student's engagement during holiday season

How to Keep Students Up-To-Date During Holiday Season?

The end of the year is the festive season with many schools, colleges and educational institutions slowing down and going into a vacation mode. During holiday season, students too tend to get distracted more easily as the focus shifts to spending time with their family and friends rather than the books before the students. This can prove to be a challenge for teachers and educator as they struggle with ensuring that the students stay focussed on their studies. Another challenge that teachers face is to ensure that the students complete and submit all the work on time, ensuring their productivity is on an upward trend.

In traditional schools and colleges, this can be seen to be a major task for the teachers. But with technology to their aid and with the help of school management software, it is easier than ever to ensure that the students stay motivated and remain excited about their academic achievements.

Here are a few strategies and school management software features that keep student’s updated during the holiday season:

1. News

The news feature of the school management software allows the administrator or the privileged employee to publish the latest school related news and academic updates for the day. These can be access by the staff and the students and helps to keep them abreast of all the latest campus happenings during the holidays, which will be visible for all the users on their dashboard.

news feature in school erp

This campus news which is easy to create and publish can not only be textual but can also include videos and images to make it more interesting. Additionally, the administrator can allow for comments to be added to the news to make this feature more interactive for the students. 

2. Discussion

Another strategic way for schools and colleges to keep students engaged through the discussion feature in the school management software. Through online discussion, students, teachers, and staff can interact with each other despite the holidays. This module helps the students and teachers to interact with each other through discussions and comments. This is a moderated discussion and unwelcome comments can always be deleted by the school administrator. They can interact and exchange ideas, discuss grievances and build a stronger and more engaged student and teacher community.

3. Poll

With the help of the Poll feature, the school can seek and collect the opinions on a particular subject from a group of selected members. This poll can be done anonymously without revealing the identity of the person and can be extended to a pre-selected audience for the purpose of analysis.

Polling feature in school erp

4. Gallery

The institute can share important screenshots and pictures with the students or employees by creating an album in the gallery module of the school management software. Public albums that update the students with the various events and activities of the institute can be shared so that even when the students are on a vacation, they are updated on the school happenings. By sharing these images, the students also get excited and motivated to resume classes when the holidays end. 

gallery feature in school erp

5. eMails

One of the most common methods to send regular updates to the students and the parents is through the use of emails. These mails help the schools keep the parents and students updated on a regular basis. Emails also enable to school to send essential communication to the teachers, parents and students such as fee reminders, exam schedules, meeting updates etc.

Emails can also be sent to the alumni to engage them for career guidance and training activities for mutual knowledge exchange.

Additionally, to reduce the burden on the administration, the school automatic emails can be set up for a particular set of recipients on specific events

6. Task

The Task module of the school management is used by the school administration team to assign tasks to the staff or the students by their teachers or management team. Once the students or the staff receive the task, they can then upload documents and put up periodic updates related to the task assigned to them. They can also receive feedback, comments and further instructions related to the task for further follow ups.

task feature in school erp

During the holiday season, this task module can be used to not only remind the students about the assignments that they may have but they can also post their progress updates related to the holiday assignment and receive feedback on the same. This helps the students to stay focused and on track with relation to holiday studies and home assignments. 

7. Google Docs

Another essential tool that teachers can use to engage with students during the holiday season is the use of Google Docs. Google Docs are available to view and upload in the Fedena school management software for the logged in employee or student. This integration allows the user to login with google credentials and upload/download the google docs with ease, thus making it easy for the students to upload or download their holiday assignments.

google document feature in school erp

The holiday season, while it is a time for rest and relaxation for the students, does not necessarily mean being cut-off and isolated from school work. With the help of the various technological tools given above, the students can continue to stay connected with their school, peers and teachers. The period of time, when used well can also be used by the students to give themselves the extra boost that will help them ace their exams with ease.

Open Source School Management Software

Pros & Cons of Open Source School Management Software

Opensource projects and products are the results of the wonderful collaboration between great minds all across the globe. The majority of our internet and business runs on top of opensource software without our awareness. And there are opensource software available for any kind of organization to manage their day to day operations. The school management software industry is also not different. But is it a good idea to choose an open-source school management software for your school? Considering the unique nature of users in a school like teachers, admins, etc. and their technical expertise, we need to check in-depth the pros and cons of opensource school management software:

Pros- Why Is It So Good?

  1. Free to download & setup which makes the initial cost almost zero. You don’t have to pay anything to get the software
  2. Free to modify the software according to the unique requirement of your school. You are not limited to what the software has already.
  3. Free to reuse in other branches of the same school or you can share the modified sofware to other schools. Also no limit on number of users.
  4. Free to work with any development team. You can hire a developer from your locality.
  5. Free to host the software anywhere. You can host it online or in computer within the school campus.
  6. Opportunity to learn same coding and develop computer science skill for interested teachers.
  7. IKEA effect. Your users will use the system more efficiently because they also participated in building it.
  8. Very reliability as the software is developed by multiple independent developers and code reviewed by hundreds
  9. High security factor. Since the source code is open, it will be audited by experts in the field.
  10. It is fun ultimately using a self customised open source school management software improve collaboration between users.

Cons- Why It Is Not So Good?

  1. Problem with support. You can’t expect developer community of the software to prioritize your needs.
  2. Require technical knowledge in customising and debbuging the software for optimum use.
  3. Need technical skill in hosting the software and optimizing for scale so that it can be used by hundreds of users at th same time.
  4. Since most of the open source software are designed keeping the developer in mind, therefor the user experience is not friendly for non-developers.
  5. Long term cost of open source software can go more than proprietory software if you don’t hire the right resources.
  6. You won’t be able to use an off the shell open source software as it may not fit well for specific requirement of your school.
  7. There is a higher probability of open source project to be orphaned by developers leading it.
  8. Training video or documentation  for end users may not be user friendly for school teachers.

The following infographic presents clearly the advantages and disadvantages of choosing opensource software in your school:

open source school management software

payment gateway for educational institute

How Payment Gateway is the key to success for your Educational Institution?

Digital payments are everywhere nowadays. From booking tickets at the movies to paying school fees. Schools were one of the last sectors to adopt payment gateways for fee payments. Now it has grown to a level where schools can’t imagine operating fee transactions without digital payments from parents. The global payment gateway market is expected to cross $50billion by 2025. By that time schools and education markets will be one of the major contributors to this valuation.

So what is a payment gateway? When you do any money transaction online, the transaction is coordinated by a payment gateway company. For example, when you pay for a taxi booking app, the payment doesn’t go directly to the bank of the taxi booking app. It will be processed by an intermediary company that accepts the payment from your card or bank and informs the taxi booking app that the payment is received successfully. The payment gateway company transfers the money to the company only after some hours. Because of the presence of payment gateway, you experience the transaction as instant.

So how can a payment gateway help in the success of your educational institution? Following is a list of benefits with brief descriptions:

  1. Create a Quick and Steady Cashflow

Using payment gateways for your institution, you can ensure the cashflow availability far better than how it was earlier using demand drafts and cheques. Payment gateways transfer the collections of a day usually in the next few days and there are some payment gateways who transfer within a day. You can check with your payment gateway partner to understand more. So with the steady flow of incoming cash to the institution’s bank account, other activities can be planned & executed better using the resources usually allocated for fee collection and daily accounting.

  1. Forget the Usual Troubles of the Traditionary Payment Process

When you are collecting fees as cash, cheques or demand drafts, there is a lot of human intervention and long queues required. This wastes the precious time of both administrators and parents. Also, the risks associated with cheques like non-clearance are nullified by moving to digital payment solutions.

  1. Collect any Payments from Students and Parents Online

The application of payment gateway in your institution is not only limited to school fees, but also to any kind of payment from students and parents. It can be the sale of brochure and application form or collection of the admission fees. Once a payment gateway is dedicated to your institution, you can use it in various ways creatively.

  1. Quick & Detailed Reports at Fingertips to Help with Decision Making

With the integration of digital payment gateway in your institution, all the reports regarding fee transactions will be available in a single dashboard. You can see the total fee collected today, last day, last week, etc. and can generate graphical reports also. You can also see any failed transactions or fee payments where the transaction is successful but fee receipts not generated. All these reports will be instantaneous and based on last-second transactions. The flexibility and richness of reports will vary from payment gateways to payment gateways.

  1. Accept Payments from anywhere all Across the Globe

With the implementation of an online payment gateway, there are no boundaries for locations where parents can make payments. They can pay from any locations across the globe where internet connection is available. They just need a card or bank account that is compatible with the payment gateway, which will be clearly mentioned on the payment page. This is not only helpful for international parents but also for everyone who doesn’t have to travel to the school location and stand in a queue to make payments.

  1. Your Payment Collections work 24/7 without any breaks

The traditional payment collections worked only during office hours. With the payment gateway, there is no limit on the working hours. Parents can pay early in the morning before leaving for their day jobs or late in the evening after returning from work.

  1. No limits to the Payment Modes

Accept the payments from parents through multiple modes like Credit cards, Debit cards, Netbanking, UPI, different types of online wallets, etc. 

  1. Instant Communication and updates to Parents

The fee receipts for online transactions are generated instantly and the communication sent to parents in the form of SMS, emails or mobile app alerts. This helps the parents to understand whether the transaction was successful or not. There is no need to contact school separately to collect the receipt. The ERP software integrated with the payment gateway will generate the receipts which can be downloaded and kept for further purposes.

Payment Gateway Integration features in Fedena

Fedena – The award-winning ERP software for educational institutions contains all the required payment gateway integration features for your needs. The payment gateway integration can be enabled for transactions in student fee collection, applicant registration fee collection, etc. The parents have the option to pay from their account even by using the mobile app.

Payment gateway integrations available with Fedena

Fedena presently comes up readily integrated with the following payment gateways:

Fedena also allows custom integration with most payment gateways of your choice without demanding major customization works. If you are looking for a school or college management software with a payment gateway of your choice, contact our experts today!

myths of school software

Mythbuster: Small Institutes Do Not Need School Software? Think Again!!

Some owners and faculty of small institutes believe that school management software to automate the operations of their institution is not required. This belief is due to the fact that the number of students in those institutions will less than a couple of hundred or sometimes even less than fifty. Most of these small institutes are new schools that were started recently or training institutes that teach specialized skills like martial arts, dance, arts, etc. Some of the religion-based schools also fall into this category. There are many schools in this category creatively and efficiently using our Fedena School Software. So let us see what are the myths that prevent other small institutes from improving their overall operations with the help of school software. 

Myth 1: Paper-based records are enough for small institutes

This is a common myth that record-keeping on the paper-based system will be enough to operate the small institutes. This may stand true for the first couple of years. As soon as the institute operates in full scale, you will start noticing that the faculty are spending more time on paper-based administration and record-keeping activities than actually teaching or coaching the students. Another advantage is that with the school software, all the data across multiple years will be available in digital format to access in the future. Other than saving time and physical space, this will also help in smart decision making by the institute owner. 

Myth 2: School software is costly

Not all high-quality school software is costly. There will be different layers of pricing to choose from the provider. Since the small institute does not require advanced features, you can start with starters pack which will contain fewer features for a reduced price. After using it for a while, you can upgrade to an advanced package once the software starts producing ROI. There are also free and opensource school software available which you can download and start using for free but will require a technical expert to install and set up the software for your institution.

Myth 3: Small institutes need only spreadsheet software to digitize the daily operations

This should be the most popular myth as we have seen it in many institutes across the globe. Nowadays everyone is trained in basic spreadsheet operations and this motivates the faculty and owner to try using spreadsheets software to digitize their operations. Popular spreadsheet software used in institutes are LibreOffice and Microsoft Excel. Some faculty go a step beyond and try simple database management software that comes bundled with the office software. Even though it will improve the technology skills of faculty, this experimentation wastes lot of precious time and distracts from the purpose of improving the operations of the institute. As an institute operates in complicated algorithms, using a spreadsheet software alone will not help. Just think about timetable management or fee collection management using spreadsheets alone.

Myth 4: Dedicated faculty required to manage school software

You can come under the false belief of the need to recruit a dedicated faculty to manage the school software after going through the hundreds of functionality in it. But a good school software will be designed with users in mind. If you are a small institute, your existing faculty can be trained to use the school software along with their other daily tasks. Maybe in the future when the institute grows, you can recruit a dedicated expert.

Myth 5: Require high-quality computers to run school software

Some institute owners believe that school software requires high-end machines to operate. The price of high-performance laptops and computers are relatively high to purchase within the budget of a small institute. This is a big myth and on the contrary, the opposite is true. It requires a high-end machine with good RAM to operate a spreadsheet software compared to the school software that runs in your browser. And school software like Fedena can also be operated even from a low priced Android phone. So you a school software has the potential to bring down your IT purchase budget by even buying and refurbishing used laptops and computers.

Myth 6: Will start using when the institute grows big

Sometimes even the owner or faculty of the small institute who understands the true benefits of school software delays the decision to purchase the software only when the institute grows big. This will not be helpful as by the time the institute grows big, there will be a lot of past data to be digitized and many systems and the process will pose resistance to accept digitization change. So it is always a good idea to buy the school software as soon as possible.

Myth 7: Indirect or hidden costs

Those who are new to digital tool purchase fear indirect or hidden costs associated with the school software. Sometimes this will be true. So always look for good school software with transparent pricing and check with the sales team of the software to understand all costs associated with the software purchase and usage for the next three years. Also understand how the price changes according to the different variables like the number of students, number of users, mobile app, extra features, etc. A good school software will not have any indirect or hidden costs other than the pricing clearly mentioned in their website and brochure.

If you are the owner or faculty in a small institute, we believe all your myths are now busted. If you still have further doubts contact our experts for a free consultancy to guide you further.

School ERP Polling Feature

7 ways to use School ERP Polling Feature in your Institute

Nowadays most of the school ERP contains a polling module that connects the students, teachers, and management by sharing their feedback through different types of polls. The polls may be descriptive, numeric or multiple-choice questions that can be shared for polling to a single classroom or multiple classrooms at the same time. You can also run polls specific a department or all the teachers. The user will log in to the school ERP from their laptop or mobile phone and can submit the answers to the pool from a user-friendly interface. The results of the poll can be hidden or shared with everyone who participated in the poll according to the privacy settings. The results are displayed graphically in the form of bar charts or any other graphical formats available within the school ERP module.

The following are some of the uses of the School ERP Polling Feature within a single classroom led by a class tutor:

1. Lesson Progress Review

Teachers can use the poll module to conduct a survey after each lesson or an important section in a lesson. This survey can be done creatively to understand whether the students followed and understood the concepts properly. Instead of asking direct questions, you can ask indirect questions that connect to the core concepts of the lessons just finished. Do not see this as an examination to measure the grade of students. Use it as a smart feedback tool to measure the impact of your teaching. The results of this type of poll conducted frequently can generate in-depth reports on the learning ability and speed of the students in your classroom which might surprise you. Also, some students will share their answers more objectively in the polls than if asked directly in a face to face conversation.

2. Feedback on Teaching Style

This is another good poll to share with your students. You can gather information on what kind of teaching style is the best fit for the majority of students in a particular classroom. Then you can adjust the teaching style to fit to the majority’s requirement and give special focus to outliers. Multiple concepts on teaching style can be gathered like teaching speed, voice level, teaching aids, homework, classroom break, etc.. Then make required changes that you find acceptable and run the survey after a month to see the new feedback. Also, keep a note on the changes in academic performance with the changes in teaching style.

3. Self-Assessment for Students

This is a technique that you can use to show your students their own self-assessment without making it obvious. Since most of the survey or poll requires you to choose an answer from multiple questions, the students who are choosing the survey answers have to read through the different options. More than the result of the survey, the attention given by the students during the survey can be used to communicate and teach. By giving multiple-choice questions instead of asking poll questions that require descriptive nature, the students become aware of what else is possible or available from their studies. This will help your classroom to be more engaging and close the huge gap between students in their academic performance.

These are only three of the use-cases from all the possible ways you can use the school ERP polling feature. You can come up with more creative ways to use the poll feature within the classroom.

Now, let us look at some of the use-cases of the school ERP Polling feature across the school without limiting the poll to a single classroom:

1. Choosing the Location and other details for the School Trip

This is one of the most commonly applied functionalities of the poll module. You can run a survey across the entire institution or the specific classes included in the trip. More than receiving the location suggestions and the preference of the majority of kids, you can build enthusiasm and energy within the institution by making all students participate in the decision making. You can also leave the option to add extra suggestions that are not available in the multiple-choice to gather ideas on locations that you may not have thought before. Some of the students might have traveled to very good locations with their parents and enjoyed the trip. Now it is an opportunity for their friends and school mates to enjoy the same location.

2. Feedback about the School Facilities

This gives you a wonderful opportunity to collect feedback on the various facilities provided by the school. You can ask questions about the quality of bus transportation, canteen, library, etc. Also about the infrastructure like the classrooms, playing ground, sports facilities, etc. The feedback can be checked regularly to gather important information for decision making. This level of detail about the functioning of different facilities will be impossible without the poll feature in your school ERP.

3. Choosing Books for the School Library

Your students will love this poll. Asking the students about the books they want to see in the school library will improve student engagement in your school. Also, it will be an inspiration to the students who haven’t picked up regular reading habits yet. You will also be surprised to see the suggestions and choices of the students as the reading trends change with each generation.

4. Feedback on Teacher Performance

This use-case should be applied carefully as the students will not be measure teacher performance properly. So if this survey is used, use it as only one of the many data available to measure teacher performance. Students can rate the teacher on various factors like understandability, likeability, etc. Even though this information will not give the right information for you if you are smart enough to notice patterns and trends you will get many insights to help your decision making.

The above seven uses are only our limited suggestions for your school. You and your teachers can come up with more creative use-cases for the poll feature in school ERP.

digital marketing tools

Top Digital Marketing Tools To Accelerate Your Institution Growth

For schools and educational institutes looking to accelerate their growth in 2020, one of the best tools available to them is digital marketing tools. Not only are digital marking tools effective but they also offer great benefits to smaller organization especially educational institutions who may be short on the manpower resources and with a limited marketing budget. 

The use of digital marketing tools helps institutions with the perfect set of digital tools that give with a competitive edge while ensuring a high ROI – irrespective of whether you are investing your finances or your time.

There are numerous digital marketing tools that are available to the new age marketer that will help them reach their growth goals with ease and minimum investment. 

  • Engaging And Relevant Content

Marketing gurus often say that “Content Is King” and this is especially true in the digital marketing realm. Today, it is essential for institutional marketers to realize that as compared to advertisements, people are more likely to put their trust in reputable content. This calls for creating engaging and informative content that is appreciated by your target audience. The use of blogs as a medium of creating and sharing content not only serves as a platform for knowledge sharing but it also helps create a leadership position for the institution.

  • The Use Of Keyword Search

Today, for all of us Google is the foremost source of information for any answer that we are looking for. Therefore, it is essential that an institution or school develop a robust Keyword Search Strategy or Search Engine Optimisation strategy to attract the right audiences. This essentially means understanding the keywords or phrases that an individual would put into the search bar when looking for information and then strategically integrating the same words and phrases into the website content and blogs.

  • Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free-to-use tool that websites can use to track and analyze data about their traffic. It allows the institution to understand the number of visitors visiting the site, the source of the visitors (referrals or organic search, etc.), the keywords used by these visitors and the time spent on the pages of your website.

This equips your digital marketing team with the right information to customize the website to attract more visitors and ensure that they spend a longer time on the site.

  • Integrating Chatbots 

Chatbots are best described as software applications that mimic written or spoken human speech for the purposes of simulating interaction with a real person. These chatbots are an effective digital marketing tool that ensures that customers get the right information that they are looking for at the earliest. According to forecasts by Gartner, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human by 2020.

  • AI-Powered Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the newest tools from the future that digital marketers are using to promote their institutions. Artificial Intelligence helps by analyzing the data and predicting the behaviors of the target audience. AI eliminates guesswork from the marketing efforts and uses algorithms to increase productivity, ROI and create a better experience for the audience. AI helps to create digital marketing strategies will help brands market your brand more effectively and stand out from the clutter of other brands.

  • Virtual Tours Of The Institution

Very often it is impossible for parents or students to visit the school or the educational institution for a school tour. For times like this schools and colleges can incorporate virtual tours into their website. This allows the parents and students an opportunity to view their schools from any geographical location and feel connected to the school and the faculty. Besides virtual tours, schools also have the option of incorporating 3D images of their classrooms on the website so that parents can familiarise themselves with the school facilities and amenities.

  • Establishing A Social Media Presence 

Social media plays an important tool in helps educational institutions reach out to their target audience. Social media sites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram can prove to be very advantageous in helping schools to reach to potential students and their parents with the right engaging content that is friendly and informative. These platforms are very photo and video-friendly over time and can easily be updated with minimum effort. 

  • Regular Social Media Monitoring

While it is easy to create and build a social media presence, it is also important for institutions to invest some time and effort in monitoring these platforms. Regular monitoring of social media sites ensures that schools can proactively address inquiries and well as grievances. While this can be done manually, larger institutions can invest in tools such as Hootsuite, SocialMention, and Tweetdeck that help the school look for ‘mentions’ across social media platforms.

  • Increasing Parental Engagement with the School

Parental engagement is critical for the growth of the educational institution. Today, parents want to be involved in the academic life of their children and it is imperative for schools to understand this and look for digital tools that can optimize this communication. School management systems that have a communication module integrated into the software make it easy for the teachers to keep parents updated about the progress of the students. It also allows parents to communicate with the teachers when concerns or any doubts arise. This transparency in engagement and communication helps augment the trust that parents have in the schools and accelerates growth over time.

The use of digital marketing tools provides numerous benefits to the institutions. They help build an online presence for the school, build brand awareness, enhance productivity and engage the audience. This is all done with an aim to accelerate growth for the organization and achieve success for the coming years ahead. 

Advantages of Student Database Management System

Top 10 Advantages of Student Database Management System

Managing an educational system requires careful planning and time management. Today, a school has evolved into a complex institution with multiple campuses, manifold departments, several sections and a very large number of students.

For schools moving from a traditional paper-based data management system to a digital, automated system is a critical need of the hour. A student database management system in its simplest form uses a digital tracking system to maintain a record of all the students. However, in practicality, the system has much more complex functions. It maintains a record of every student-related data ranging from fees and financial records, examination records, transport facilities being provided by the school and availed by the students along with the usage of libraries, laboratory, computer lab and other school facilities used regularly by the students.

A student database management system allows schools to save and access these records as needed by them, thus simplifying the work of the school administration team.

There are multiple advantages to schools using a student database management system but let’s have a look at some top benefits of student database management system:

  • Streamlined Activities

The student database management system allows for reminders to set up for the various events and activities that need to be performed by the school administration team. It gives a comprehensive look at all the data on a single screen and ensures that all essential data is highlighted. This results in better productivity and growth with minimum effort.

  • Better Communication

A student database management system allows for easier communication between students, parents-teachers, students-teachers and even allows for the school alumni to stay connected with each other.

Instead of only relying on the school diary, the teacher can send instant updates to the parents related to school events, attendance, and even disciplinary issues over email or SMS. Students can connect with each other and with their teachers over on the discussion boards to clear their doubts and collaborate over assignments. 

  • Easier Management Of Transport

It allows schools to stay updated in real-time on the number of students using the school transport system along with their address. This makes route planning a lot easier. The system also helps the school and parents to keep track of the bus along the route and sends the parents regular updates in case of breakdowns, route changes or any delays. 

  • Simplified Admission Process 

The admission season can be a chaotic time of the year for every school, but with the aid of the student database management system, the process gets simplified for everyone involved. From managing applicant database online to accepting registrations etc. the prospective students can use the cloud-based system to submit the forms, upload essential documents, apply for scholarships, etc. The online system also makes it easy for the school to send students updates on admission tests, interview dates, reminders as well as the final admission status. This makes the admission process faster, error-free and more secure.

  • Faster Attendance Management

The attendance management system uses a biometric system or an access card to maintain a quick and accurate record of the student and school staff attendance. The system saves class teachers tedious minutes every morning calling out the class attendance and provides with the administration team on timely summaries and records of regular latecomers, absentees etc. when needed.

The system also allows for attendance updates to be sent to parents. It enables schools to track the attendance of the teachers and the various staff and calculate leaves and working days with ease and accuracy.

  • Report Management

The report center in the school database management software combines data from all different school modules such as attendance reports, transport reports, student performance reports, the fee due to reports, etc. The software allows for these reports to be customized and presented in a manner that aids the decision-making process of the school administration and management team.

  • Automatic Timetable Generator 

At the start of every academic year, the timetable is usually created manually and can be a frustrating and highly time-consuming task for the teachers. The use of a student database software automatically creates an efficient and effective timetable for schools. This automatic timetable is error-free and ensures the optimum use of all resources and school infrastructure such as laboratory, computer labs, and library, etc.

  • School Event Calendar 

The school event calendar which can be viewed and updated by the school on the school student database software helps parents to stay updated about the various events and activities organized by the school. It also helps the parents prepare their students for the various events and competitions mentioned in the calendar. In the case of any changes in the event calendar, the software makes it easy to notify the parents via SMS or email.

  • Effortless Assignment Management 

The assignment management plugin in the student database management software is designed to help teachers distribute homework and assignments to students, collect completed work, review it and provide feedback to students. Instead of manually managing these tasks the online software also makes provisions for the due date to be allotted to each assignment which makes managing the assignment effortless and simpler.

  • Increased Data Security

One of the best features of using technology to manage the student database is that it is very secure and ensures that all the secure school data is kept safe. The system grants access to only those with prior authorization, thus ensuring that all the confidential student-related data is kept secure.

These are some of the best features of using a student database management system. Besides these other notable features that are appreciated by users include the system being user-friendly, creating a paperless environment, easy customization and many more.

phishing attacks in k12

How K12 can safeguard against Phishing Attacks?

With the widespread usage of technology in K12 schools, the threats are also on the rise. As with any innovation, technology is also a double-edged sword that is misused by malicious systems and people to gain unauthorized access and privileges. Most of these technology threats are spread through networks connected to the internet. There are more and more advanced types of threats being revealed each day and the CIOs are finding it very difficult to catch up to the momentum of the threats in different forms. 

The schools are more vulnerable to cyberattacks like phishing attacks because the faculties are not trained to handle cybersecurity process effectively. There have been 712 publicly disclosed cybersecurity-related incidents involving U.S. public schools since 2016. Recently The Ava School District in the USA is struck by a ransomware attack. The teachers noticed the printers in the district printing mysterious ransom notes demanding money to get the stolen information back. Similarly, California’s San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) has discovered that cybercriminals recently used ransomware to lock access to district files. These are not random or rare incidents. There will be more unreported and unrecognized phishing attacks in K12 schools all across the globe. Even though there are many cybersecurity threat types, we will focus on the most common and easily deployable threat of phishing.

What is Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a homophone of fishing. Even though both the words have different meanings even while sounding similar, phishing can be visualized as technological fishing where bait is used to lure the vulnerable targets in sharing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. The attacker uses emails or instant messaging services like WhatsApp, SMS, etc. to disguise oneself as a trustworthy entity. Then the user is directed towards a duplicate webpage that is similar in look and feel to the original webpage. Most of the novice targets won’t be able to recognize the duplicate from the original and will give away the sensitive information in the forms present on the website.

Common Types of Phishing Attacks

1. Bulk Phishing

Here the attacker sends malicious communication to a bulk of people globally or to a specific organization or to specific geography. This way the attacker ensures some people will fall for the attack as the attacker is sending it to thousands of people at the same time.

2. Spear Phishing

This phishing attack is aimed at specific individuals or a company. The attacker spends more time in researching about the target to present the bait in a credible way. This increases the probability of success of the phishing attack.

3. Whaling

Whaling is a spear-phishing attack but targeted only at the senior management of an organization like CEO, CFO or CIO. 

4. Clone Phishing

In this, a previously delivered credible email with its content is taken and converted to malicious form and resent as an update to the earlier communication. This is done by hacking either the sender or recipient of the email before sending the phishing mail.

There are many other forms of phishing attacks categorized according to the type of medium(email, voice, text), the volume of impact, etc.

How K12 Schools can protect from Phishing Attacks?

K12 schools are very vulnerable to phishing attacks as school’s manages a lot of sensitive data and all the faculty will not be computer savvy enough to detect and defect a phishing attack. We propose the following tips to be followed to improve the resistance to phishing attacks in schools.

Tips for Users (Faculty)

  1. Always check the URL(website address) even if you clicked the link from a trustable source or person. Do not get fooled by the design of the webpage. The attacker might have created a similar-looking page.
  2. When you receive an email and the content feels to be suspicious, always contact the sender if you know the sender. Verify the authenticity before clicking on links or downloading the documents.
  3. Do not share personal data on the web in social media sites. The attacker might collect the information from these places to present trustworthy content for an attack.
  4. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. In two factor authentication, you provide the OTP received through your phone number along with the usual username and password.

Tips for Admins (IT head)

  1. Promote usage of antivirus and other possible tools to detect phishing attacks. If budget is a problem, try free and opensource tools.
  2. Train the faculty through phishing simulations. Collect information on recent phishing attacks to K12 schools and simulate the scenario in front of the faculty audience.
  3. Frequently analyze incoming and outgoing web traffic to understand usual patterns and notice any strange patterns.
  4. Do a penetration testing to understand the weak spots and vulnerable users. Then correct the weak spots and educate the vulnerable users.
  5. Make it a practice to reward the users who successfully detect a phishing attack and then share the information with everyone.

Tips for School Owners

As a school owner, you have more responsibility in improving the cybersecurity of the school and training the faculty to navigate through unknown phishing attacks in the future.

  1. Hire an IT head for the school. If not a CIO, it is good to have a dedicated IT head for the school to take care of cybersecurity efforts.
  2. Educate the faculty, students, and parents on cybersecurity and how to detect phishing attacks. It is a good practice to conduct frequent seminars on the topic and invite experts in the industry. Most probably some of the parents of the school will be cybersecurity experts and will happily volunteer to train the faculty.
  3. Install only original and licenses operating systems and applications for usage of faculty. And always keep the OS, software and anti-virus applications up to date. If budget is a problem, choose opensource tools.
  4. It will be a good idea to have a defense strategy to handle future attacks. A defense strategy will contain what to do in case a phishing attack happens and sensitive information is leaked. If the faculty is trained on this, it will prevent the usual chaos after a phishing or ransomware attack.
  5. And finally, if you have many thousands of students and a lot of digitization effort happening in the school, go for a full-time cybersecurity expert like CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)

There are many other models of cybersecurity threats other than phishing. It is a good practice to read more about them and be prepared with a defense strategy in place.

tips for school management software

20 Best Tips For School Management Software

School Management Software is a program or application that helps schools manage their processes – like admissions, registration, class scheduling, financial management etc. – electronically. Think of every process-driven task in your school and it is likely that there is a school management system feature that will take over this task for you.

Largely, the school management software automates and digitizes multiple school processes in order to reduce the burden on the school while also increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Efficiency is increased because the school management software takes over multiple tasks that would other be performed by personnel, that are prone to human error and take time to complete these tasks that school managements finish much more efficiently and quickly. Cost-effective because they reduce the labor hours and man-hours for every school across the board. School management software is thus a necessary technology in this modern-day and age to ensure the efficient and effective running of a school.

Below we have highlighted some best tips which you can use while selecting school management software:

choose School Administrative Software

How to choose best School Administrative Software for your institute?

School Administrative Software is one of the most used software for schools and colleges. It reduces the workload of school administrators by helping them automate the usual tedious administrative processes like attendance register maintenance, report card generation, id card generation, transportation management, hostel management, etc..

In this blog post, we will explore in-depth the concept and benefits of school administrative software.

What is School Administrative Software? How is it different from the School Management System?

As the name indicates, the school administration software is used to manage all administrative activities of an educational institute. It can be a school, college or university. In institutes, there are different groups of employees. Most of them are teachers and a few are administrators. A school needs both academic and administrative active managed efficiently by experienced leaders. The first thing that comes to our mind while visualizing a school is the academics and learning process. But a good academic leader may not always be a good administrative leader. Understanding this difference, all the school helps the academic leader, usually principal with the support of an administrative leader. Some groups of institutions appoint a CEO who focuses on administrative and operational issues and the academic activities are led by principals in each institution.

The school administration software takes care of the unique needs of the school admins and usually will have a single or limited login access by the admins. Whereas the School Management System is a fully functional ERP that has got way more features than school administration software and allows login access for all students, parents, teachers, and admins at the same time. Fedena is a good example for a fully functional school management software with school administration software features embedded within it.

Features and Benefits of School Administrative Software

The major features available in school administration software are usually a simple student information database containing all basic details of the students in the school, certificate generator with different templates to choose from, grade book generator, id card generator, basic accounting for fee collection, basic human resource management features to handle teacher and staff data to generate and store payslips, attendance management to track attendance of students, timetable management etc. 

Let us look at some of these features in detail:

  • Basic Student Information Database

This feature will help the admin to store all student data across various academic years. The basic data of the student like parent guardian data, address, etc. will remain unchanged across academic years. The other data like report cards, teacher remarks, attendance, etc. will be updated whenever the data is available. For a small school, a single administrator can handle all these data in and out operations with the coordination from other teachers.

  • Certificate Generator

A school or institute require different kinds of certificates for their students. These certificates vary from simple bonafide certificate to attendance certificate. These certificates carry different styles in layout and colors. All these different certificates can be managed efficiently and taken printout whenever required using a certificate creator and generator tool.

  • Gradebook Generator

The gradebook generator helps in taking creating report cards of students based on their examination grades. These reports can also vary in size and format according to the examination format selected by the institution. The reports are generated in bulk and printout is also taken in bulk to distribute to students and parents.

  • ID card Generator

This tool helps the admins to generate identification cards for students and teachers which they will carry daily to the institute. The ID card is automatically generated from the data stored in the school administration software and a fresh photo of the student will be scanned each year to generate ID card for that year.

  • Basic Accounting

The basic accounting module helps the administrators to keep track of income and expenses. Income is majorly in the form of school fees. The school fees can be collected over the counter or through online and proper receipt will be generated with the help of software.

  • Payslip & Payroll

Generating the monthly payslip and managing the payroll of teachers and other staff is usually a time-consuming work for administrators. With the help of the payroll tool, these can be automated. Even the payroll breakup calculation can be automated and some tools contain tax-related calculations also. Once the payslip is generated monthly, it can be taken as a printout to distribute to teachers and other staff.

  • Attendance Record

The attendance record of each student is a very important feature of all school administration software. The attendance data is collected from each teacher from their attendance register and then is uploaded to the school administration software by the admin. This attendance data is then used to generate reports and sometimes to combine with grade book reports.

  • Timetable Management

Being one of the most cumbersome activities at the start of the academic year, and a lot of time of teachers and admins are spent on creating timetables, the timetable tool of school administration software helps in creating perfect timetables in the form of class-wise timetable, teacher-wise timetable, and institutional timetable.

  • SMS Communication

Short messaging services(SMS) is still one of the best communication medium to outreach to parents. The admins use the bulk sms or individual sms feature of school administration software to send alerts and notifications to parents. The bulk sms tool will provide an option to send SMS to individual student’s parents or all parents in a batch/class or to all parents of the school. This is very efficient as fast to communicate critical information to parents.

  • Report Generator

There will be a report center in school administration software that combines data from all different modules and shows them in various formats. These reports are very important for admins and management to take decisions. There will be features to create customized reports as admins require.

All these different functionalities help the admins and other users of the school administration software to derive major benefits in their day to day work connected with the school. The following are some of them.

Benefits for Admins

  • Fast access to all the data
  • Saves time
  • Automates repeated tasks which further helps in saving time

Benefits for Principal

  • Access to all reports and data
  • Decision making based on data

Benefits for Management

  • Access to all reports and data
  • Specific reports on school performance
  • Income(fee) and expense reports

Benefits for Students & Parents

  • No long queues to get reports or pay fees
  • Quick communication in the form of SMS

Factors to consider while buying School Administrative Software

1. Installation

The most important factor while choosing a school administration software is whether you want to install it on your school premises or use it online as a SAAS(Software as a service) model.

If the software is installed on school premises then, all the data is entered within the school campus and reports are also generated within the campus. The reports are taken printouts for the purpose of distributing to parents and staff. This gives total control on the data entered into the system but also makes any kind of software support difficult as the technician will have to visit the campus to help for maintenance and support.

If you choose to go for a SaaS product where all the functionality of the software will be available online 24/7 and the administrators and teachers can access it even from their homes or mobile phones, the pricing will depend on the total number of users accessing the software. Some vendors charge a fee based on the total number of users per month or per year. Some other vendors give pricing slabs. The slabs are separated based on the number of users. A few vendors like Fedena gives unlimited user access even while accessed online 24/7. Such software can give you peace of mind as the pricing will remain the same even when the number of users grows in the future.

2. Training & Support:

Other factors to consider are regarding the usage of the software after purchasing it. You must make sure that the vendor gives installation and training support. If the software is installed on the campus premises, the vendor will have to give training to an admin user on critical support. Most of the vendors provide detailed training or supply instruction manuals on the right usage of the software. As an institution owner, you can give the ownership of school administration software to one of the staff in your institute who has good IT skills. If your school is big having more than a thousand students, it will be a good approach to recruit dedicated admin staff to manage the school administration software.

If you are planning to buy a School Administration Software, get in touch with our experts today.

student's result management

How Does An Education ERP Help In Student’s Result Management?

One of the core functions of the education process conducted by school teaching faculty is to test the students on the knowledge that they have acquired over the course of the year. In most schools, student’s result management is a quarterly process with exams and assessments conducted at the end of every quarter to test the students on the learning and knowledge that they have assimilated. 

However, today many education experts believe that this result-based learning is detrimental to the entire learning process. They believe that this pressure of exams can lead to a negative learning attitude amongst the students. It can give rise to a culture of rote learning, cheating at exams, bribing examiners and the negative impact of this culture has even led to extreme pressure-induced steps by students including suicide.

Today, the need of the hour is for schools to revolutionize the student’s result management process into a system that offers feedback to the students and guides them towards improving their learning without the pressure of performance.

This is the reason that many schools across the world are moving towards an education ERP system that can help with the result management of students. 

A result management system ensures that the examination results are part of the process and not the end result. They do this by ensuring that students get regular feedback for all their classwork. This includes regular feedback for every class assessment, project, pop quiz, module test, semester examination. By creating a culture of continuous feedback students will be able to assess their progress throughout the academic year without any fear or trepidation. It will allow them to score better in future exams through real-time course correction. 

Benefit To Teachers:

The process of collating all the test results of the students and writing reports is always tedious and time-consuming work for the teachers. Many educators/teachers also dread this process considering the stress of the manual correction of papers, the necessary calculation of marks and then converting them according to the grading system used by the school. This often impacts the productivity of the teacher.

For teachers, the result management system in an education ERP ensures that all these manual tasks are taken care of by the online software, thus saving the teachers time and effort. Additionally, using an education system for the result management of students ensures that the process is error-free and done in the fastest possible time frame. 

Advantages of a Result Management System:

An education ERP offers a school or an educational institute the following advantages in student’s result management:

  • Computerized and Mechanized Result Management.

The education ERP mechanizes and automates the student’s result management. It allows the school to conduct the exams and tests online and calculate the scores online in a matter of moments. For exams that are conducted offline, all that the teachers need to do is input the actual marks and the system will generate the results and report cards automatically. 

  • Accelerated Result Arrangement Process

Since the education ERP manages the entire examination process online, it also ensures that the results are available to the students a lot faster than the traditional system. Instead of waiting for weeks or even months for their exam results, the students can receive the results a lot earlier, thus eliminating unnecessary anxiety and stress. 

  • Easy to Edit in Real-Time

In the event that there are any changes that need to be made in the results of the student, the online system allows for the same of the made in real-time. An education ERP makes the tedious process of erasing and altering a student’s results a lot faster and easier.

  • Makes Result Management an Error-Free Process

As it is with all online management systems, the digital calculation of a student’s grades allows for a process that is free of human errors and mistakes. 

  • Easy and Secure Management of Results Records

An education ERP makes it easy to record and store all the student related result data in the online cloud. Instead of spending money on paperwork related to printing, mailing and storing these result records, the online system ensures that the data is saved securely and can be accessed only by authorized personnel such as teachers or the principal of the school. The online system also allows schools to send the results to the parents through email or online messages.  

Using  Fedena school management system, schools can easily manage and create various kinds of examinations and keep the records on the consolidated platform. It allows parents and students to view the results as soon as they are published. 

With the help of Fedena, schools can streamline their result management and reap the benefits the system has to offer.

school administration software

Top 18 School Administration Software

Some years ago, Marc Andreessen wrote his famous essay “Why Software Is Eating the World” and today you can see that almost all organizations of any size use some software. 

In the past several years, just like other industries, the ed-tech industry has evolved considerably. So, if you are the owner of a school or working in a leadership role in any kind of educational organization, you can use multiple software to improve the efficiency of the organization and reach your vision and goals quickly. To do that there are various specialized software avail in the market that can handle one of the functionality very well. Also, there are sophisticated school administration software that combines the functionality of all these software under the same login, and help users in achieving their every targets hassle-free.

Here are Top School Administration Software which simplifies the daily task of institutions:

1. Student Information System

A student information system as the name indicates contain all the information of a student stored in a single database. Earlier days of digitization spreadsheet software was used to store student data. Extensive uses of the spreadsheet as a student information system are limited as a single change will require updating in multiple sheets or the user has to be a power user with intermediate to advanced skills in the spreadsheet. This led to the rise of specialized student information system software also known as SIS.

A student information system will have login access to all the teachers and admins of a school with good privilege management options. Common data stored in SIS will be personal data, attendance data, academic data including exam results, fee details, disciplinary data, teachers’ remarks, etc. The SIS can also generate helpful reports based on these data.

2. Gradebook Creator

Most of the times a student information system will not be enough to generate the grade book reports in a format that is unique to the school. For this purpose, there are software to generate grade-books in the design and layout preferred by the school. These grade books can then be printed out to be distributed to parents or can be shared as PDF through parent-teacher communication platforms. A combination of grade book creators with SIS can be used to track grade book data, student performance, student attendance, teacher performance, and various demographic data to help in the decision making and creating future lesson plans.

3. Library Management Software

A good library is an integral part of any school. In the old days, the library was managed manually with the help of library ledgers. With the advent of digitization software, the library was one of the first functions to use software for daily operations and tracking. A good library management software takes care of cataloging the books, acquisition of new books as per the suggestions and instructions, circulation management of lent books and serial management of magazines and other periodicals. Most of the library management systems also provide barcode generation and management functionality. And it will take care of generating identity cards for library usage(library cards) by the students and faculty of a school.

4. Parent-Teacher Communication Apps

With the widespread usage of smartphones, it is very important to have a mobile app for parent-teacher communication. This was used mainly for sharing important alerts and notifications to parents and the functionality of an SMS is limited as it can’t share photos and other types of files. Through a parent-teacher communication mobile app, the school can share different types of files like grade books, assignments & photos with parents. There will be a two-way communication platform for parents and teachers to talk to each other.

5. Human Resource Management Software

A school needs human resource management software to automate the data management & operations of teachers and non-teaching staff. It is used to store various data like employee information, employee certificates, employee performance, employee appraisal, employee salary, etc. There will be login access to each employee to view their salary slips and appraisal data. Some HRMS also provide communication tools for employees to message each other. An HRMS can save a lot of time on school administration by automating tedious jobs like salary slip creation, tax calculation, etc.

6. Accounting & Finance Software

This is one of the most important software used by all schools, especially in private schools. In private schools, the operations are conducted similar to a business as the primary source of income is from student fees. Accounting is a specialized job requiring a well-trained resource to do the daily accounting of the school. With the help of good accounting software, all the income and expense related documentation can be automated smoothly. It accounts for various incomes like school fees, donations, inventory sales and various expenses like employee salary, stationery, etc. and generates useful reports for the daily overview. At the end of the financial year, the software can generate balance sheet statements required for regulatory purposes.

7. Alumni Management App

Good engagement of alumni(previous students) is an important factor in school and college excellence. There are alumni management apps available to help create the database and communication with alumni. The app will have the functionality to schedule and coordinate reunion meetings and alumni networks in different locations across the globe. Some schools use the app to raise funds from alumni and also to help the students through counseling and job placement.

8. RFID/Biometric Software

School campuses are secured through RFID and Biometric hardware access. But more than the access control, the software associated with RFID & Biometric can help the school to function better by providing attendance data of students and teachers. The attendance details collected by the hardware can be integrated with the student information software with the help of the software installed to manage the hardware. This data can be then communicated in real-time to parents and also to generate different reports for decision making.

9. Data Visualization Software

With a lot of data being collected through different school administrative software, it is more important than ever to generate rich reports and data visualization to help with decision making. The data visualization software connects all incoming data streams and provided rich dashboards for the authorities to understand the data intuitively in a single glance. The smart dashboards generated from the software can be shared within the team or even with parents to improve impact.

10. CRM for Marketing & Admission 

A CRM tool is used by businesses with a dedicated sales team focusing on acquiring more customers. With the increasing competition between private schools, a good CRM can do miracles in admission numbers by attracting more parents and students to join the school. This starts with multiple marketing campaigns planned with the help of CRM. Then all advertisements and promotions are tracked and all inquiries are stored in a database. The admission office uses the software to better track the inquiries and improves the admission numbers. The software allows mass emailing to the enquired parents to keep them updated about the activities regarding the admission process.

11. Project & Task Management Software

The productivity of teaching and non-teaching staff is an important focus for school management. There are simple todo list software as well as sophisticated project management software available to improve the productivity in school operations. The vision of the school can be broken down into academic year goals and then mapped to projects. A project will be further broken down into tasks with date and staff in charge of the task. Notifications and reminder alerts regarding the task will be circulated to the users of the software to keep track of their productivity. 

12. Visitor Management Software

In a big school campus, visitor management is often a difficult task. There will be multiple gates with securities and front desk to handle visitors. A good visitor management software helps to coordinate the visitors while taking care of the security and safety of the school campus. Other than a simple in and out register of visitor data, this software takes photographs and provides temporary ID cards for visitors. And a second-time visitor is recognized easily from their phone number. Different reports can be generated from this software to analyze visitor behavior and trends.

13. Helpdesk Software

Helpdesk software is a must for all schools with thousands of students and parents interacting with the staff during peak seasons like admission, fee payments, exam results, etc.. The helpdesk software helps to manage queries from customers(parents) in a single place and all conversations are managed coherently. This software can be used by front-desk and admin staff and management can set SLA(Service Level Agreement) measurements to analyze the performance of the staff. By using helpdesk software instead of simple email or phone calls, all incoming queries can be ticketed and stored in a single place to analyze for future decision making.

14. Office Suite Software

No school can function without a spreadsheet and word editor software. There are many free as well as premium software available in the form of office suites. LibreOffice and MS Office are two popular office suites used by schools. Teachers use the office suite to prepare notes, lesson plans, activity sheets, etc. The spreadsheet and simple database apps available in the office suite can be used as a simple student information system for individual classrooms.

15. Timetable Software

Timetable software is used to organize all the academic operations of a school and provide predictable routines for students and teachers. A timetable software generates timetable connecting the four elements of students, teachers, classrooms, and time slots.

Three types of timetables are mainly generated by software named 

(a)Master timetable, 

(b)Class-wise timetable and 

(c)Teacher’s timetable. 

16. Payment Gateway Software

As all of us prefer online payments instead of traveling and waiting in long queues to pay fees, school fees are collected better through a payment gateway integrated with the school portal. The parent can choose to make the payment from his/her bank account or debit/credit cards. To provide this feature, schools use a payment gateway software provided by the bank of the school or a payment gateway solution provider. This can be integrated with the student information system to transfer student data seamlessly between both tools.

17. Learning Management Software

Learning management software(LMS) helps schools and universities to retain learning outside the classrooms. LMS are a critical component in the school and university operations. With the help of LMS students can learn from anywhere anytime. They can view the syllabus and lesson plans to prepare for the upcoming class. The LMS also provides assignments and assessments to practice for the examinations. Some LMS provide online examination features for entire students to participate in examinations from their laptop and the grades can be generated instantly after the examination.

18. Transportation Management with live School bus tracking

There are good software available to help with the transportation management of schools. A big school will have hundreds of buses and the coordination of all these buses and the drivers is a tiring and demanding task. With the help of transportation management software, the bus and the bus routes can be managed efficiently. The bus drivers will get intimation about the time and route for the bus. Nowadays GPS is connected in all the school buses to improve the safety of children. The GPS data from a bus can be delivered to parents via mobile app. This will show the live location of the bus so that parents can save time by planning the perfect time to pick up and drop off children.

If you are looking for free guidance on choosing any kind of software for your school administration, get in touch with our experts now.