school erp system

Payroll management using school ERP system

When you have a good ERP (enterprise resource planning) system it can help you to manage your payroll work a lot better than what would have happened otherwise. With the help of such software, you would be able to manage the salaries being paid to your employee a lot easier. On an average, there are around 20 students for each teacher in every school out there. On an average, each school enrols around 1000 to 1500 students each year. This means that on an average each school has around 75 teachers. Along with that, there are other employees such as people working in the administrative department, peons, clerks, people working in the maintenance department, and receptionists to name a few.

Things that a school needs to take care of

As far as payroll is concerned there is a lot of work that a school has to take care of. This includes managing the following:

  • attendance of employees
  • data related to employees         
  • deductions
  • leaves
  • different bills
  • bank statements

The hard part of this is that this huge amount of data has to be maintained each month. Normally, schools try and maintain such data on Excel sheets. Little do they realize that it is next to impossible to do such work on Excel without making any major mistake!

It also needs to be said in this context that such work does take up a whole lot of time and resources as well. However, with a good school ERP system such as Fedena they can do this work in a smooth manner and in very little time as well. Thus they can save a whole lot of time and resources that they can devote to other important work. With a proper school leave and payroll management system you can make sure that you are a lot more organized than what you were before.

You can retrieve your data quite easily. Since these systems utilize the latest technology such as Cloud to store such data there is no question of the information getting lost. These systems also provide easy access to all the stored data, which means that you can get back the data as and when you want to.

Recap: Benefits of online school over the traditional school

Categorization of information

These systems let you categorize information in different ways. Apart from the kind of data that has been mentioned already these systems can also help you include information in your payroll systems like benefits provided to employees and mode of payment. By using these systems you can perform various important activities like defining the departments of your employees along with their designations, frame the structures for salaries and leaves to name a few. You can also create specific categories for deduction as such.  

It could be that there are some employees that you pay through check and some whom you pay through cash. The biggest benefit of these systems is that they can be fully integrated into the kind of system that you are working. You can do it in a very simple way without any problem whatsoever.      

online school over a traditional school

Benefits Of Online School Over A Traditional School

One of the biggest changes in the realm of education has been the transformation of the term school – from a noun to a verb. A decade ago a school could be defined as a geographical location where students went every single day. Today, with the advent of technology and digital learning tools, a school is a learning process – irrespective of the location and the time.

However, besides the flexibility of location and time, there are several benefits to an online school as compared to a traditional learning centre:

1. Larger Variety of Courses

Since an online school is not bound by space or time constraints, they are able to provide an unlimited number of courses for the students. Thus, an online school student has access to a larger number of courses that they can take at any time and place of their convenience.

2. Lower Costs

In a traditional school, there are a few mandatory costs associated with using classroom space and equipment. However, these do not apply to an online course and with the right tools and software, students can enjoy large savings on the fees.

3. Customised Learning Environment

Instead of sitting in a classroom with multiple distractions or a crowded library, an online student has the flexibility to create his own environment that is best conducive to their learning, this can include soft music, choice lighting and even stocking up of tea and coffee to create the most suitable learning environment.

4. Open Channels of Communications with Teachers

One of the biggest benefits of taking an online course is that it offers students multiple channels of communication with the teachers. Instead of waiting to speak with the teacher after class, an online student can clear his doubts by mailing the teacher, chatting with him on the messaging boards, or simply calling up for a curriculum related chat. This consistent communication with the teaching authorities not only makes the topic more relatable to the students, but it also increases their confidence in the subject.

Read More: Benefits of reading books outside the syllabus

5. Collaboration and Virtual Study Groups

Students of an online course can also join virtual study groups and collaborate with their peers from across the world. This not only broadens their learning but opens their mind to new thoughts and ideas related to their subject. Online learners thus get an understanding of new trends in the subjects of their interests and stay updated at all times.

6. Learning At One’s Own Pace

In a traditional classroom, students have a constant pressure to keep up with other students and perform at a speed that they may not be comfortable in. However, in an online course, students can learn at their own pace, stopping to review the topics repeatedly, or clearing the doubts with the teachers. Even for students who are completing the course at a record pace, they do not have to wait for other students to catch up with them and can move ahead on their own in need be.

These are some of the benefits of an online course over a traditional course. Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

benefits of reading books

Top benefits of reading books outside the syllabus for students

The process of reading books outside one’s scheduled area of expertise or work is also referred to as extensive reading. More than anyone else, this process has some immense benefits for students. For starters, such reading helps them develop a sense of autonomy. In fact, it is said to be the best and also the cheapest way for a student to develop such qualities. By its very nature reading happens to be a rather individual and private activity. It is one thing that you can do at any time of the day and at any place of your choice. You can start reading when you want to and stop as and when it pleases you.

Here readers have the freedom to interpret and visualize the text that they are reading just the way they wish to. They can also ask themselves any question that they wish to – it can be an implicit one or an explicit one.  

Apart from this, they can also take notes about the language or just let the story take them along the flow.

Let’s check out the top 6 benefits of reading books for students:

1. It offers inputs that the students can comprehend

As far as various sources of comprehensible inputs are concerned reading happens to be the one form that is the most easily available. This is especially true for places where the students do not have much access to a language that they are looking to learn.

If these texts can be chosen carefully, keeping in mind their comfort and capability levels, it can help students reacquaint themselves time and again with language items that they are already familiar with. This way they are able to strengthen their existing knowledge and increase it further. There is hardly any other way in which a student will get to learn new languages and that too within the limited scope that a class offers.

A great way to learn any language is through immense exposure to it on a repeated basis, and that too in a definite context. The best way to do so is through extended reading.

2. It improves their general language skills and capabilities

We might not know or understand this but the benefits of extended reading go far beyond mere reading.

Students become competent in a wide range of areas such as reading as well as other skills related to languages such as writing, control over syntax, and speaking to name a few. There is, in fact, plenty of evidence in the academic circles to suggest that there is a significant improvement in speaking skills that comes as a direct result of extended reading. So, when a student is reading in an extensive manner all her or his language skills are being honed and not merely reading.

3. It helps develop general and global knowledge

As far as most of the students these days are concerned there is rather limited knowledge of the world that they are living in. This is applicable from an effective point of view as well as a cognitive one. Their experience of the world is likewise as well – limited at best. This is where extended reading can come in and make such a difference.

It can throw open the windows of this world to them and they can see it through many different kinds of eyes at the same time. This is one education function that extended reading plays and one that cannot be stressed enough to reveal how important it is.  

4. It helps with the growth of vocabulary

When a student is in the habit of reading books outside her or his curriculum it helps her or him improve her or his vocabulary. Not only that; with extended reading students are able to improve this rate of growth and sustain it as well.

It is not possible for you to extend your vocabulary with just a single session of reading. You need to be doing it time and again in order for the growth to happen. With extended reading you are exposed to phrases and words of a language in a context time and again. This also means that you become progressively acquainted with them. Since you are learning a new language in a proper context you are also able to deduce things a lot faster in this language.

There have also been plenty of studies in the academic circles that support the theory that extended reading helps students improve their vocabulary and sustain it through continued exposure to language in various contexts.

Recap: Top habits of highly effective schools

5. It helps improve writing

Extended reading can also help the students improve their writing. In fact, the connection between reading and writing happens to be a well established one. The more you read, the better you become at writing. As far as academicians are concerned there is no clear logic to suggest why this would happen but it happens nonetheless. Common sense suggests that when you read you meet a language more often, per se. Your mechanism for acquiring language works in such a way that it is able to reproduce this knowledge in the form of speaking and writing as and when it is needed.   

6. It creates a motivation to read more and sustains it

There is a circle of virtue – success begets more success. It makes sure that when you are able to read a new language and master it with a modicum of success you are motivated to repeat this trend even more. It helps your self-esteem and that too in a positive way.

You feel encouraged and this causes you to read more. In fact, when you are able to read your first book in a new language and learn it the positive effects of it are undeniable. Academics say that it is a lot similar to hitting a home run. However, they also suggest that the first reading material should be a compelling one.  Merely an interesting one would not serve the purpose over here. It is the success that a student achieves with her or his first instance of extended reading that prompts her or him to keep doing it time and again.

habits of highly effective schools

Top 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Schools

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the biggest and best-selling books in the world. Written by author Stephen Covey, this book is a must-read for effective transformation that sets readers on the path to leadership and development. What sets apart the 7 Habits from other leadership is its inside-out approach to leadership development that is universal, timeless and can be applied in the work life, home life as well as for the development of schools and other educational institutes.

The book reveals seven habits of the highly effective people around us, and how we too can be effective if we incorporate some of these habits. While these characteristics have influenced thousands of corporate and personal success stories, how would these seven habits relate to a school?

Characteristic One- A Proactive School

The first habit mentioned in the book is to be proactive. It encourages readers to take responsibility for their learning and choices through making proactive decisions.  This is essential for a school looking to establish them as an effective learning centre.

Being proactive essentially means understanding the global trending in education- especially the application of technology in schools and embodying the same into your centre. It also translates into ensuring that your teachers receive the latest training on new programs, teaching software and technological tools that will help them to teach better and be more relevant to the teacher.

By proactively choosing to incorporate technology into various aspects of your school from attendance management to time-table scheduling, you can be assured that your school will function in a more efficient and effective manner.

Characteristic Two – Begin With An End In Mind

The second characteristic mentioned in the book related to the beginning with an end in mind. This essentially means developing a long-term vision for the school and charting out an action-oriented path in that direction.

Very often, schools never focus on aligning their vision with their actions and can often seem confused or vague to parents. For instance, schools can be sports-driven, academic oriented, technologically superior. By clearly identifying their vision for themselves and working towards the same is a great way for schools to build a reputation for themselves that is in line with their goals and objectives.

Characteristic 3 – Put First Things First

This third habit is an extension on Habit 2. While habit 2 is all about building a vision, habit three focuses on working on actions that will help you reach the vision. This habit emphasizes the need to ensure that you prioritize your actions to help you reach your goal.

For a school, this essentially translates into prioritizing the school budget, the school funds and allocated first towards meeting the vision of the school and later towards other items.

Characteristic 4 – Think Winning Thoughts

A win-win attitude focuses on cooperation rather than competition. It is based on the principles of mutual benefit in all aspects of work and life.

This fourth habit encourages schools to think of positive thoughts when faced with challenges. For instance, when dealing with the chaos of admission season, schools must cultivate a positive attitude and look at solutions that can help them cope. Using school management software and other school technology tools will help the school function in a more positive and winning way.

Characteristic 5 – Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood

Communication is one of the most important skills in life and this fourth habit focuses on developing communication skills

For a school one of the best ways to build communication skills to use a school management system that will efficiently manage the parent and teacher communication. Using technology, parents can stay updated on the students’ school performance, attendance, homework assignments and other relevant days to day information. By communicating with the parents at all times, there is will a better parent-teacher relationship which will go a long way in creating an environment of meaningful conversations, productive school-parent collaborations, creative problem solving, most importantly will create an environment of trust and support for the students in the school.

Recap: Why professional development is necessary for teachers?

Characteristic 6 – Synergize

The age-old adage says, “two heads are better than one” and the sixth habit encourages people to bring their expertise, experience and work together, proving the 6th habit to be right.

One of the best ways for schools to practices this is by encouraging collaboration in the classroom. This can best be done with group assignments and group tasks, where students need to give their best and collaborate together to create a winning online assignment.

An effective school uses various eLearning platforms to encourage students to work together in the classroom through group assignments and group tasks. Collaboration is one of the key features of eLearning platforms and it teaches students key twenty-first-century skill of synergy that can prepare them for the future of the workforce.

Characteristic 7 – Sharpen The Saw

Sharpen the Saw is the last habit and probably one of the most effective habits mentioned in the book. This characteristic of success deals with discusses self-renewal, self-care, self-respect and self-improvement

An effective school knows that for its students to excel in the workforce they need to be equipped with classroom skills, but they also need to learn other skills such as listening, sharing, focussing, team spirit.

However, to teach all these within the confines of the classroom can be a challenge to the school. However, one of the best ways to teach these multiple skills is to bring various aspects of school management software into the classroom to make learning relevant and fun.

Today, one of the most effective ways for schools to succeed and make a mark for themselves, is introducing technology and school management tools that will help them achieve all the above habits for success

professional development necessary for teachers

Why is professional development necessary for teachers?

It has normally been seen that when teachers develop themselves professionally, students stand to gain the most from it because there is a marked improvement in their teaching outcomes. All over the world, education is changing in terms of the technology being employed, the guidelines being followed, and standards of curriculum to name a few. The effort is to make sure that one can keep pace with all the best practices as well as the latest trends in the field. When teachers take part in professional development sessions they become better educators in every sense of the term. They are able to create course instructions that are tailored to suit the needs of their students and thus relevant for them.

Let’s check out why is professional development necessary for teachers:

1. Learning better ways to teach

Professional development helps teachers discover new ways in which they can teach their students. As a result of that, they can go back to their classrooms and make the necessary changes to the way they present their lectures. They can also bring about changes in the curricula as well. In a nutshell, they can do things just as is necessary for their students. However, since these changes happen in a gradual manner – over time – it is really difficult to quantitatively evaluate how well they are working.

2. Developing better planning and organization skills

Thanks to these professional development programs, teachers are able to learn and develop new skills of the organization as well as planning. Teachers spend a lot of time in the classrooms presenting lessons. Apart from that a lot of their time also gets taken up in other necessary work such as evaluating the students, developing the curriculum, and other important paperwork. By taking part in these programs teachers can learn how they can plan to make better use of such time and how they can remain organized. This only serves to make them even more efficient.

Recap: New features in school management software: Fedena 3.6.3

3. Gaining industry insight and knowledge

Students would normally expect their teachers to be experts in the subject that they are teaching. This means that no matter what kind of question a student throws at a teacher she or he should be able to answer them without any problem whatsoever. With the help of the various professional development programs, these days’ teachers can expand their knowledge even further thus truly becoming the experts that their students wish they are. The amount of industry insight and knowledge that a teacher gains through these programs are directly proportional to their participation in the same.

4. Wanting to continue the process of being educated

Teachers can quite easily get burdened by the strain of doing their work on a regular basis. It can be quite a grind, as such. However, with professional development programs teachers get a marvellous chance to take a break from their regular routine. For a change they do not have to essay the role of a teacher, they get to be the students instead. This keeps the teachers hooked on to their work because they know they are getting the professional assistance that they need in order to get better.  

Fedena 3.6.3

New features in your school management software: Fedena 3.6.3

We know that you have been waiting for the next release from so long but finally the wait over.  Again we are here with our new & super exciting release. The latest version Fedena 3.6.3 is now live and this time we have named our release Rhea, after the second largest moon of the Saturn. In this release, you can easily import the marks and planner in a bulk for exams, along with this, the consolidated place where you can explore the various types of reports. In addition to all these, manage the discounts and fines in pay all fees page.

This time we are dedicating this release to Maria Montessori. She was born on the 31st August 1870 in the town of Chiaravalle, Italy. Her father, Alessandro, was an accountant in the civil service, and her mother, Renilde Stoppani, was well educated and had a passion for reading.

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that is known as the Montessori Method of education. This method is a child-centred educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. The Montessori method views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.

She opened the first Montessori school—the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907. Subsequently, she travelled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education, attracting many devotees. There are now more than 22,000 Montessori schools in at least 110 countries worldwide. Her educational method is in use today in many public and private schools throughout the world.

Fedena 3.6.3 comes with many new features and enhancements to existing features. Here is a quick primer on the changes:

New Features

Import Marks and Planner

Upload marks in bulk for an exam using this new feature in Gradebook. To upload marks for an exam, go to  Manage Exams > Import Marks in the Actions menu. Click on Download Mark Sheet to get the CSV file format with the student names and subjects. Enter the marks against each subject or activity and upload the file. The Import log shows the list of imports and their status.

Import planner allows to easily set up the planner for a new academic year. Go to Gradebook > Exam Planners > Import Planner to select the planners and details to import. Click on Import Exam Planner to finish the import.

Reports Centre

The all new reports centre provide all grade-book reports at one place.

  1. Student Reports: Report of each student for a particular exam, term or planner.
  2.  Subject Reports: Subject-wise report an exam  for students in a batch
  3. Consolidated Reports: Exam-wise report of all subjects in a batch with details like Average marks, highest marks and student rank.

Leave Balance Report

Generate the leave balance report for a selected duration. It will have the opening leave balance, leaves added, leaves taken and remaining leave count.

Custom Words

This feature allows institutions to enable variations of commonly used words in Fedena with their own variations.

Enhancements to Existing Features

Gradebook enter marks

Subject teachers and batch tutors have the privilege to enter marks for their subjects or batch in Gradebook.

Pay all fees

The pay all fees page in Fedena now has options to add discount and fine of collections.

Custom Import

Changes are done in Custom Import to improve the bulk upload of data:

  1. Increase in maximum number of rows that can be uploaded at once from 200 to 1000
  2. Instruction page with examples added to imports, mandatory fields marked by * in CSV file
  3. Student import now also includes Guardian details.

Leave management

  1. Leave reset by Leave Group and Type
  2. Employee leave balance can be edited during admission
  3. Leave group show applicable leaves in profile

Student Records

CSV export of student records added

Library

Library fine receipt feature added

Fee Receipts

PDF export of fee receipts added

Read more in the Release Notes. Liked our features? What would you like us to improve next? Gives us your feedback, we love to hear them.

parent teacher communication effective

Strategies to make parent teacher communication effective

Building a productive parent-teacher relationship begins here

The old adage tells us that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It is definitely one for the books when it comes to dealing with adults, but any parent with school going children will tell you it doesn’t apply to their ward’s schooling. Every parent wants their child to succeed in school, purely because it is the easiest way to ensure a safe future professionally and personally. The story is no different for teachers for whom, one could argue, the job mandate is to very much make their pupils satiate their thirst for knowledge.

Suffice to say that, apart from the student themselves, parents and teachers are the biggest factors in helping them achieve their academic goals. It takes a village to raise a child – and educate one! But not without a game plan. It is important to ensure that teachers and parents align on goals, strategies, and key responsibilities to ensure their ward experiences a certain level of consistency in their schooling experience. Academic success begins with their
coordinated efforts. A key factor in ensuring that teachers and parents work in tandem is creating clear and effective channels of communication.

This is easy to accomplish when a natural rapport is established with parents in question or when a teacher has the time and bandwidth to slowly build it. However, the yearly churn created by the natural progress of students from one year to the next means that it can often have to be created faster than it would naturally. So what are teachers and parents to do?

Here are some ways to ensure effective communication on an ongoing basis with each other:

1. Establish a communication protocol

Straight off the bat, it is helpful to set the tone between both parties in terms of communication. It is helpful if the teacher reaches out to the parents in their class with a set of simple rules for communication that function as rules for engagements for both parties to follow to ensure effective communication. These can include office hours, most reliable mode of communication (email, your school management system’s communication portal, or the phone), the protocol to be followed for various instances ranging from homework inquiries to emergency situations, etc. Establishing these guidelines early ensures that everyone starts off on the right footing.

2. Be proactive and professional

Playing the waiting game might be cool in the latest romantic comedy, but is hardly a blueprint for effective communication in real life. Waiting for the other party to make the first move is immature and ineffective, resulting in only delays and misunderstandings. It is better to err on the side of seeming overeager rather than uncaring – this is about a student’s scholarly progress and professional future after all. Reach out to the other party in a timely fashion, if not early to give them a heads up of anticipated events or roadblocks – it helps all parties to remain aware and prepared for whatever is about to come.

Recap: Pros and cons of letter grading system in K-12

3. Use technology to enable communication

The time for notes in the school diary is well past and must be relegated to the archives. In this day and age of WhatsApp groups, emails, and personal messenger a parent can be looped in on every school communication without having to handwritten notes to be shared by a forgetful student or circulars that are just one more dead tree to recycle. Use your school management system’s communication portal to alert parents to anything from mundane daily updates to important alerts about student progress.

letter grading system in K-12

Pros and cons of letter grading system in K-12

A deeper look at this complex scoring system

Why do schools need a grading system?

While grading systems are not a reflection of the worth of a student, they do reflect their progression through the learning material they are being taught at school. Debates about the efficacy of the examination system abound. However, the need for a grading system is obvious – there needs to be a system by which we can track the progress of a student. A grading system helps educators, parents, and students assess themselves vis a vis their peers. Goal setting helps push forward the momentum of learning, while also ensuring this learning does not take place in a silo. It is a measurable reflection of learning or academic growth.

There are multiple types of examination and grading systems – from a single pass/fail exam at the end of the year, to grade point average that assigns a number on a scale that is an average of the points earned through the year, to the letter grading system that slots you into a category based on your overall average score.

What is the letter grading?

A letter grading system is one that uses a letter scale, instead of numbers to categorize students into a certain band (denoted by the letter grade) according to their score. A sample letter grading system could look like below, where letter grade and explanation follow:

A = 91 points and above
B = 81 to 90 points
C =71 to 80 points
D = 61 to 70 points
E = 51 to 60 points
F = 50 and below

These letter grades are also often ascribed a qualitative description – for instance, letter grade E and above are passed, letter grade F fail, letter grades C and D are average, letter grade B is above average, and letter grade A is outstanding.

What are the pros of letter grading system in K-12?

1. Takes the pressure off students

The most obvious effect of a letter grading system is that it takes the pressure of microscopic score comparisons between students. Since letter grading tends to group students into bands, the difference between a 90 and 92 is not fussed over.

2. More easily achievable

Since the letter grading system consists of bands, the push a student might have to make to move from a high B to a low A is more easily surmountable. It is a matter of achieving a few marks to change your letter grade, in these cases – psychologically this makes it look like higher letter grades are more achievable, since the goal becomes attaining a maximum of 9 marks and have the same letter grade as the class topper, than, say, 20 to achieve the same result.

3. Better than a pass/fail system

A pass/fail system that relies on one exam places too much pressure on the student and, arguably, is not an accurate reflection of the student’s abilities. Letter grades look at cumulative scoring, instead of pressurising a student to deliver a stellar performance during one exam. It also reflects their abilities more holistically and encourages even those with lower scores to progress, instead of consigning an entire group of students to failure.

4. Better reflects student’s overall ability

Since letter grades are assigned based on the cumulative score of a student over a semester or academic year, it reflects the sum of their performance, rather than one instance of it. In this sense, it paints a more accurate picture of their abilities over a matter of time. One bad day will not mean an entire wasted semester or year.

5. Understandable at a glance

Letter grade systems that also come with qualitative descriptions, help parents and educators get a more layered idea of the student’s abilities at a glance. A brief review of a report card with letter grades is easily understood by both highly academic and non-academic stakeholders.

Recap: Advantages of timetable management system

What are the cons of letter grading system in K-12?

1. Low levels of accuracy

Letter grade systems might feel good, but they do not accurately reflect a student’s performance in an exam since they tend to group students into bands. This means that a student who has managed to scrape a 91 is put on the same level as a student who achieved a perfect score.

2. Discourages competition, even when healthy

Critics allege that letter grading systems also discourage healthy competition, that students will anyway have to deal with in their careers. While microscopically examining every point lost is not helpful in any way, being able to chart smaller increments in scores can keep a child motivated to work towards their full potential, instead of settling for doing just a decent job.

3. Students are able to calculate their score/GPA anyway

Most schools, especially in India, still share exam or test scores anyway – every question has a certain number of points assigned, and it is not rocket science for a student to tally their score after checking their answer sheet post correction. In some ways, this makes a letter grading system an eyewash to appease legitimate concerns, instead of actually addressing the issue at
hand.

4. Not universally applied

Letter scoring systems also get a lot of flak since no standardised grading exists – some schools follow a plus or minus letter grade system over and above the simple one described above, some have different letters for different bands, etc. These variations mean that letter grades do not translate well across systems – a real issue in an increasingly globalised world.

5. Encourages lethargy

With a pass/fail system or even a regular scoring system, students see their efforts reflect immediately – even a microscopic increase in points is still progress. This reflects pay off for their hard work and encourages them to keep going. In a letter grade system, however, this is often not the case – it does not take it into account minute progress since someone going from
an 82 to an 89 is still in the same band. This is especially hard on students who are easily discouraged or distracted – seeing smaller successes encourages students to keep striving for more.

teaching digital citizenship in schools

The Importance Of Teaching Digital Citizenship in Schools

What is digital citizenship?

Digital citizenship can be defined as creating an upright standing in the digital world by following the various norms, rules and behaving responsibly to ensure that there is no misuse of the unlimited powers of the internet.

Digital citizenship can also be defined as the correct online etiquette, an understanding of how technologies work, knowledge about digital ethics, laws, and adequate information about online safety including security from hackers and online predators.

What is the digital responsibility?

Digital responsibility is the ethical burden we have to ensure that we must use all types of technology in an acceptable and ethical manner. It ensures that you practice your right to privacy and freedom of expression in an appropriate manner.

Why is it important to teach digital citizenship in schools?

Today, technology is a part of every young person’s childhood and students have access to technology from their infancy. It is therefore critical that just as schools and parents focus on teaching their kids, how to be good citizens in a community, there should be an added effort to teach students the rules of digital citizenship – also called as digital wellness or digital ethics.

The internet is filled with instances of cyberbullying, online crimes against kids, predators grooming kids and lots more. In this situation, it is important for schools to include digital citizenship into their syllabus.

Digital Citizenship is important to prepare students to live in a world full of technology. In a world where students use devices and tablets in schools, it is, therefore, become increasingly important to teach digital citizenship in schools.

Recap:  Benefits of teaching coding in the classroom

How can digital citizenship be taught in schools?

1. Embedded in daily lessons

One of the easiest ways to teach children online responsibility and digital citizenship is by including it as a part of the daily syllabus and studies. Teachers can use presentations and essay assignments to teach students about copyrights, plagiarism and the importance of citing one’s research.

Older students can be taught about intellectual rights, trademarks – thus teaching students about responsible online behaviour in terms of content and copyright.

2. Special workshops

Schools can also organise workshops with cybersecurity experts and parents to teach students how to stay safe from hackers, predators and other types of online scammers. Students can also be taught the importance of their digital footprint and how it can have an impact on their entire personal and professional lives.

3. Group discussions

Students can also be encouraged to participate in group discussions on social media etiquette as well as cyberbullying, pornography and other age and class relevant topics

Over the past decade, there has been a greater dependence on technology and this makes responsible digital citizenship the need of the hour. As schools focus on increasing online competencies, digital citizenship often gets neglected into the background. However, in a classroom infused with smart devices and technology, the smart way into the future is to teach students how to use the internet is a responsible an ethical manner.

teaching coding in the classroom

Benefits of teaching coding in the classroom

Benefits of teaching coding in the classroom

  1. Persistence
  2. Develop problem-solving skills
  3. The courage to attempt new things
  4. Improve Math Skills
  5. Learn the importance of context
  6. Improve Processing Skills
  7. Build determination
  8. Enhance creativity
  9. Get over the gender barrier
  10. Job Opportunities

 

One of the biggest benefits of teaching coding in the classroom is teaching the skill of critical thinking. You educators want all their students to be critical thinkers and this is where coding can be so useful. If these skills can be developed in kids at such a young age it would only stand them in good stead for years to come. When you are working on a coding problem there is no way that you can take any shortcuts and solve the issues. You need to devote a whole lot of time and energy in order to look at the issues that come up in this regard and then understand them at various levels.

This can be really helpful in various other areas of the students’ education and life in general.

1. Persistence

As such you would find it hard to teach persistence to your students but this is one skill that they must learn if they are to do well in life. You would always want your students to keep going no matter what problem they face. One way to help them do this is to teach them coding in class.   

2. Problem-solving skills

Coding encourages students to learn various skills that can help them solve various problems.

At the same time, it also encourages the students to think outside the box as well. For example, in coding whenever you come across a dead end of sorts you can always go back and try again. This mentality to keep trying it again and again till the time they can succeed will be immensely helpful for the students and they would attain success in all their future endeavours.

3. The courage to attempt new things

At times in your life, you may get stuck in a sloppy situation of sorts, a rut where you do not wish try anything new in life.

However, it is always good to learn new things in life and this is something that is applicable for all of us. As a teacher, you may never know what would interest a student. For example, you could see a student take to coding and excel in it when you may have expected it the least. In this case, all they needed to do was just attempt it once.

4. Math skills

In order to be great at coding, you need to have a certain level of proficiency in coding as well. When you are encouraging your students to learn to code, you are basically helping them practice their math as well.

The best part of this is that they may not even realize that they are doing the math. So even in case a student openly hates math but loves coding she or he is learning a few mathematical skills that will serve her or him well for years to come.

5. Learn the importance of context

There are certain periods in coding when people learn how to code but are confused as well. In such phases, it is but natural for them to ask what it all means. However, when they start to piece it all together it becomes one of the most beautiful things for them in life.

When you are encouraging students to learn and practice coding you are basically helping them learn the true meaning of the word context. Once this is out of the way you can also teach them how to use it in other areas of their education.  

6. Processing skills

When students learn to code it is a lot like learning a new language. This means that your students are going to learn processing skills as well. It is not a language per se like French, German, and Spanish but it is a universal language as such.

It does not matter where you are in the world if you know the language of coding your students would be able to communicate with other people, and that is a great thing, is it not?

7. Determination

Getting from one level to another of Minecraft can be rather difficult. If you do not believe this statement just go and ask your students. When you hear them narrate their stories you can tell them that it is basically coding. In fact, you would love their expression when those kids realize that they have been doing coding work all this while.

That realization is a great one indeed. Now, you can ask your students to use the determination they used in that work in other areas of study as well. This will only help them in days to come for sure.

Recap: BYOD vs 1:1 learning

8. Creativity

Minecraft is a great example of how coding can teach your students to be creative. In this particular game, they would love the factor of creativity for sure – where they can easily build their own world and that too all by themselves. As such, it is quite a powerful game, to say the least. Kids get the chance to show off their creative side and innovate just as they want to.

There is no one to tell them to do otherwise. Since your students are kids they may not have a lot of say in what they are able to do and what they are not. However, when they are doing coding work they are the ones with all the control in their hands.

9. Getting over gender barriers

As far as the tech industries around the world are concerned it is men who seem to be holding down most of the positions. This is especially true when it comes to coding work.

But as an educator, you should want to change that and address the gender disparity. In fact, as far as countries such as the United States of America (USA) are concerned less than a per cent of coders happen to be girls who belong to the coloured communities. If you are a teacher worth the name you would want to change that. In fact, you can set up small communities in your school whereby you can encourage girls of colour to come forth and take part in such work.

10. Job Opportunities

In today’s competitive world, coding has become a necessary element in every organisation. Either student seeks a job in the IT industry or in the retail industry the basic IT skills required in every department. An individual equipped with coding skills is not only capable of earning a high salary compared to other job profiles but also the scope of opportunity expand for them.

     

    

BYOD Or 1:1 learning

Choosing BYOD vs 1:1 learning – Read On To Find The Perfect Solution For You

The new age classroom is a learning space that is filled with students engaging with knowledge in new ways, learning at a pace and in a way that most suits their personal taste, learning style and their personality. In this digital classroom, where technology and mobile learning reigns high, educators and school remain conflicted on one ongoing conundrum – making the choice between BYOD vs 1:1 learning.

1:1 also known as one-to-one computing is a classroom where the school provides the same device to all that students to use over the school’s wireless connection. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative, on the other hand, encourages students and the staff to bring their own devices to school to be used for educational purposes.

Today, schools are choosing either one of these routes as they introduce the concept of digital classrooms to their students and teachers. However, making a choice between these can often be challenging.

This is why we have collated a list to enable you to make a choice between these two directions:

1. Equality in the classroom

Having a one-to-one computing classroom ensures that all the students are on the same page in terms to the type of device as well as the functioning capacity of the device – thus creating digital equality in the classroom. On the other hand, in a BYOD scenario, very often the more well-to-do students in the classroom will have access to better and faster devices, that not only give them an undue advantage, but it may lead to the other students feeling inferior or in worst cases, even being bullied for their humble gadgets.

2. Hassle free for teachers and administrators

The IT administrators in the school are responsible for setting up access and permissions for devices. However, these simple tasks become extra challenging when there are varied devices across various platforms in the same classroom – such as windows, iOS, Android etc. For teachers working in the classroom, this can be a problem as they need to ensure that all the digital lessons they create are device agnostic. This means that they should work regardless of the device the student is using and the platform they are on. Additionally, often in the classroom, the students can call upon the teachers to provide basic troubleshooting for devices they are not familiar with.

However, using the same device eliminates all these issues, and makes the digital classroom a hassle-free experience

Very often mobile applications are not the same across all platforms and this may cause challenges in a BYOD classroom with many students not being able to access essential apps, programs and losing out on critical learning experiences.

Whereas, on the other hand in a 1:1 classroom, all the students are on the same platform and are all using the same device, thus ensuring that students have equal opportunity to access the information as and when required.

Read more: Things to consider before you (BYOD)bring your own device to the classroom

3. The cost to the schools

Most schools have a very limited budget for the annual year and setting up a digital infrastructure and network for an entire school can be a very expensive affair. In this case, where cost is a concern for schools, following a BYOD direction is a lot for budget-friendly as schools save the cost of purchasing devices, protective covers and other essential devices. This essentially means that schools and educational institutes can concentrate their funds on upgrading the classroom infrastructure with wireless and internet technologies.

Recap: Innovative technology in teaching and learning process

4. Ease of use

With BYOD, users are already familiar with their personal devices and are extremely comfortable with operating the same, hence very little training is needed for these set of students and teachers. On the other hand, with 1:1, although some initial training may be necessary for users with a new device like an iPad, many find it easier to integrate and use technology in the classroom when everyone is working with the same device.

5. Maintenance and Repairs

One of the key advantages when it comes to A BYOD system is that maintenance, upgrades and repairs are a responsibility of the student thus ensuring that the students are completely responsible for the maintenance and upgrades of their device.

This saves the school time, money and effort on maintaining the student’s devices.

The above few points prove that they are advantages and disadvantages to each of these models selected by the school. Today, schools are focussed on creating a technology-rich learning environment that leverages the best of available technology. To this end, many schools are using a mix of both approaches to create the best learning environment that is easy to maintain for the school and provides the students with the important digital learning advantages. This practice is especially prevalent in large or economically diverse schools, whether the school authorities choose to implement a mix of both strategies to ensure all students have access to devices

Choosing between, either one of the approaches can be confusing to school, but schools need to ensure that their decision keeps learning at the foreground, ensure that it is effective and benefits the school and the students.

Part of the selection process should also involve a conversation and a consultation with the appropriate stakeholders This includes the school teachers, IT managers, support staff, parent representative and the school principal, as these are the team that will make your mobile learning dream into a success.

school management system

Can Your School Management System Eliminate Paper Report Cards?

Other alternatives a school management system provides

What is a report card?

While most people may think that the examination is the most taxing portion of a student’s pursuit of education, it is the consequent appraisal that results in actual change. Report cards are a time honoured tradition. Everyone remembers report card day at school, where report cards were handed out to each student, often accompanied by discussions between teachers and parents on the scholar’s progress. This was a milestone in a student’s life since it hopefully signalled scholarly progress and the forwarding of the student’s educational career.

What is the necessity of a report card?

Report cards are a tool by which students are encouraged to evaluate their learning through quantitative metrics – it helps them decide how they will proceed with their life, where to improve, where to continue excelling and to identify areas for support and improvement in the coming years. It also helps students recognise their talents, which can be key to identifying a career path for themselves. Report cards are thus an evaluation and development tool and a key milestone in ensuring thoughtful progress for a young scholar and his support team of parents, teachers, and institutions.

Why should paper report cards be eliminated?

Paper report cards have been around for so long, they feel natural to everyone who has attended a school. Everyone has a file folder of past report cards that they have safely tucked away into a locker – just in case they are ever asked for. Tenth and Twelfth standard report cards are markers of identity even today, despite the proliferation of systems like Aadhaar linking, etc.

However, these paper report cards are painfully obsolete. They are inefficient in terms of products and use. Anyone who has applied for grad school knows how difficult it is to run around getting attested copies or the fear of losing a report card that has gripped us all at one time or another. Replacing this obsolete tool of paper with an electronic version only makes sense in this new world that is increasingly going digital.

What is the report card feature in school management system?

Your school management system is already ready for this shift in thinking – thanks to the report card feature. This feature allows your teachers to update scores for assignments or exams submitted through the system. Report cards are accessed through this familiar platform easily and privately by students and parents alike. They are never lost or misplaced and can be accessed anywhere and at any time. They stay in the system for as long as your institution allows – maybe even forever.

What can the report card feature in school management system do?

Unlike paper report cards, the report card feature in your school management system helps you easily produce highly customisable and informative report cards. You set the rules entirely and therefore you are in charge of what information it contains. Report cards can be customised on the class level, board level, and branch level, depending on your need.

What are the advantages of school management system’s report card feature?

There are numerous advantages to the report card feature in your school management system over a traditional paper report card. This electronic version is secure and confidential, easily accessed and shared, environmentally friendly, capable of recording continual updates, and can be permanently archived. It is essentially a more sound and secure version of a highly important document. Over and above these features, an electronic report card feature in your school management system provides a very important service – developmental tracking. Being able to see markers of progress or deterioration for each student via evaluatory results like the report card help scholars, parents, and educators track the trajectory of a student’s educational career. The school management system then becomes a developmental tool that helps parents and teachers monitor their students and course correct as needed. It helps them zone in on the exact kind of tools and supports the student could need. This is key to data-driven development of a student’s mind, while also creating a development-oriented way of thinking in the student themselves. Inculcating this trait early ensures continual success even after graduation from school and the student moves onto professional life in a data-driven world.

1. Secure and confidential

Since the school management system can be accessed only by authorised personnel, only students, parents, teachers, and staff with the correct permission can access the report card. This means that this document remains private between the concerned parties. It cannot be passed around or distributed for scrutiny by other parties without the access being granted by
the concerned parties.

2. Easily accessible and shared

Thanks to the very nature of the school management system, your report card can still be easily accessed and shared (with your permission of course) across platforms and devices. What does this mean? Check grades and analyse progress on the go. Share data for further analysis and advice. Use the information for immediate betterment. Plus, depending on institutional rules, it is possible to offer alum access to report cards in the long-term – storage costs are low and permissions can be set for secure and easy access to former students of the school. Grad students rejoice!

Recap: Top 9 issues faced by school administrators

3. Environmentally friendly

In a dying world, every little bit of environmental consciousness counts. Instead of using paper that is eliminating scarce trees, an electronic version is much friendlier to the world we live in. Plus, unlike paper report cards there is no decay, no deterioration and no loss thanks to time and environment.

4. Continually upgraded

Since the effort put in for publishing a report card in your school management system is far less than the that required for a paper version, teachers can choose to continually upgrade pupils and their parents on their academic progress. Continual assessment is found to help students stay on task in their effort to reach their academic goals – and this is made possible with your
school management system’s report card feature.