healthcare, elder care, deployment at scale, and transportation.

How can IoT be used in schools?

The growing ubiquity of internet and technology in schools means that a development like IoT is not very far behind. But what could the applications of such tech be in your educational institution? Is this just a me-too gimmick used an excuse to raise infrastructure costs on the parents paying their wards’ school fees?

In short, no. IoT in education can be used in multiple ways to enhance the school experience – from teachers understanding the way their students’ minds work, thanks to devices that track how students are using classroom materials and sharing that data, to improved security and safety of scholars thanks to devices that radio logistical details during the child’s commute to school. IoT is a step towards removing barriers between the online and physical presence of stakeholders, in an effort to ensure that technology enhances the learning and teaching experience for all of them.

Why should I be using IoT at my school?

Internet of Things, or IoT, must be viewed not just as an add-on or perk offered to students who can afford it. It must be seen as a method by which students, teachers, parents, and non-education staff can have a seamless scholarly experience. This mindset change must take place in order to use IoT effectively and to its full potential.

Recap: What Are The Benefits Of Fees Management System In Educational Institutions?

How have educational institutions used IoT in the past?

A very obvious use of IoT that might already be in place in your school is the use of smart boards to connect academics and teachers all over the world. Highlights, annotations, and notes are available openly to anyone who is allowed access, enabling the free and open sharing of information and insights. This results in greater collaboration and enhanced learning for students and teachers alike.

We have spoken previously about the importance of student safety and campus security, especially in this day and age. This is an area in which IoT shines. IoT devices help parents, teachers and non-education staff help keep track of students while they are on institutional premises. This means a reduction in unexplained absences, ensuring that students are where they need to be, and a starting point to address any potential issues that may be the reason for the student’s presence (or lack of it) at a given place.

fee management system

What Are The Benefits Of Fees Management System In Educational Institutions?

The fee collection process in school and colleges is a complex procedure as the fee structure for every student and every class is different. Using a manual procedure leaves ample opportunity for human error, making an already complex process more tedious and challenging,

This is the reason that many educational institutes are moving towards an online fees management system that streamlines the process – making it easier and faster for teachers as well as parents.

However, there are many more benefits of using a fees management system

1. Easy to use and implement

An online fee management system is easy to use and implement as you do not need to install a new program or software. The online feature of your school management system is easy to use for teachers as well as parents, who can pay the fees from the comfort of their homes, at a time of their convenience – instead of standing in queues all day long

2. Creates a simplified paperless system

Using an online fee management system will enable your school to develop a paperless system as all the fee receipts and payment records will be maintained in a digital format. This saves the school from the hassle of dealing with reams of papers, receipts as well as is environmentally friendlier.

3. Automatic calculation

The online fee management system calculates the fees of every student without any error, taking into account all the extra considerations from scholarships, hostel fees, sibling discounts, library fees and any other student-specific charges and discounts

4. Quick payments

Instead of standing in long lines for the fee payments, on online system allows for quick remittances faster from using secure payment gateways. The system is also capable of easily receiving payments from donors and other contributors allowing for an increased revenue for the school.

5. Easily scalable and customisable

For schools that have multiple campuses across locations, a school fee management system allows for the schools to easily manage the school fees across locations. Additionally, the system is easily scalable and accommodate new campuses into the module.

Recap: Guide To Choose The Right School Employee Management System

Additionally, the school can customise the software according to its brand colours, a logo for a more customised experience

6. Safe and secure

The software saves all the payment details of the parents in a safe and secure manner. The school management system offers a role-based access control in a multi-user environment.

Fee management system in also is a function that not only needs complete accuracy, but it also needs to be secure, hassle-free and transparent to avoid any fraudulent transactions. The simplest way to achieve all of these goals is through the use of an online fee management system.

Implementation of this system is one of the most effective ways for schools, colleges and other educational institutes to streamline their fee management processes in a way that helps save on way power, makes fee collection proficient and decreases the staff workload so that they can use their time and resources to concentrate on the students

school employee management system

Guide To Choose The Right School Employee Management System

Understanding the Why and How of selecting a school employee management system

In a school or college setting, the staff and employee team not only consist of teachers and principals, but it also includes many behind-the-scenes heroes such as the administration teams, support staff, librarians, IT teams, peons, cleaners, security teams – the list can be endless. This school staff are essential as they play a critical role in creating an emotionally supportive, physically safe and mentally stimulating environment for the students.

Just as any other organisation – a school to needs to efficiently manage its teams to ensure that it functions as a seamless, well-oiled machinery to bring the best to its students.

While schools continue to function as student-centric units, it is essential for them also ensure that they are paying attention to the career growth and development of their support staff and using a school employee management system is one of the most efficient and effective ways to do the same.

What are the benefits of using a school staff management system?

A school management system that offers features to manage the staff offers many benefits to the staff and the school as a whole

1. Payroll Management

One of the most essential features of a school employee management system is the payroll management system that allows schools to manage the entire payroll process from the calculation of attendance, loss of pay calculation, automatic payroll generation, payslip approval and other facilities.

This payroll management feature is easily customisable according to the branding guidelines and other requirements of the school, thus making it easier for schools and other educational institutes to adopt.

2. Task Management

Creation and management of tasks for employees a task management module for the teaching and non-teaching staff. Here, various administrators and head of departments can assign certain tasks to the staff, send reminders for the same, follow-up on them and get timely updates when the tasks are completed. This is also an option to upload reports, documents and comments on the task to keep everyone updated.

3. Event Creation

School life is often characterised by events and activities for the students as well as teachers. Using the event creation modules, schools can create a list of events for the staff and the school employee management system will send automatic updates to all about the event – through SMS, emails and other forms of instant messaging.

4. Performance management

Using the school employee management system also allows schools to assess their performance by checking the achievement of their goals, monitoring the date of the goals to see if they met their deadline and them comparing it against the performance of other groups. This system is an easy and a hassle-free way to assess the performance of the teachers and other non-teaching staff across various departments and locations.

5. Attendance management

Managing the daily attendance of your staff, their login and logout times can also be a tedious task for the school’s personnel department. However, the same task when outsourced to a digital system, makes the task easier and less time consuming

6. Data management

The school management system also allows schools to manage the entire data of all the departments, including staff data. This data can be easily displayed and customised as needed and can be exported at the click of the mouse,

Recap:  Technology in The Classroom: Decoding the Pros and Cons

7. Instant Messaging

This instant messaging feature can also be easily integrated with other external communication tools like email and texting. This feature is crucial as it allows you to stay connected with your staff at all times and send them information at the click of a button. During critically important moments, this is one of the best ways to communicate with your staff – saving on loads of time and avoiding miscommunications.

While the growth of a school is enhanced by committed teachers, a motivated support staff can help empower the teachers to teach better and make a strong impact on the minds of their students. Using various digital technology is a great way to keep the staff – teaching and non-teaching motivated so that they can focus on the most important tasks at hand.

It improves the productivity of the school as non-essential tasks such as creating events, calendar management, attendance management, leave management get taken care of automatically. This is also a great way to prevent time fraud among their staff and helps them to function with improved accuracy and focus.

With this increased productivity, it is easier for schools to focus their attention on staff development activities such as training and other learning opportunities that will help the school staff perform better – and thus improve the ratings and brand image of the school.

Today, as technology percolates every aspect of our lives, introducing online technology in schools is imperative. Using a staff management system makes day-to-day functioning easier in schools by automating tasks – saving time and effort for all concerned.

As schools get ready to step into the future – they need to get equipped with a staff management system that can be easily customised and scaled according to the needs and the requirements of the school. In this dynamic world – every school is a unique as the students it houses, and an ideal staff management system needs to come loaded with a range of various features that can be used by the school according to their needs and should be easy to use for all the parties concerned.

technology in the classroom

Technology in The Classroom: Decoding the Pros and Cons

Technology can often be compared to a double-edged sword. It can be leveraged as a powerful tool to educate, liberate and illuminate people, but if not used well, the same tools of technology can distract people, veering them away from their goals and aims. Similarly, in a classroom, introducing technology to students has many pros and cons. While on one hand, many experts believe that technology allows educators to personalise, adapt and experiment in pedagogy, on the other hand, technology in the classroom can be distracting to the students and adds to the increased screen time of students.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the pros and cons of having technology in the classroom

Pros:

Experiment with pedagogy

Technology creates an environment that allows students and teachers to actively learn through a variety of pedagogy. From videos to online polls and virtual trips, the use of technology gives teachers unlimited access to free digital tools and resources that will help to make the subject more relevant to students and engage them better for long-term learning.

Immediate access to the latest information

Introducing technology in the classroom gives students access to information that is up-to-date. Instead of relying on obsolete textbooks, in a technology-driven classroom, there is a collaborative learning environment where students work together to share information together and access the most relevant and efficient information.

Automates monotonous tasks

Using technology in the classroom is an effective way to save teachers and school staff from the boredom of monotonous tasks and save time on repetitive tasks. Using technology, teachers can grade online assignments, take attendance, plan lessons as well as send out regular messages to parents about their children. Using the school ERP system gives teachers a variety of tools and resources and frees up their time to instead focus on teaching better in the classroom.

Students learn an essential life skill

Today, we live in a digital world, and getting familiar with technology is an essential life skill. One of the most important goals of a school is to train the kids for adult life. Giving students opportunities to interact and engage with social media tools and technology is a great way to prepare students to be the future citizens of a digital world without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed

Makes student independent learners

Technology also enables students to be independent learners where teachers could assign collaborative tasks and encourage them to complete them using technology. In this case, instead of spoon feeding the information to the students, they learn to leverage digital tools to get the academic queries resolved and learn of their own.

Cons:

Technology can be a distraction

As often seen in the real world, technology in the classroom can often be a distraction for students. The online world is filled with ads, games and other forms of distraction that can veer students away from the task at hand. The best way to combat this is by setting up strict rules and regulations when accessing online tools. This can ensure that technology does not interfere with education but only aids learning

Too much screen time

Many parents and teachers fear that introducing technology in the classroom will lead too much screen time for students. Some people believe that staring at a screen during school hours simply compounds an already existing problem where children use screen stimulation for learning and entertainment. This screen time can not only be detrimental to the eyesight of the kids but can lead to mental exhaustion as well.

The only way to counter this is by setting in place strict timelines on the number of hours students use a device and compensating that with outdoor play and learning

Recap:  Why We Need Digital Signage in Schools

Technology can foster cheating

Cheating in assignments and exams is not a new phenomenon, but the use the technology makes it easier for students to copy-paste someone else’s work, or to simply steal essays and assignment ideas from other students.

To counter this problem, teachers could work towards structuring assignments and exams in a way that makes cheating impossible. Many schools offer open book exams, where the focus of the examination is problem-solving and mastery rather than rote learning and retention.

Lack of human connection

There are many who feel that technology can create a classroom environment devoid of human connection. As each student concentrates and works on their device, the classroom can turn into an anti-social place as there will be limited interaction between peers,

However, with adequate care and emphasis on peer-to-peer connection, this too can be resolved

Promotes inequality in the classroom

While education brings students closer together, technology in the classroom can make students aware of their socio-economic status as not every student can easily afford smart devices and laptops. This can lead to a divide in the classroom.

The verdict

While there are plenty of pros and cons for introducing technology into the classroom, schools need to work towards setting and creating guides to ensure that students do not abuse digital media in the classroom.

The world is evolving towards becoming a hyper-connected digital place and the correct use of technology in the classroom with adequate supervision can ensure that the students learn better. The use of technology and school management system not only benefits the students, but it streamlines various tasks and processes for the teachers, making education less stressful and more enjoyable

digital signage in schools

Why We Need Digital Signage in Schools

Is digital signage in schools worth the investment?

Communications and Community in School

Schools are not just a room with a roof where students go to take steps – for these young scholars, school is their entire world. School is not an avenue in which one way information dissemination takes place. Schools have a huge impact on our personalities, outlook and often are the foundation to our future selves.

Schools thus play a key role in shaping who we are. A large portion of this is done through the sense of community a school builds. With multiple moving parts, stakeholders, and new crises everyday, this community-building aspect of the school to student relationship often takes last priority. Communications is not given much thought even though it is the very tool by which this community is built.

What does this look like in our schools?

It looks like lacklustre efforts towards outreach, ineffective community building attempts, and an overall missing sense of camaraderie between schools. Once students graduate this looks like a lack of loyalty or that missing school spirit. A sad turn of affairs to be sure.

What would successful communications look like instead? It would be outreach that is relevant, personalised and engaging. These are not anonymous notes tacked up on a bulletin board that everyone ends up ignoring. Nor are they monotonous school announcements that just become white noise over the course of the school year. Instead, they are dynamic, engaging and meaningful to students, making them feel more than just cogs in the educational machine.

Effective communications results in a sense of well-being and belonging for each students – whether it’s because they have received information that is helpful to them in their scholarly pursuits or they have finally discovered a community or hobby group that makes them feel at home.

What is traditional signage?

You have seen signage all your life, even if you do not realise it. In your school, this would look like a poster for annual day put up in the public bulletin board. It’s the weekly schedule put up in your classroom pinboard that informed students about what subject periods were coming up next. It could be a sign-up sheet for the school play.

What is digital signage?

Very simply put, digital signage is this very form of communication, but in digital form using newer technology. Digital signage can be a screen that displays text, videos, a slideshow, dynamic announcements or even something more interactive, using newer tools like touchscreen and voice recognition. Schools are only limited by technological capabilities.

Why do we need digital signage? Isn’t traditional signage enough?

With the advent of newer technologies, engagement with a viewer has completely revolutionised. Studies show that traditional methods (such as a chart paper announcement for an upcoming school debate) does not seem to resonate with students as much – leaving efforts in building a school community go to waste.

Recap:  Top 10 TED Talks in education

What are the advantages of digital signage in schools?

Dynamic Design

Digital signage can be infinitely more dynamic than static traditional signage simply by virtue of how it works. A presentation with dynamic characters, video, and viewer interaction is likely to create a lasting impact, unlike something boring that students would just end up ignoring.

Long lasting

Unlike the wear and tear traditional paper signage naturally go through, digital signage lasts as long as the lights are on and the bills are paid. There is no wear and tear of the actual material in digital signage and their shelf life is quite long.

Environmentally friendly and cost-effective

Unlike paper signs that can rarely be reused and involve a lot of overheads and wastage, digital signage doesn’t rely on a finite resource like paper or trees for raw material. Digital signage is a one time investment that can be used over and over for a variety of purposes. No need to tear down and throw away traditional signage every time it is no longer relevant – instead just play the next video.

More Visually Impactful

Research shows us that the younger generation is no longer engaged by traditional pen and paper. Instead visuals like photos and videos are more likely to capture their imagination. It does not just end with their interest, however. What also matters is recall of the content they have just consumed – which is most definitely better with dynamic digital signage rather than traditional methods.

Builds student skills

It cannot be denied that we are firmly living in a digital world. Computers and how to really use them are no longer just an option in the workplace. And what is a school doing but prep its scholars for the working world? Digital signage in schools gives students an opportunity to experiment and create information that must be effectively communicated to their peers. It helps them understand not just the creative process, but also the technical methodologies of information communication. These are invaluable skills every scholar must acquire as soon as possible. So why not start them off young with digital signage?

Creates business opportunities

Schools have a captive audience of young thinkers and trendsetters that a lot of businesses are eager to capture. Digital signage can also become a revenue source for an educational institution. Partnering with brands and services to display their content on school digital signage would be a low hanging fruit for funding that schools can easily capture. A word of caution here: while the potential for funding here is high, schools have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the content they allow on school campus is useful, relevant and not exploitative of their charges. For example, advertising sugary soda to a young population that is still learning how to build nutritious eating habits is unethical. However, advertising external tutoring support or one-on-one counseling services available locally to students who might be seeking that kind of mentorship and support is useful. Monetising digital signage in schools is all about walking that fine line well.

ted talks in education

Top 10 TED Talks in education

We all know that Ted Talks are the most influencing and inspiring videos by the eminent speakers from various industry but when it comes to education  the following talks by inspiring teachers hits first in the mind: 

 This featured Rita Pierson. She has been a teacher for around forty years. She had once heard a co-worker saying that she or he was not paid enough to like the kids. Her answer was simple – kids never learn from the people that they do not like. This was a clarion call of sorts to educators so that they would have greater faith in the students and also unite with them on many levels – real, personal, and human. Pierson is a noted educator who has devoted her life to classrooms.

In fact, her grandparents and parents happened to be educators as well and thus can it be said that Pierson followed them into this world. This particular talk was featured at TED Talks Education. What she has said stands true for education in general and teaching in specific.

Christopher Emdin happens to be a science advocate and employs hip-hop, a form of music, in order to make teachers better at their work. He has an interesting take on education that he shared at this talk delivered at TED@NYC.

Emdin says that there is something common between rap shows, Sunday services, and the banter that is exchanged at barbershops. He feels that they all have the unique capability to teach and yet enthral people at the same time. Emdin says that this is one skill that is not necessarily taught to educators even in this day and age. He has been a teacher for long and has cofounded Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. along with GZA, who happens to be a member of the well-known rap group known as Wu-Tang Clan. In this particular TED Talk, he shares his vision of how classrooms can be made alive. 

In this TED Talk delivered at TEDWomen 2015, Cliatt-Wayman discusses how she resurrected a high school based in North Philadelphia. During her first day in office as principal, she was pretty adamant that she would lay down a few laws that she believed would help the school gain back lost ground. However, soon enough she found out that it was easier said than done as the job was fairly complex. In fact, it was a lot more complex than what she had bargained for.

This talk reveals her passion for her school in a rather evident manner. Here she shares the three principles that she used in order to turn around the fortune of three schools that she was entrusted with. These schools had been labelled persistently dangerous and low performing.   

At the TEDxBeaconStreet, an event organized by volunteers, Tyler DeWitt, a science teacher at the high school level, discussed what science teachers needed to do in order to make their lessons more entertaining and thus easier for students to relate to and learn.

He starts off by saying how once he had created a lesson plan on bacteria and was absolutely ecstatic about it. However, to his utter horror, DeWitt discovered that his students had not shared the same feelings about the lesson plan, to put it mildly. The main issue here was with the textbook. It was really hard for students to understand it. In this particular TED Talk, DeWitt shares some great thoughts including asking teachers to stop being precise and stop including technical terms, which are hard to understand, in their classes. Instead, he asks them to look at ways such as demonstrations and stories to make it more interesting for students.

Dan Meyer, an educator, delivered this particular TED Talk at the TEDxNYED. Here he discusses the critical state of present-day math education by discussing how the curriculum is expecting that the students would learn and then become great at what he terms paint by numbers class work. This he feels is taking an important area from kids – skill. It is the skill that is so much more important than merely teaching students how to solve problems.

It is skill, which according to Meyer, is also a lot more important than merely formulating math problems. In this talk, Meyer also comes up with a number of math exercises that have been tested in classrooms and encourage students to take time out, think, and find their way out of problems.

Recap:  Simple Guidelines To Improve Teaching Quality and Effectiveness In The Classroom

Ramsey Musallam, an educator, delivered this TED Talk at TED Talks Education. Musallam had been a high school chemistry teacher for 10 years before he suffered a condition that threatened his very life. It was this very condition that forced him to evaluate what he thought was a period of pseudo teaching.

It was through this life-changing experience that he came to understand what the true role of an educator was supposed to be. It was supposed to encourage a sense of curiosity among students. This talk was a personal one as it was fun filled. It was here that Musallam shared his 3 rules for sparking the drive to learn and imagine among students. They were also supposed to help students get excited about the various ways in which the world worked. Important to this discussion was the use of means such as new technology and multimedia.

Delivered at TEDWomen 2015 this Talk by Sakena Yacoobi discussed how she saved every girl’s school in Afghanistan from being shut down by the Taliban. After the Islamic militant group had shut down all these schools, Yacoobi established new schools but all of them in secret. This was how she was able to educate not only thousands of women but an almost similar number of men as well. This talk was at the same time funny and fierce.

She also shares a couple of exhilarating stories where she was threatened with ultimatums so that she would stop teaching. Here Yacoobi also shared her vision of how she hopes to rebuild her motherland. The institute set up by this education activist is named the Afghan Institute of Learning.

This TED Talk was delivered at TEDxManhattan. Ritz happens to be a really energetic person who always happens to be full of ideas. He also happens to be a teacher at a school in South Bronx, a really tough region in New York. In fact, he is a specialist in teaching at-risk kids in this part of the city.

It is here that Ritz and his kids grow gardens that are as lush as they come with the aim of providing greenery, food, and jobs. This talk is more than about just education. Here he discusses a whole lot of ways in which you can create hope in your neighbourhood – one that has been written off as a no-hoper by others – or in any such neighbourhood for that matter. It is just that he goes too fast and you have to keep up with him. 

This talk was delivered at TED Talks Live. She genuinely believes in the fact that kids are the future of the world and it is very important for them to have faith in themselves. This is the reason why she started the Mott Hall Bridges Academy, which can be called an academic oasis of sorts. It is located at Brownsville in Brooklyn. This happens to be one of the neighbourhoods in New York that sees the highest rates of violence and receives the least amount of service.

She believes that every child is full of capabilities and is brilliant in her or his own way. This talk is short but is energizing, to say the least. Lopez also happens to be a star of the Humans of New York. In this talk, she describes how she helps the scholars think of a better future.

This TED Talk was delivered at TEDxMidAtlantic. In this talk, Laufenberg shares three things that she has learned regarding teaching. Suffice to say, these ideas are rather surprising. One of them is a rather key insight into how people can learn from mistakes.

Laufenberg has been an educator for more than 15 years now. She has been a secondary social studies teacher in areas such as Wisconsin, Arizona, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Here Laufenberg says that the knowledge she has acquired in her career is related to kids as well and she wishes that more people are able to understand them. In this discussion, she talks about how access to learning and information has changed over generations citing the example of her grandmother and her father to strengthen her opinions.   

improve teaching quality

Simple Guidelines To Improve Teaching Quality and Effectiveness In The Classroom

Today, we live and function in a digital era where students are constantly exposed to the latest trends in technology and media. When teaching these new-age students, it becomes important for teachers to be flexible and find new ways to improve their teaching quality. This not only helps them to be more effective in the classroom but will help their students learn and retain the information in a better way.

Let us look at a few ways that teachers can execute to improve their teaching quality in the classroom:

Introduce technology in the classroom

The modern teacher looking for new ways to engage with their students must be innovative and explore using technologies that appeal to the students. This does not necessarily mean large investments in screens and apps. Instead, teachers can use videos, digital games, free online resources and digital tools that can be easily implemented in their classroom. Young students are more adept with technological skills, so by integrating technology into the classroom, you will instantly help your students learn better and faster.

Personalise the learning experience for the students

One of the most effective ways to teach is to personalise the learning experience to meet the needs of each individual learner. While one-on-one instruction geared toward the strengths and challenges of each student has been the most idyllic teaching goal across ages, the various technological advances have finally allowed it to become an easily attainable reality in the classroom.

Personalized learning combines face-to-face teaching with technology-assisted instruction and student collaboration to leverage each student’s learning style and interests. The final aim is to create a stimulating learning experience for all involved.

Involve Parents in The Classroom

The best teachers do not teach in isolation, but they work with the students, keeping parents involved and informed at all times. One of the best ways, to do this is with the use of school ERP systems to keep the parents updated on their ward’s performance. You can also use the school management apps, to recruit parents to be part of the teaching system, thus making the parents more involved in schools and classroom

Recap:  The Role of School Management Software in Student Privacy & Data Security

Empower students to be active learners

One of the best ways to improve the quality of teaching in a classroom is for the teacher is to guide students to be active learners rather than simply be spectators. Active learning can best be described as a process when students engage with the material, participate in the class, and collaborate with each other as part of the learning process.  Teachers should, therefore, look at ways to facilitate independent, critical, and creative thinking by using active learning techniques. These include student collaboration, asking students to analyse case studies, debates and discussing new ideas both during lectures and homework.

Today, there is an added impetus and pressure on teachers to change their techniques of teaching to help foster an era of new learning, essential to tackle complex global challenges.

Is your classroom ready for the future?

school management software

The Role of School Management Software in Student Privacy & Data Security

Has your school management software got everything on lockdown?

What is data security?

Data security is the protection of data, usually in digital form, from unauthorized or unwanted access, use, and dissemination. It is the protection of private information from possibly malicious entities. In this digital day and age, data security is of paramount importance. Knowledge is power is a maxim that very much holds true here, and the protection of data must be a key concern for institutions who have entered the tech age.

Data security has resulted in a booming industry – just look at all the privacy hoops we need to jump through just to create an email account. But what might seem like annoying barriers to the execution of a task are actually safeguards built to protect people from themselves and others. Data security is easily understood when it comes to such engagements with technological services, but it has applications across industries and populations.

For educators, it is important to keep oneself of the latest in data security practice while also using this as an opportunity to instil good data security practices in young minds they have access too. Building a data secure culture is one of the many avenues educational institutions have a unique role to play.

How does it affect student privacy?

In the educational ecosystem, data security touches multiple aspects and stakeholders. One of these are students themselves. Data security, or a lack of it, exposes students to multiple vulnerabilities. They are often at the centre of sensitive information, and in the case of younger students, may be unable to comprehend the importance of data security.

But why do students even need privacy?

Detractors might argue about whether students even need privacy. These are younger folk living sheltered existences and are largely protected from ground realities that adult working professionals have to deal with. But it is this very naivete that makes students an especially vulnerable target of people trying to breach data security.

Students are often minors who may not have the experience or exposure to be able to judge whether a person or entity trying to extract information has malicious intent at all. Young scholars are usually taught to trust authority, especially adult authority. It is this attitude that makes them especially vulnerable to malicious predators who may not have their best interests at heart. It is thus the school’s responsibility, to a degree, to protect the privacy of student information they are trusted with.

What does a data security or student privacy breach look like?

A data security breach can be as simple as the unauthorised access to student information, resulting in the tarnishing of a student’s privacy. This might seem benign on paper, but imagine how dangerous student information could be in the wrong hands. For instance, simply accessing student records and noting down a particular student’s home address means that there are now people who are aware of a student’s location at a given point in time. The student could now be in danger.

While the person accessing this information may have no malicious intent, we cannot rely on their best to ensure student safety. Educational institutions, especially, have a specific responsibility to their underage wards – data security and protection is as important as the physical security and protection of a young scholar.

Recap: School management software with the batch management system

What are the consequences of a breach?

The consequences of a data security breach can range from benign to life-changing. Educational institutions are trusted with a lot of financial and personal data centred around their students and parents. These include everything from home addresses and contact information to the financial details of a family to student grades in a class.

Imagine accessing information about student grades and parental finances from the records in your school management software. The consequences can be something as small but irritating as some ribbing from classmates about a low grade (traumatic but not dangerous) or financial security risk for a parent whose banking vulnerabilities have been exposed.

How does school management software provide student’s privacy and data security?

School management software is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in educational institutions. School rely on it to manage processes in their school. This often involves things like personalised communication and teaching for students based on their response data to even easier and faster fee processing for parents thanks to on the go payments being made possible by your school management software.

It is thus natural that school management software will be the gateway to a lot of data about students and therefore a specific point of attack for those wishing to break a school’s data security. The information is all in one place for hackers to access.

On the same note, also reduces the amount of human interaction and therefore human error in these processes. Limiting access to sensitive information is easier with permissions that can easily be granted and revoked in your school management software. Keeping an activity history to be able to track who accessed what and when is easier with school management software. The school management software’s dashboard is a good way to keep an eye on a comprehensive set of data points that will alert the observer to any irregularities in the system.

How can you correctly calibrate your school management software?

School management software can be both a boon or a bane in these situations – it depends on the robustness of the software you choose and the people who are authorised to use it. A balance must be struck and careful judgment must be used when relying on school management software to manage data security at your school.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when building data security within your school management software. The first is to choose a robust software like Fedena that values data security and has inbuilt mechanisms to protect sensitive information. The second is to entrust only trusted people with access to this information. The third is to keep a watch on the activity of all those who have access to this information. Your school management software allows you to easily implement these three points making it easier to build a culture that values data security and student privacy in your educational institution.