The digital revolution has changed how we operate organizations and communities. Even though the schools were one of the last to embrace digital tools for day to day operations, now there are thousands of online and offline software available to automate different operational activities of a school. Some tools save time for teachers by automating daily attendance related activities. Some other tools help in enhancing parent-teacher communication through mobile apps and SMS. A few tools help in budgeting and fee collection.
Beyond these individual apps, there is a set of software that includes modules for almost all the operational activities of a school, and they are generally termed as “School Management Software” or “School ERP.”
In this post, we are giving the best possible information for beginners on the basics of school management software and how to choose a good SMS for your school.
Student Information System(SIS) vs School Management Software(SMS).
What is the difference?
Most usually used without any differentiation, the student information system is a subset of a school management software. Student information system contains all the details of a student and data collection spread across modules related to student activities like grade book, fee, extracurricular activities, parent-teacher communication, etc..
A school management software or school ERP have very broad scope and takes care of advanced features to run a school like human resource management, budgeting, security, etc. All school management software will contain modules of a good student information system. So it is ideal to choose a school management software for your school and begin with student information modules. Later you can start using advanced modules for automating school operations further.
Different Types of Schools:
Can we use a school management system software to automate a University or a Training center?
Again the term “School” is also used very generally, and it can mean a different kind of organization to different people. In some parts of the world, the Higher education university is also termed as a school. And in other parts, only elementary education is termed as school education. A well-designed school management system will take care of both elementary school operations and higher education operations without major customization. Software like Fedena does that elegantly.
Other than elementary and higher education schools, we have universities. A university management system is a complicated software containing intricate levels of operations management and user authorization. This also can be managed well with a school management system, but most of the time, it demands customization as the impact and ROI will be in millions of dollars.
Then we have other entities where the process of teaching and learning happens. A major number of these are training schools where different skills are trained. Martial arts schools, dance schools, etc. that usually operate outside the control of a university comes under this category. Also, there are plenty of parallel education centers where the students of the traditional schools go to learn advanced coaching. These are coaching centers which are another type of school.
In most of the countries, the schools will be of three types. Wholly privately owned, Fully government/state-owned, Private-Government partnership. Understanding this segregation also will be beneficial in learning about school management software and its usage.
Another critical category is a group of institutions. Where multiple schools and higher-education entities are operated under single management.
Role of Management Information Software
Before analyzing the benefits of school management software, we should first try to understand the concepts and origin of management information systems. A management information system (MIS) is a database/software used for decision-making, and the coordination, control, analysis, and visualization of information in an organization. In a corporate setting, the ultimate goal of the use of a management information system is to increase the value and profits of the business. Read more in Wikipedia
Since a school is different from corporate, the goal of the management information system may not be profit but on the value and social impact along with the profit goals. So a school management software will ultimately help you achieve the goals of the school. This can be checked with the vendor to understand how the software will provide different reports and tools to reach the goals of your school.
How can a simple but well-designed software act as a catalyst in achieving the goals of your school?
All schools can benefit from software irrespective of the size of the organization. There are schools with less than ten students and also government-operated school groups with millions of students. Based on the size of the schools and the number of users who are going to use the software, you need to apply different strategies to implement the software properly. And the benefits are many folds.
One of the best examples of successful school management software implementation is the government level is Project Sampoorna. The numbers involved in this project only speak to its ambitiousness – over 300, 000 teachers benefited in Kerala had the opportunity to use this system to better track and manage their students’ schooling. 70 lakh student records in 15, 000 schools across the State were tracked using the Sampoorna system.
User Types and Benefits:
What are the benefits of school management software for different users?
School management software adds value not only to the teachers or school management. But also to the parents and non-teaching employees of the school. Let us look at what are the different user types in school management software.
- School Administrator
- Principal / Academic Head
- School Directors
- Non-teaching employees (Ex: School Nurse, Bus driver etc.)
Most of the school management software will have modules that help all these user types and login access with unique user-id and password. The combined usage of the software by these different user groups creates lots of data, which can be converted to reports for efficient decision making by school authorities.
Now let us look at what is the priority of each of these user types while using school management software.
- Teacher – Time (Reduce time spent on non-teaching activities)
- School Administrator – Intense Operation of the daily activities without errors and bottlenecks
- Principal / Academic Head – Discipline and Academic Goals of the organization
- School Directors – Various reports for decision making
- Students – Learning
- Parents – Safety of kids and communication with teachers
- Non-teaching employees – Work
All these priorities can be met with good school management software. Incase of full-fledged implementation proper training has to be provided to all user groups for efficient usage and smooth functioning of the software and school.
Must-have Features of a Good School Management Software
How to choose a school management system for your school?
Choosing a good school management system to help school operations can seem like a difficult task. But the following points will be helpful for you to simplify the process.
- First, find how many students your school has presently and what number it will reach in the next five years. This is important because some software pricing is dependent on a number of users. So as the school grows, the cost will also increase in subsequent years. Not all software charge you on per user. Software like Fedena provides unlimited user licensing, and you will have peace of mind when your school grows exponentially in the future.
- Another important step is to identify the type of school and whether the software supports the grading methods used in your school. Usually, a good school management software will be able to support your school with a few configuration changes within the software.
- Also, it will be helpful to identify which modules you need in school management software. If you are using software for the first time in your school, you may not require all the modules of an advanced school management software. You can run a survey within your school to understand where the teachers and admins require software to improve operational efficiency.
Most of the school management software sales team will help you in the purchase process by patiently listening to and clearing all your queries. They will also give a free demo to your user groups to smoothen the purchase process further. Contact Fedena sales team for a free demo and smooth purchase process.
Future of School Management System:
Technology is growing at a fast pace, and more breakthroughs are happening every day. With the emergence of pervasive high-speed internet like 5G and energy-efficient hardware in the Internet of Things(IoT), the administrative activities in a school can be completely automated and linked with school management software for immediate communication with all user groups. Any new technology breakthrough you read in the newspaper or watch television, you can expect it to reach the school operations very soon as schools are where the future of our race is built, and it always requires the best ideas and technology.
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