Find out what makes these countries lead to having the best education systems
Each country strives to offer its children the best possible start in life. It does this by aiming to build the best education system it possibly can. As a part of this endeavor, they rely on strong educational policies, committed stakeholders, and the potential of students. It takes many hands to create a successful educational experience for students. Over the years, the following countries have consistently been ranked as having the best education system in the world:
Finland has been ranked as having the best education system time and time again. Their methods are often unusual when looking at those of other countries – there are no score bands, class sizes are small and children’s well-being are prioritized over just quantitative metrics.
The United Kingdom has long been touted as having the best education system in the world – starting off in the age-old days when children from other universities would be sent off to England for higher studies. Now the United Kingdom uses modern teaching methods and focusing on the diverse needs of a growing population along with addressing labor market demands to maintain its status in world rankings for the best education system.
United States of America
The United States of America is one of the most popular educational destinations in the world for aspiring students of all categories – from K-12 to university education. This is because it has the best education system one could ask for on many fronts – from attracting the best teachers to accessible public education give for free, to even creating healthy competition amongst students. The United States continues to be a top choice for students aiming to get into grad school, especially, thanks to their status as having the best education system.
Canada is becoming an increasingly popular choice for students seeking to experience the best education system in the world. This is especially the case for students you might find the United States of America and the United Kingdom too competitive or too expensive. Canada becomes a viable option for those seeking to learn from the best education system in the world while also not necessarily going down the traditional route of choosing America or the United Kingdom for their studies.
Japan has consistently produced great which has resulted in it being thought of as having the best education system by many analytics. But unlike a lot of countries that may show great test scores, Japan does a great job of balancing the effects of student pressure and producing good student results.
Why an SSL certificate is essential for your school’s online presence?
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer certificate. It is basically an electronic document used to prove the ownership of a public key, including information about the key, its owner and the digital signature of the verifier who has confirmed the information contained about the key.
More simply put, an SSL certificate signals the security and reliability of a site, especially one being used for sensitive interactions like credit card transfers and more recently safer social media browsing, etc. It is advised that all sites — including your school website — have an SSL certificate in order to provide a safe browsing for all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.
What are the benefits of an SSL certificate?
1. Secure Data Transfers
The primary function of an SSL certificate is to ensure safe server-client communication. This means that all data transfers between the servers on which the school website is hosted on and the users of the website — parents, students, non-education staff, teachers, and management — are secure. In more accessible terms, the data on the website is locked thanks to the SSL certificate and cannot be unlocked without it. This is especially useful for a school, that will deal with sensitive information such as financial details of parent’s payment methods, student emergency information, grades and scores of students, etc.
2. Verify User Identity
SSL certificates verify the identity of the website, making it the primary way to affirm identity. The internet and websites can be deceptive, especially to users who are not internet savvy. It is easy to fool a user into sharing their information. For a school website, this might involve sensitive information like financial details or student location and transport information. Such information must be protected and only be made accessible to the users and websites with the appropriate permissions.
A school website with an SSL certificate is one that has been validated by a certifying authority. The certifying authority verifies the identity of the person and the website, making it more authentic and reliable for all users and the site owner.
A school website is not just a user interface for users like parents, students, teachers, and management to engage with the school itself. But it is also a brand representation for the school. It is thus important for the school website to show up at the correct position when searched for on the internet.
To this end, Google has modified its ranking algorithm to give higher priority to those websites with SSL certificates. When your school website has an SSL certificate it is thus ranked higher and shows up higher in search results, becoming more easily accessible to existing users as well as more easily discovered by new users.
4. Establish Users Trust
A website with an SSL certificate signals to users that this is one that is reliable and safe. This means that users can safely share their information with a school website with an SSL certificate, without worrying that it might be shared with the wrong person or leaked or stolen. This is especially important for a school website because of the kind of users that visit it – these are stakeholders in the educational ecosystem who rely on their school to be a reliable institution. The same goes for the school website, which is increasingly used for sensitive engagements like payment of school fees, discussing the academic progress of students and other information that must be handled with discretion.
These days, schools and colleges are using the latest digital technology. This is being done to make sure that they are able to keep the campuses safe. One of the first names that one needs to take in this particular regard is that of the seamless alert systems. There could be so many different kinds of threat at a campus. It could be a fire that got lit by accident at the chemistry building. It could also be a criminal or terrorist at the campus premises. No matter what it is, it is imperative that the students stay safe. The same goes for the stuff and the faculty members as well.
With such a system the educational institutes can send alerts quickly. This comes in handy if there is any such threat in the campus. There are many ways in which educational institutions can use emergency communication systems. In some campuses, the authorities use visual alerts. In these cases, they use digital signs that they have placed all around the campus premises. There are some educational institutions where the authorities have used beacon technology. They have placed the beacons at strategic locations around the campus. These send push notifications to all mobile phones. This is how the users can be alerted of any danger that has been reported on the campus.
Let’s have a look at some robust technologies which helps in enhancing the school security:
1. Using IP network cameras
In the campus, there are always officials who are entrusted with the job of keeping the campus safe. It is very important that they have a hawk eye of sorts on every little thing that is happening on the campus. This is where the IP (internet protocol) network cameras can come in so handy. This is especially when compared to the likes of CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) that run on analog technology. As opposed to the latter the former is controlled by way of a remote network.
This is why they do not need any separate device for the purposes of recording as such. The security cameras, in this case, are controlled by using a LAN (local area network). Through such technology, the campus police officers are able to watch all the live feed in a much shorter span of time. This is also applicable for reviewing all the videos that they are getting. In some cases, educational institutions have established partnerships with leading tech companies. This is to create networks comprising security cameras. They are also connecting them to the network of the campus.
In some cases, they have set up centralized command centers from where they are able to see the feed from any camera that they choose to. This means that they enjoy a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to monitoring the campus happenings.
2. Using communication applications in mobile devices
There is nothing to deny the fact that alert systems play an important role now as far as communication is concerned. Yet, they do come with their flaws as well and one such flaw is that they can at times be one-sided.
Students too should have the power to report anything suspicious that they see on campus or an emergency as well. They should be able to do it in an efficient manner as well. In some cases, educational institutions are using mobile apps that let students get in touch with campus police in case the need to do so arises. This has helped them in situations where the campus has been struck by natural disasters such as hurricanes. In such situations, the staff and students have several communication channels to choose from. Thus they can easily get in touch with the people in charge of security.
3. Smart patrolling
Campus officials should be able to use data that is more streamlined and deeper in quality. Then they would be able to stop any criminal behavior or untoward incident from happening on the campus. They can also use the likes of automated databases to make communication simpler than before. This is especially as far as the campus security officials are concerned. These systems normally use specialized algorithms to track down criminal patterns. This is done so that they can identify certain trends. This, in turn, helps them identify if there would be any future criminal activity on the campus premises or not.
In fact, it has been seen that many educational institutions work together with local police to collect and then coordinate information from various sources. This helps them determine the areas where more officers have to be assigned – ones that have to be prioritized, so to say. Advanced machine learning allows these officers to analyze all the crime related data at their disposal. This is how they are able to recommend the hours where the focus needs to be on certain parts of the campus. This is how they are able to predict the chances of something bad happening.
Apart from predicting such activity, such data-based patrolling also helps the officers identify ones who have the potential to be repeat offenders and then engage with them in a proactive manner. They can also this way track down people who may retaliate against them for foiling their criminal activities. The campus and local police can always come together and work with the likes of administrators, housing officers, and academic advisors to get information regarding the past incident history of a particular individual. They can also look up her or his connections as well as previous arrest record.
Should they see any cause for concern, these officers can take preemptive action and get in touch with them. In these conversations, they can inform – and if the need is, warn – these individuals of the consequences of violent behavior and actions. Such emphasis on prevention can actually prove to be rather helpful in these cases. It can play a direct role in stopping any violent action. At the same time, students can also trust the campus police officers to keep them safe and integrate them better with their workplace.
4. Better emergency response
When an educational institute has the right technology at a campus it becomes easier for all to stay safe a lot better.
When we say right we focus on qualities like shorter response time and better levels of coordination. These days, campuses are prone to criminal activities such as armed aggression, multi-victim crime, an active shooting. This calls for the campus and local law enforcement entities to be aligned in a better way and communicate a lot better as well. The same is also applicable for the emergency and fire response teams as well. Thankfully, these days, you have great solutions in this regard such as CAD (computer aided dispatch) software that works on a single source basis.
This way, the educational entities would be able to fine-tune their analytics as well as sharing their information. This, in turn, can help them do away with issues such as confusion and delays that can otherwise pose threats to the overall well being of individuals who may be on threat because of such issues. These systems usually employ high-class technology such as IoT (Internet of Things) and automated data collection.
Apart from this, educational institutions also need to safeguard their safety teams, do away with faulty alarm systems, and mobilize mitigation processes and systems for active shooters.
There are several ways in which schools in Odisha and beyond can help people who have been affected by Cyclone Fani. The first such way would be to start a charity fund drive. It is common knowledge that recovering from a disaster takes years and the needs tend to change over time as well. This is the reason why any nonprofit group right now would ask you to donate cash rather than items as such. This is because with the passage of time such items may not be as useful but cash would always be useful.
There are plenty of steps that schools can think of and take for purposes such as these:
1. Donate blood
If you are a high school with students over a certain age you can surely do something like this. Moreover, the teachers too can take part in this and make this a much bigger success as well. You can organize camps by yourself or you may also visit local blood donation centers that are doing such work and donate blood over there. This would help with the treatment of the affected.
2. Feeding the children
This is particularly applicable for schools that are in Odisha itself. Right now in Odisha, it is highly possible that most of the pantries and grocery stores would still be in a woeful and sorry state.
It could also be that food trucks are still finding it hard to get over there. This means that there are many communities that still do not have access to uncontaminated food. This is where you can and should think of donating to the food banks. In fact, with little money, you can help feed a lot of children who are still going days without food.
3. Talking with the students
It is possible that students may have been affected by the cyclone – directly or indirectly. No matter what it is, it is very important that you talk with them and find out as much as you can about their situation.
This way, you would be able to find out more about the effect of the natural disaster and understand the impact it has had on others. Thanks to the internet these days you would be able to find a wide range of resources in this particular regard. These are all supposed to help students cope with the effects of the devastating cyclone. Over here you would also get resources and tips on how you can help the students dealing with natural disasters such as these.
4. Using social media
As you know by now, the process of recovery would take many years to happen. This is why it is very important that you encourage others to donate to relief efforts as well. This needs to be done for the longest period of time possible. In fact, many leaders of non-profit of entities feel that with time news about the havoc that Fani has wreaked on Orissa would reduce. This way, the entire process of raising funds for them would lose momentum as well. This is where using social media can play such a major role.
This way you can keep the spotlight on the plight of the present condition of the victims as well as their future.
5. Donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund
Schools can donate online and straightaway to the Relief Fund set up by the Chief Minister of Odisha. You can send a bank draft or a cheque for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Odisha. It is payable at Bhubaneswar. Following is the mailing address for the same:
Additional Secretary to Government
Chief Minister’s Relief Fund
General Administration & Public Grievance Department
Orissa Secretariat, Bhubaneswar-751001
6. Donating through Amazon
Amazon, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms of the world has a presence in India. As such it has set up a donation drive to help families that have been hit by the cyclone get their jobs back. You can use the Amazon app on your smartphone or tab or even make a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payment on the platform. There is a QR (Quick Response) code that needs to be scanned for this purpose.
7. Donating through Zomato
Zomato, one of the leading food tech companies in India has collaborated with Feeding India. It has come up with a relief drive for the cyclone hit the state.
It is aiming to provide help to victims that have been hit by Fani get back their livelihoods and it is also looking to get common people to take part in the same. You can contribute to this relief program straight through Zomato. Else, you can also sign up in order to be a volunteer so that you can provide help on the ground. You can also help them with essential items such as clothes and utensils.
8. Help Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity India is a nonprofit organization and in the wake of Cyclone Fani, it has pressed its rapid response team into action.
It has also mobilized volunteers in order to help with the recovery operations. Its basic aim is simple – to help rebuild the lives that have been affected by this devastating cyclone. As part of the first phase of this process of response, Habitat India is helping these families and individuals with humanitarian aid kits as well as emergency shelter kits.
9. Use Paytm
Paytm, one of the biggest Fintech companies in India has opened up the possibility of making contributions to the relief efforts through its digital payments app.
You can visit the app and find out how you would be able to donate to the relief and rehabilitation program.
10. Help with SEEDS India
SEEDS India is a program that is aiming to help 100,000 people in the regions that have been affected the most by Fani. It is helping the people over there with safe drinking water, medical camps, and hygiene kits. This is a not for profit organization as well. It is primarily using local water treatment to provide safe drinking water to the people who have fallen victims in this particular context.
The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The focus of SEEDS is primarily on families that have been affected the most by this cyclone.
11. Help through SOS Children’s Villages of India
SOS Children’s Villages of India has set up a couple of relief camps and in the process reached out to around 1000 families that are in the most vulnerable position right now. It has created safe childcare spaces in various relief camps and children are being treated over here.
ActionAid Association too is playing a constructive role in this particular context by using its emergency response teams. They are basically doing an early assessment and trying to find what the affected people need the most right now. In fact, they have been monitoring the situation rather closely in West Bengal as well. Apart from these, you can also donate through the likes of Goonj and Ketto.
Everything you need to know about securing your school
What is network security?
Schools today are interconnected in ways never seen before. It’s not just about paper, pencils, and blackboards anymore. Instead, modern schools are very much run on different types of technologies, including products like school management systems. These technologies run on networks because they are all connected with one another. Network security refers to the processes and policies in place at a school that controls their accessibility (in binaries and also in terms of degrees). The goal of network security is to prevent the misuse, monitor access to, and modify or deny access as necessary to a computer or computer networks within the school. Simply put, it is the rules schools follow to ensure their computer systems, networks or technology assets remain secure from unauthorized access and use by malicious elements.
What is the importance of network security?
The idea of network security existing at schools may seem excessive to laypeople – why would something as benign as an educational institution have to think of something like this?
Wouldn’t network security be the domain of institutions in banking or national importance?
While such institutions might be a better fit, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the security needs and concerns of schools out of hand. These days, schools have a lot of sensitive information about their employees, parents and most importantly students. This includes information about grades and scores that track a student’s academic progress. But that is not all it is limited to. Schools also have very sensitive information like how to contact a student and their parents, where they live, what bus routes they take, what school activities they are involved in. It is also possible, in some cases, to extrapolate this information to figure out student sensitivities, which can then be manipulated by malicious elements to their advantage. The importance of network security at schools thus cannot be overstated.
How improve network security in small K-12 schools?
Ensuring network security at your school is a comprehensive task – there is no one process or policy that will take care of it entirely. It is important that schools treat this as an intrinsic part of their rules and regulations, rather than an add on. When the principle of network security is integrated into the school’s day to day functioning, that is when it becomes more infallible.
Below we have highlighted some ways, using which schools can enhance their network security :
1. Eliminate paper-based process
Paper-based processes are endemic to the educational ecosystem. Every cliched visual of a school will feature textbooks, notepaper, circulars, notices, pen and paper note-taking, etc. – it is practically inescapable. But we are now in the most advanced technological age, and it makes sense that increasingly paper is being phased out. Students already rely on using their personal computers to take notes and make presentations, so why is this not being addressed to the administration of a school?
Using technological tools like a school management system helps eliminate paper-based processes that are a security risk. Information stored on paper – like files, folders, important copies of mark sheets and bank statements, etc – is easily accessed, copied and distributed, even by malicious elements. A locked cupboard cannot keep everyone out and we are relying on fallible humans for our security. Instead, password-protected information ensures that only the right people with the correct permissions can access sensitive information. Some school management systems also track the actions of each user so these can be pulled up later if needed.
2. Keep safe confidential data about student and staff
System for school management is the ideal platform that can keep confidential data about student and staff safe. Unlike files or human memory, the information remains where you left it and can only be accessed by people with the right permissions that have been granted after careful review. The school management system also has an archive of actions taken by all users which can be pulled up in case we need to find out who is accessing what information and when. This is also information that does not deteriorate over time, since it is stored electronically, not in files or folders. One can rely on the school management system to keep confidential data confidential and safe for a long time.
3. Implement a unified platform to monitor daily processes and loophole in the system
A school management system tracks the actions of all users in the system and stores this information in its user history. This means that it is easier to monitor and track what each user is doing within the school management system if needed. In the case of malicious elements, it establishes a chain of evidence of the movements and intent of users who may be trying to access the information they should not have access to. This is also a good way of identifying gaps or loopholes in a system – if many users use workarounds or alternative methods to access the information they usually do not have permissions to access, being able to track their movements helps identify these workarounds. In some cases, this inaccessibility might be a result of an error in the system itself. In this case, it is a quick way to identify this gap and rectify it immediately in order to make processes smoother.
4. Enforcing 2-factor authentication
As humans, we are all fallible and the case is no different for students and staff at a school. Despite moving to technological solutions, student and staff may often indulge in bad security habits, such as reusing the same password for everything. They might not realize the importance of school security and feel like this is just another piece of information to remember. By enabling two-factor authentication, the dangerousness of this is mitigated, because users are forced to use their regular password and also the code sent to their phones in order to access their network. This 2 step password protection decreases the risk that user accounts will be accessed easily by malicious elements who may use these weak accounts in order to harm students and staff. Two-factor authentication also is a good policy for staff and students since it alerts them to anyone trying to access their accounts without their knowledge. Most systems also provide location information about where this attempt took place, which helps narrow down who the person trying to access the account could be. Such kind of information is useful in taking preventative action to improve network security at a school also. 2-factor authentication enables a mindset change within school staff and students by making them a part of the network security system – this kind of empowerment makes them more aware of their role in ensuring network security at the school and makes them feel more responsible and accountable for it also.
4. Provide secured payment platforms
One of the areas in which school staff, students, and parents are inherently careful about is financial transactions being made through the school management system. Whether this is online transactions like through a payment gateway or services like PayTM, RazorPay, PayU, etc, or offline through the point of sale transactions, users are automatically more careful when it comes to their money. School management systems are aware of this and provide secure payment gateways with receipts and messages that make a user aware that their financial transaction has gone through or whether there has been an error in the transaction. This ensures that users are aware of what is happening and can take appropriate action according to the message they have received. The financial information of users of a school management system must be kept secure and the in-built security measures of the software ensure that.
5. Educating staff and students in the importance of security
All measures and rules and policies and processes put in place by the school are useless without buy-in from the users of networks in the school. This means that when staff, students, and parents at a school do not understand the importance of network security, all technology and protective methods put in place are for naught. It is thus key to impress upon all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem the importance of network security so that they adhere to the rules and regulations being put in place with regards to this. A good method of doing this is to have regular training and refresher courses where the tenets of network security and the consequence of not following them are clearly laid out. Informed users are aware users who will then be careful and mindful about their security as they interact with the school’s network.
Biometric systems are fast gaining popularity in organizations across the world. But understand how a Biometric attendance system can streamline school operations. It is important to first understand what it is.
The word biometric is derived from the Greek words bio meaning life and metric meaning to measure. Thus, Biometrics is a system that is used to identify the various physical and behavioral characteristics of a person. Instead of using traditional methods of identification such as ID cards, PIN numbers, and passwords – which can be easily hacked, a biometric system uses various physical traits of a person to identify them and provide them with access to a place or software. Thus a Biometric Attendance System can be used as either a foolproof identification system or authentication system.
There are different types of attendance systems ranging from the simple that many of us use on our phones or the more complicated ones that seek to recognize vein pattern, fingerprints, hand geometry, DNA, voice pattern, iris pattern, signature dynamics, face detection and lots more.
Today, Biometric sensors have established themselves as an essential feature of identity technology and this is one of the reasons that many organizations including schools are opting for them
How Does Biometric Attendance System Streamline School Operations?
1. Identification Of Students and Staff
One of the key benefits of using a biometric system is that it eliminated a significant portion of paperwork, formalities, and procedures associated with the creation of a traditional identity and authentication system. From collecting photographs, personal information, etc., it reduces the time the administration team spends to create identification formalities.
Additionally, these physical ID cards made by school are carelessly forgotten by the students, easily lost and often mutilated by the end of the academic year. However, the use of a fingerprint scanning system, these problems and costs are easily eliminated and new standards of accountability can be put into place.
2. Avoid the use of proxy attendance by the students
In many schools and colleges, a rampant problem is the lack of attendance by the students, who try to mask them by asking their peers to provide a proxy attendance for them.
In fact, in many examination halls, many proxy students have been caught writing exams on behalf of their friends and colleagues. This is especially common for entrance exams where there are hired professionals willing to write exams for students.
The use of a Biometric system is one of the most effective ways to address these shortcomings in the school attendance and examination system, thus ensuring a foolproof system in schools.
In every classroom across the world, teachers spend ten to fifteen minutes of precious teaching time in managing the attendance of the students. This includes taking attendance and keeping a record of the absentee students as well as the latecomers.
However, the use of a Biometric System makes this process a lot easier and faster.
Students can simply scan their fingerprints when entering and leaving the school or the classroom and the system will automatically take care of various details such as attendance, timing, late coming, leaving early, half days, etc.
4. Identifying the day-to-day movements and activities of the students
Throughout the course of the school day, students move from room to room – often accessing the computer library, the laboratory, borrowing books, visiting the school medical room, or being called to the school office and even traveling on the school transport.
It can be tedious to keep track of the various movements of the student. However, the use of a biometric system makes it easy to keep track of the students, as well as ensure that they do not get access to unauthorized parts of the school. Thus, the use of a biometric system can not only keep track of the movements of the students around the school, but it can also be used for student identification school events and practice sessions to out other students who don’t belong.
5. Maintaining privacy and security of school data
The school ERP software often has many confidential files and data related to the students and the teaching staff such as personal contact details, banking information, medical records, etc. Often the system also has essential administrative records such as financial records of the school, taxation details, land records, etc. The use of a biometric system as an authentication method ensures that only privileged persons have access to this essential information – which if leaked would hamper the day to day working of the school.
6. Visitor access to the school premises.
Creating a controlled environment is critical to maintaining a safe and secure school environment. Therefore it is essential to only allow access to authorized persons inside the school campus. Using a biometric system the various recurring visitors like visiting teachers, temporary professors, laborers, parents, or any other regular visitors can be accurately time-stamped and identified. The system will also ensure the school administrators that those entering their schools actually belong there and that the unauthorized persons can be correctly denied entry into the campus.
7. Cafeteria and Library Management
Today, many schools offer cafeteria services and it is often difficult for the cafeteria teams to keep track of the number of students eating or the placing order as this number can vary on a daily basis. However, the cafeteria can use biometric systems to eliminate this problem. By using the biometric system, the cafeteria can keep track of the students availing the meal facilities, vending machines and accurately report those while automatically adding the bill to the student’s account. This saves students the hassle of carrying exact change or keeping the money safe in class. By implementing a biometric system in the cafeteria there is an accurate report created of students accessing the meals, the students entitled to free or reduced meals.
Similarly, the school reference library and lending library houses thousands of books – often worth a lot of money. Librarians who can access to the biometric system can use the software instead of library cards to keep a track of students who have borrowed books, overdue books and well as all pending library late fees.
The use of a biometric system in a school transportation system ensures that only the authorized, background checked drivers and cleaners are on the bus. It also ensures that students enter the right bus. It avoids the danger of young students getting lost or getting off at wrong schools and bus stops.
These are just some of the various ways in which schools can not only streamline their day to day operations but, they can also ensure that the students remain safe, the data secure and the staff has a reduced workload.
Does your checklist cover everything it needs to before making a purchase?
Why is HR management system?
The HR management system is any type of tool, platform or application that is focused on managing the budgetary and personnel processes and needs of an organization. These are usually ERP software which helps organizations more efficiently manage their daily HR processes. They usually do this by automating processes wherever possible, while maintaining granular level rules, so as to reduce human time and labor investment. This is especially good for HR functions since so many of their processes are repetitive and thus ideal for automation.
Why do schools need an HR system?
It might seem like HR system would be more suited for large organizations, rather than a school. On a structural level, however, what is a school but a large organization? The institutional HR needs of a school are comparable to those of a large business. It thus makes logical sense that a school too would benefit from the implementation of an HR system.
Do we need a dedicated HR system for schools?
Earlier, one needed to purchase dedicated software whose core competency was limited to certain domains. However, with the release of increasingly versatile software and the growing use of technology, it makes sense that schools might want to invest in a single tool that works seamlessly across functions and departments at their institution. Keeping this in mind, modern school ERP software, like Fedena, often include features or plugins that are capable of handling educational institutions human resources needs. What is even better than when a school uses a school ERP software these HR features are customized to be aligned with typical school practices. No need to customize your HR management system to the working of a school system. Instead, your school ERP system doubles up as a fully functional HR system right out of the box. Just plug and play!
Below we discuss in detail the key questions that need to be asked before purchasing your HR management system for school and why:
Question #1: Does it facilitate web-based recruitment?
In this modern world, paper-based applications and application processes like this are likely to edge schools out from acquiring the best candidates for the job. Increasingly, online applications are the norm. It also helps stay better organized, since all information and related documentation is stored in the HR system itself, making it easily accessible anywhere and any time.
This is also an important historical data that is useful for any school. Even applicants who might not be a good fit during a given round of hiring might become a better fit for another role or for another time. Building an internal database of talent is key to superlative hiring for schools.
Question #2: Can job applications be automatically screened based on keywords or qualifications?
Create better hiring processes for teachers and staff when you use technology in the right way. Your HR system should be able to dig into applications for keywords or phrases that signal that an applicant is qualified. Being able to automate this process reduces the time and labor burden on a human evaluator, while also being more efficient and blind to biases.
This is also valuable data for management to see what keywords and qualifications garner them higher quality applicants. Tailoring future job descriptions to these keywords is likely to increase this pool in hiring drives at the school, all thanks to the HR system.
Question #3: Will employees have self serve options available online (including on mobile devices) to request leave/vacations, view payroll information, and other activities?
A bureaucratic system is a broken one. Having complicated processes and long waits for simple HR tasks is a type of inefficiencies that should not be found in modern schools. With the right HR system, schools can automate entire processes such as requesting various types of information, applying for leaves or absences, etc. This means a reduction in the burden on human staff with simplistic administrative tasks and a more democratic process for teachers and staff seeking information or disbursal of leaves.
Furthermore, this is all valuable data for management, who can base many budgetary and personnel decisions based on this data being collected by the HR system over a long period of time. Data-driven decision making is key to seeing actual success, instead of being stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of nothing getting resolved thanks to biases coming into play.
Question #4: Does it helps in managing the staff’s required professional development and credit history?
The clarity in financial information and professional development records are necessary for every employee of a school to be able to track their progress and personal growth at their institution. Having a data-driven bird’s eye view can be invaluable to their personal development within an institution. Your HR system can keep track of this data easily and confidentially becoming a handy developmental and training tool for every teacher and a member of staff in your school.
Management is also able to better track the impact of the professional development training and opportunities it offers its teachers and staff members. When they are able to directly see the impact of their efforts – both positive and negative – they are able to continually tinker and improve what they are offering their employees, creating a positive feedback loop of improvement internally at the school.
Question #5: Does the HR system for your school maintain employee history of compensation and ratings?
In a similar vein, keeping track of HR details like the pay of an individual teacher and staff or even teacher and staff bands is important to track their growth. When combined with the ratings they received during appraisals or student evaluations, one is able to get important learnings about the professional growth of every teacher and staff member at a school. A school is only as strong as its teachers and this feature helps schools track of where they stand year after year or semester after semester.
When this kind of data is being collected by your HR system, it means that management now has a breadth of data over time on which to base its hiring and firing decisions. Instead of relying on infallible human memory, it is easy and swift to instead pull up this kind of factual data within the HR system itself and make decisions based on hard figures instead of feelings.
Question #6: Does it record district assets including keys, smartphones, laptops issued to employees?
Schools are constantly under budgetary constraints and financial pressure. So it makes sense that their assets – such as electronic items like laptops, smartphones, tabs, etc. or security assets like keys and key cards or access codes or even student learning aids like projectors, video players, audio and visual equipment – must be safeguarded to the highest degree possible.
This kind of record keeping also makes an impact on the bottom line of school budgets. As was mentioned earlier, schools often view such expensive items as investments. It is important to see what is being used, what is not, and track the wear and tear of school assets so that there is continual improvement in purchase decisions. The HR system’s data can help make these decisions in a more data-driven way.
Question #7: Does the HR system for your school maintain job descriptions attached to employees?
Having detailed job descriptions for every role in the organization may seem unnecessarily pedantic at first thought. But in reality, it is an excellent HR practice. Job descriptions often help define key areas of responsibility, key performance indicators and job responsibilities and deliverables for each role, whether teaching or non-educational. This helps employees understand and define the goals they wish to strive towards and for management to be more fair and effective in evaluating the performance of their employees.
Job descriptions also help management understand the evolving needs of their school – with the advent in technology, teaching, and learning methods, it is good to have historical data to see what works for a school and what does not. It is a far superior and data-driven method, rather than relying on humans who might bring their unconscious biases to the table when making hiring, firing and promotion decisions.
Question #8: Does it track the performance review process, including dates and ratings?
Keeping track of employee ratings and assessments over time is the best way to track the professional growth of teachers and staff. It is important for employees of a school to remain dynamic in their thinking since they are constantly interacting with young students and influencing their intellectual growth. The right HR system can help teachers track their own improvement, identify key areas of growth, identify strengths and weaknesses and take their career more seriously, overall. This helps retain the best teachers and staff possible – since using such a system also demonstrates that their employers value their own growth within the educational institution.
Data like this also helps management identify star employees and those who might not be a good fit for a school, resulting in data-driven hiring and firing and promotion decisions. This is only fair to all staff that is ideally seeking to constantly improve.
Question #9: Does it allows users to view absence plans for each employee: vacation, personal days, sick days, bereavement, unpaid leave, etc.
An open and transparent system that allows teachers and management to have a clear view of their leaves is necessary for the smooth functioning of a school. Things like vacation days and sick leaves cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a sole human administrator. One must also take into account the propensity for human error in matters like this. No human is infallible, but it is unfair for employees to be expected to take on the burden of their infallibility especially when it comes to precious perks like leaves. Since this is also connected to payroll – loss of pay is a consequence of exceeding allotted leaves – it is important to maintain the highest level of accuracy in leave records for every teacher and member of staff at a school.
It is only fair, decent, and professional to rely on a tool like an HR management system to do so. This is also valuable data for management that can use it to track specific employees in order to make hiring and firing and promotion decisions, but also track overall school trends – knowing that schools tend to fall sicks around a certain time period, for example, helps management be prepared with alternatives to missing employees, whether it is planning workflows or having temporary workers come in as substitutes when needed. Good planning really impacts the budget of a school in a positive fashion, since you are able to identify when and where extraneous expenses might be incurred and then plan for it in advance.
Question #10: Does the HR system for your school track benefit plans and deductions, including eligibility rates?
Employee benefits can often make or break the peace of mind of an employee. This also affects their ability to work. Having documentation and tracking of any availments and changes in employee benefits is absolutely necessary. An HR system helps ensure that this tracking is maximally accurate, instead of relying on humans who have a higher rate of error. It is also automated, so one does not need to rely on a time consuming and cumbersome process while attempting to avail important benefits. This is also a form of data collection that helps management better understand the needs of their employees over a period of time, leading to better management level decisions that actually help school employees while also potentially impacting the bottom line in a positive fashion. Data like this can really help schools looking to cut corners do so in a fair and productive fashion.
The disadvantages of not using school management software
Processes are present in every organization in order to ensure its smooth and steady functioning. They might or might not be defined, however, without them any organization – even an educational institution like a school or college – would fall apart.
Processes can broadly be divided into two categories – manual processes and automated processes. Usually, modern organizations, like schools and colleges, use a combination of both types of processes in their day to day functioning.
We explore both types of processes in greater detail below:
What are the manual processes?
Manual processes refer to an internal process at a school or college that does not rely on people or human labor or pen and paper to be completed. Earlier, most processes in any organization, including educational institutions, were manual processes. A good example of manual processes is when employees file claims with the accounts department for reimbursements. This usually involves filling in the reimbursement claim form, attaching all bills and particulars, submitting it to accounts, receiving an acknowledgment of submission, following up in person or through the post, etc before the claims are cleared.
Automated processes are merely digitized or electronic versions of the manual process that cuts down on human intervention, time is taken to accomplish this process in the usual way, and the overheads involved, such as paper and other materials. Automated processes are also self-motivated after they have been initiated they rarely need human action until completion. Automated processes usually feature in a school management software that is being used to manage processes in the school or college.
For instance, an automated version of the example given above – employees filing reimbursement claims – will involve an employee using the school management software to request a reimbursement, sharing supporting documents electronically from their device, even if remote, and then the software processing the reimbursement once it has been approved. This process is far less cumbersome than the previous manual process.
It is clear that automated processes have taken over most schools and colleges due to the inadequacies of manual processes. Below we discuss the disadvantages of manual processes that should encourage schools and colleges to allow automated processes to replace their obsolete ones:
What are the disadvantages of manual processes at school?
1. Time-consuming process
One of the key disadvantages of manual processes is the sheer amount of time they take to be performed and to be completed. Manual processes simply take longer than the lightning speed of automated processes being performed by a computer using school management software. For instance, it will take a human accountant much longer to calculate payroll, compared to payroll software or a payroll plugin or feature in a school management software.
2. Increase in paper usage
Paper is both an environmental and financial sinkhole. As we go through global environmental crises, it is important for systemic push backs to be implemented in order to save our earth. Part of this is making real efforts at reducing the amount of paper we consume on a daily basis in order to reduce deforestation. Educational institutions, especially, are huge consumers of paper and paper products. If we are able to reduce our dependence on paper and paper products by eliminating manual processes we might be able to make a significant difference. Paper and paper products are also a huge portion of many school’s bottom lines. Simply put, the paper is expensive and trying to reduce our use of it by switching to automated processes from manual processes are a way to help cut costs on a system level.
3. Prone to error
Humans are extremely fallible which means the work they also do is not perfect. Manual processes rely on humans entirely, which means that they are prone to error. For instance, a simple mistake of data entry on the part of a human accountant while entering figures can result in a dramatically different bottom line and understanding of the final health of the school. Similarly, a simple misplacing of admission application for a potential student can result in the loss of a scholar for an educational institution. This is not the case with automated processes that follow a set of pre-defined rules and thus merely stop working instead of producing costly or time-consuming errors that need to be fixed. Switching to automated processes thus reduces the error rate for processes in a school or college.
For instance, an automated accounting process records numbers and performs calculations automatically. Flags can also be set up for incorrect variables entered into specific fields in case of human data entry. Admission applications are all automatically collated and stored on school errors which means that no child is left behind. One of the key advantages of automated processes, thus, is a dramatic reduction in how error-prone a school or college is towards its stakeholders.
4. Less safe and secure
Manual processes are performed by humans and subject to human security measures such as a locked cupboard or the ethics of humans not looking at confidential information. In these times, it is important to accord data privacy and security its rightful place. In this sense, manual processes will always be vulnerable to the fallibility of humans. Automated processes, on the other hand, usually require permissions to access and administer. They are also present in school management software than generally assigns handles to each user, adjusts permissions accordingly, and tracks usage and history so users are automatically held accountable. Data is also secure due to in-built security measures and privacy settings like passwords and permissions.
In these days of heightened security concerns, it is important to especially protect one of our most vulnerable stakeholders in the educational ecosystem – the students. Not everyone can be trusted with personal and private information such as student medical details, transport details or even personal information like addresses and contact information. Unfortunately, with manual storage of such information, access to it is easy. With automated processes that focus on storage however, such information can be limited in terms of access through the judicious use of passwords and permissions.
5. Cost Inflation
Manual processes are very heavy on the bottom line primarily because of the associated labor and overhead costs. Unfortunately, such costs are also recurring which means that they are perpetual in nature since it is unlikely for all such manual processes to be reduced or eliminated. Instead of hoping for such an eventuality, it might be more prudent to have automated processes take over the role of manual processes in your school or college. This is because while automated processes that are part of, say, a school management software, have an initial investment, they pay off over time by reducing labor and overheads costs on the school. They also rarely have recurring costs associated with it – instead, they continue functioning without interference for years.
6. Decrease Productivity of Employees
Processes are one of the most mentally taxing, tiring, and time-consuming experiences for any employee. While process work is unavoidable in a school, one cannot deny the impact they have on the energy, time, and morale of employees, no matter how small a part they are of an employee’s day to day job. Most employees would rather offload the responsibility of administrative or processing work so that they can focus on their core responsibilities and be more productive where they are most valuable.
Processes are a valuable storehouse of information and data on how employees function over long periods of time. Such data allows employees to better streamline their work, management to provide necessary support and resources and for the school or college to just overall start functioning more efficiently One of the most frustrating things about manual processes is the inability to use this readymade knowledge in order to inform future decision making that could increase overall inefficiency. Automated processes, however, as a part of school management software automatically collects this information in the background as it performs its assigned tasks. Everything from timelines, actions taken, issues run into as a certain task is performed is automatically recorded and most school management software also generates reports about the same. Such reports can help inform decision making by a school at both the micro and macro level resulting in improvements in efficiency, finances and just overall functioning of the school.
8. Long Queues
Who likes standing in a queue? Manual processes by their very nature demand human presence and engagement, resulting in situations where there are often masses of people attempting to finish the same process at the same point. Anyone who has stood in line to collect an admission form, to make a fee payment, or to find out examination results is familiar with this phenomenon. Automated processes do away with this obsolete issue once and for all since they allow for such tasks to be performed by authorized users remotely – from anywhere at any time and from any device. This means the permanent reduction of masses of overwhelming people to perform simple tasks and a consequent reduction in pressure and stress on employees and an already overworked infrastructure.
9. Less Adaptable
By their very nature, manual processes become more about habit than efficiency. This means that they are not as quick to adapt since they rely on individual behavioral change as well as institutional change at an organizational level, Conversely, automated processes can be easily making them dynamic beasts that are responsive to change. This means that your school or college’s internal processes will always be relevant to the way modern institutions function these days and actually be relevant to the ever-evolving and changing needs of students, teachers, employees, administrators, and management.
These days, there is a significant amount of pressure on schools. They now need to make sure that they are showing the effort to engage the parents. This is being done so that they can be invested to a greater extent to the success of their wards – the students. Schools are using various solutions for these purposes. Digital technology is one of the main tools in this regard. The end aim, in this case, is to make sure that the efforts of increasing parent engagement are effective. Digital portfolios are playing a major role in this particular regard.
They are helping the parents take an active part in the learning of their wards at the same time as it is happening. This is the reason why experts rate them so much in such regard.
What are digital portfolios doing?
Digital portfolios are pushing updates to the parents. They are not only providing them to the parents and then expecting them to check the same in due course of time. With the help of such technology, parents can now stay connected to all that is happening in the classrooms. They are also helping the parents start a conversation with the students. This is the most important contribution that they are making in this particular regard.
The basic aim of such technology is simple – to help the students get better than what they were earlier. Now at the dinner table, parents can talk straightaway to the children about a particular project that they saw in their portfolios. They do not have to pose simplistic questions like what is going on with their school and education in general.
Some good examples in this regard:-
There are plenty of good examples in this regard to show how successful such technology has been in the first place. In some schools, they are organizing interviews between parents and teachers after a gap of a couple of months.
After using the digital tools and technology that we are talking about here these interviews have become a lot more open. There is a great deal of relaxation as well. Both parents and teachers feel that these meetings have become a lot quicker and friendlier. Much of this is because of the usage of digital technology. They are more like friendly check-ins instead of being the formal events they were earlier. The parents are receiving regular information about the progress of their children.
This has meant that the shock factor is now a lot less. These meetings now serve as a continuation of discussions that are going on at all times. This also means that now these meetings take less time. The relationships between the parents and the teachers have improved a lot as well.
Remarkable improvement in parental engagement thanks to digital tools
Digital tools such as portfolios have increased the engagement levels of the parents when it comes to their kids and that too in a remarkable way. The best thing about such technology is that you have various portfolios to choose from. Examples of such options are daily work portfolios and project work portfolios.
You can always choose one that suits your needs and requirements the best.
Expectations at the lower levels
Normally at the elementary classes, it is expected that the teachers would inform the parents at least once a week on the progress of their ward. This is where such digital technology has been of such immense help. In some cases, schools are directly inviting parents to the portfolios of their children. The teachers are also coaching the parents on how they can provide their feedback in these cases through the various means that are available to them.
In fact, these days, schools are also using iPads and other such devices to provide parents a very clear idea of how well their child is doing in her or his class. It is common for parents to love the fact that they know where their child’s education is at in terms of performance and quality. This is why educational technology can help the parents so much as they are able to follow the progress of their children closely enough.
Quite often it is being seen that students themselves are coming forward and taking ownership of the process. They do so by sharing their work straightaway with their peers and parents.
The importance of having parents in the educational process
Teachers know that it is very important that parents are part of the educational process of their children. With the help of digital technology such as these portfolios, they are creating an environment that is conducive to letting such development happen. They too can now be a part of the classroom as well and watch what the kids are doing.
This way, they also have a clear idea of how the kids are learning. Teachers are of the opinion that the actual power lies in the way that these portfolios are connecting schools with homes.
How are parents responding to these systems?
The efficiency of these systems can be gauged from the way that parents have responded to such technology being used in the classrooms. Parents can now watch important aspects of their child’s education within really short spans of time. This way, they can also provide feedback almost instantly as well. This, in turn, happens to be beneficial for the students too.
It also helps that these digital tools are built in such a way that parents have no issues navigating them as such. In fact, most parents these days are pretty familiar with these apps and much of this boils down to the fact that they are really at ease when it comes to the digital world in general. These systems are rather easy to use and they also offer the parents plenty of support when it comes to finding a level of engagement that they would have no problems with.
The school ERP system these days have shown that they are effective when it comes to communicating with the parents. However, even such effective systems have their limitations which are not to be found in the kind of systems that we are talking about over here. In most cases, the school management system is focused on communication with parents. It is basically a two-way street where things that can be discussed over the phone or sent through email/messages are focused on. An example of such an item would be the various school notices. Digital technology, on the other hand, emphasizes the conversations on student learning.
In these cases, there is an evident conversation between parents, teachers, and students. Teachers say that with such conversations they – as well as the parents – are basically able to see what the students are thinking. They are able to know how much they can understand, the misconceptions that they have, how tolerant they are to other perspectives, and the points of view they have. They also get an idea of how well they are able to listen, build on ideas from others, and answer various questions.
So, this, in a nutshell, is how such tools are helping parents get more invested in the learning of the students.
The board exams are one of the pivotal exams in the life of any student as acts as a stepping stone for their future. Not only do good results in the board exam help the students secure seats in a stream of their choice, but are the true test of merit, and successful accomplishment of exam boosts the confidence of the students, helps them secure scholarships and can be a determining factor in making important career choices.
It is for this reason the schools, families, and society puts a lot of pressure on students preparing for their board exams. However, instead of putting additional pressure on the students there is a lot that parents can do to motivate their students and help them prepare for the board exams.
Top Tips: For Parents to Support their Child during Board-Exams Stress:
1. Avoid putting too much pressure on the students
During the board exams, the students have to deal with the immense pressure with a large number of students competing for limited seats. Additionally, a difficult syllabus and other academic factors cause high stress among school students that lead many to commit suicide each year.
At this point, it is important for parents to be aware of all the stress factors in the life of the students and avoid setting unrealistic targets for them. Instead of pressuring their child to study, the parents should offer gentle encouragement and motivate their children to work as hard as possible without succumbing to pressure.
It is important to assure the students that you are there for them and that you will support them irrespective of their exam results.
2. Pay attention to nutrition, exercise, and sleep
Many students get so busy in their study schedule, that eating and sleeping on time take a back seat. Parents can encourage them to switch to fruits andjuices if they can’t bring themselves to eat a full meal. Additionally, they can encourage their children to take frequent naps if they prefer studying through the night.
Another key thing that parents can do is ensure that the kids step away from their books for a small walk or a stroll at least once a day. This ensures that the students get some fresh air and some exercise which is boost memory and brain function.
There is a famous adage that says, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. It is important to remember this and ensure that your child has an equal proportion of work and play as part of their daily schedule. Spending the entire day in front of the books can be detrimental to the mental and emotional health of your child. Therefore to boost study time concentration encourage your child to continue with their leisure activities to help them get a much-needed break from their books.
4. Help your child prepare a timetable
While appearing for the board exams, there are so many elements to a child day. From revision, memorizing, writing papers to ensuring there is time kept aside for rest and recreation. To ensure that each day is balanced and yet helps the students meet their study targets, parents can help their students to create a daily timetable.
Occasionally, in the beginning, students may also need so guidance to help them stay on the schedule. This can be a moment for parents to be supportive and yet firm towards their children.
5. Teach your kids the right way to study
Today the markets are flooded with books that help students strategize their studies – giving them tips and tools that will help them remember better and perform better in the exams. In the Indian context, some of these books include
There are many other similar books available for students appearing for their board exams that will help inspire the youth and prepare them for their exams
6. Keep numbers of helplines ready
Parents can also help their children by introducing their kids to the various government-launched helplines for students appearing for their boards. For instance, the Indian CBSE board has introduced the facility of IVR on toll-free number (1800 11 8004). On these toll-free numbers, students and parents can obtain pre-recorded information on tackling board exams which includes tips for better preparation, time and stress management.
Besides these helplines, it will also help to keep the number of principals, teachers, and psychologists handy so that students can reach out to them in times of emergencies.
7. Motivate your child with rewards
Many experts believe that instead of promising your child one big reward at the end of the exams, you can set many mini-rewards to celebrate every mini milestone that your child meets. These can be long term or short term rewards. For instance, short term goals can be the completion of a chapter or a certain number of mock tests. An example of a long term goal would be improved performance in mock tests or pre-boards. Experts believe that students perform better if they have you will set targets for their entire preparation journey and reward each target with mini-rewards to motivate them.
It is important to remember that these mini rewards do not have to be large gifts but can be small treats from a favorite dinner, movie, a day off – anything that will help your child study better and harder.
The day of the exam is crucial – not only before the exam but also after the exam. It is therefore important to spend some time after every exam understanding how that particular paper went and calming the student down if the exam was particularly hard. Parents can also use this time to encourage their students for the next exam and giving them a much-needed pat on the back.
It is important for parents to remember that after exams, there is no point in scrutinizing the paper at length to point out the mistakes the students would have committed. This may have a negative effect on the morale of the child and may do them more harm than good, especially right after they have put in all their efforts into the examination.
Board exams are one of the most stressful times for an entire household. Often parents worried, lying awake at night with anxiety, wondering what can they do to help their child do better in the exams. We do hope that these tips will help parents not only motivate and guide their children sitting for boards exams, but also help them with other students sitting for their annual exams.
One of the biggest challenges faced by schools principals is managing the excess amount of paperwork. Paperwork is one of the biggest areas of frustration for modern day principals. You – the principals – can always run away with such paperwork. Instead, you can automate the daily operations and processes by implementing an online platform. You can also automate processes such as course evaluation. In a nutshell, automation can help you get across to more students and that too in a positive way.
1. Making Better Decisions
How well your school performs depends significantly on the strategies and decisions that you make for the same.
As the head of the school, you are always accountable about the achievements of your students especially in the domain of academics. To make sure that you can fulfill all these lofty ambitions it is very important that you use those tools which provide dashboards to analyze data and reports. To easily identify the problems that may be arising in key areas such as student enrollment, success, and retention. There is clear proof that if you take decisions after analyzing the insightful reports you would be able to influence key areas of your school’s functioning like:
As a principal, you would always be facing complaints about class scheduling. These can come from just about everyone associated with your school. This includes people such as teachers, students, and general non-teaching staff. You can always use an automated system for timetables and thus cognitively reframe your scheduling. This way, your instructors would find it a lot easier to manage class schedules even if they have to do it for many courses, rooms, and faculty at a time.
If the scheduling is innovative it can help do away with various conflicts that normally happen when you do scheduling work in a manual way. This way, you are also able to have substitutes for your regular teachers. This, in turn, helps you maintain continuity in terms of instruction.
One of the basic problems that you would face in your role is recruiting teachers who are competent enough to do the work in various classes. Normally you see in schools, which are successful, that there are several top class features that make things move.
School management system has features such as the following:
Real-time application tracking
Automated ranking system
Through these, it is easier to identify teachers who are sensitive and talented enough. They are ones who have shown the right competence, commitment, and will. All these are necessary to put into practice certain educational programs that are of high quality and innovative at the same time. They are also ones who can provide an unmatched level of excellence at all times for the students.
You need to understand the simple fact that teachers are pretty vulnerable themselves as well. They are always finding it hard to create a bridge between learning contexts and assessments & instructions. This is especially true when the student population is a diverse one in terms of skill. You can create the instructions in an innovative manner and make the curriculum a flexible one. This way, it is always easier for the students to gel with the teachers. You can always use a faculty evaluation system for such a purpose. In such a system you can create a component of peer evaluation.
You can get this done through online surveys. You can also create a benchmark to judge how effective a teacher has been. On the basis of this evaluation and feedback score, you can create an action plan for improvement and training. This will help your faculty members immensely. This is because they would be able to become a lot more cohesive in their work and teach a lot better than what they have been doing so far.
5. Attendance and Discipline
One of the major problems that you face from students is the lack of discipline, something that is reflected the best in things such as absenteeism.
You can always take some steps to make an improvement in this regard. For this, you can use tools such as attendance trackers that function on technology like biometric and RFID (radio frequency identifier). This way, you can check what students are doing on a real-time basis. It helps in improving their educational performance as well. You can also use these systems to maintain discipline and order in your school and control issues such as violence, bullying, vandalism, and racism, to name a few. This way, your campus also becomes a lot better for all.
There is discipline over there and of the sophisticated kind, it may be added as well. In these cases, mobile devices can be used to capture untoward incidents and actions, and then authority figures such as you could be informed on a real-time basis. This, in turn, makes sure that the students are all safe.
As a principal, you are also responsible, to a certain extent, when it comes to designing a curriculum that is detailed and covers most bases, if not all. This is a critical task indeed.
This is where technology such as curriculum mapping software can give you the tools that you need to carry out changes to the way you have designed your syllabus and curriculum. Through such technology, you can create a sort of education that is customized and result oriented. Such a system of education is actually capable of mapping competencies and attributes of the students in such a way that learning outcomes can be improved. This way, students can also develop the skills and capabilities that are needed for them in order to produce the kind of results that are expected from them.
7. Evaluating Student’s Outcomes
One of your biggest areas of responsibility – as well as a major challenge – is definitely influencing the performance of the students. As a principal, you would obviously want to promote learning and make sure that your students are performing as well as they possibly can. For this, you need to use academic planning tools that are cutting edge. They would help you create learning plans that are personalized in nature. This way, you would be able to create definite tasks and goals that are connected to the lessons that you are offering. This way, you can ensure that the students would be successful as well.
You can also use online exam based tools such as the following to gauge the progress of your students such as assignments, quizzes, tests, and surveys.
Apart from these, there are some other areas of concern for you that may be mentioned as below:
Involvement of Parents
Collaboration and Communication
A Complete Overview of the School Operations
Reports on How Various Departments are Performing
Thus, as can be seen from above there is plenty and more on your plate and you can easily use all the help that you get in this regard.
Traditionally, video games have long been derided as a waste of time or a distraction for students that can go from benign to addictive very quickly. WOW widows and students becoming addicted to video games to the point of not being able to accomplish basic daily tasks have plagued headlines for years. In fact, the image of a lazy, unemployed, underachieving gamer is a well-known stereotype now.
In many ways, video gaming may seem antithetical to the process of learning itself. It is not an uncommon sight in households with school going children to limit screen time or time spent playing video games in order to help students focus on their academic goals. This has been the traditional view towards video gaming with regards to addition.
Are video games really entering schools?
Increasingly, however, across schools, a new trend is emerging. To start with, video games and the video gaming industry are increasingly being taken more and more seriously by schools and colleges. Whether it is game design, video game studies or just classes around building video games or studying the culture around video games, these former distractions are being taken more seriously than ever before.
But that is not where it stops. More and more schools are encouraging playing video games as a way to enhance the learning their students engage in. This can be by just providing resources to play age-appropriate games during breaks and downtime at the school between classes. It can also be about integrating games into the curriculum – by using them to explain a concept or method, or by relying on specially built educational games to help students improve their skills in a certain domain. For instance, numerous apps exist that help students build their vocabulary through the use of simple and well-researched games that are proven to produce positive results.
A brief note on the gamification of learning
The use of gaming principles or the creation of games specifically dedicated to learning is more ubiquitous than ever before. We are seeing many tools, apps, and programs flood the market that is focused on helping students gain numeracy and verbal skills. These games can range from simplistic like a vocabulary builder to complex ones that explain ideas at a conceptual level, based on data and teaching methodologies that have been developed by scientists over several years.
The gamification of learning, however, refers to the application of game principles and methodologies to help students learn and better. Simplistically put, they make learning more exciting by adding narrative arcs, reward systems and opportunities for growth and collaboration, just like in a game. The gamification of education and learning has been shown to result in increased connect and engagement on part of the student, resulting in more attentive learning and consequently more positive learning outcomes.
Advantages of Video Gaming for K-12 Students
1. Better communications amongst students
Most video games involve some degree of interpersonal communications these days. This is especially the case with team games or multiplayer games that have become more popular recently vis a vis single player games. Video games thus often involve players having to become more and more comfortable with communicating with their peers, sharing information, pitching strategic ideas, engaging in debate – all skills that would come in handy in both their academic and professional careers. Video games also encourage a variety of communication styles across multiple channels – from text-based instant messaging within the game or using a chat client, to using conference calls like Team Speak or Discord, to video chats for those who like to stream their games to an audience on a platform like Twitch. Getting comfortable with these varying modes of communication is highly useful in an increasingly connected world.
2. Improved spatial awareness
Video games do not just help improve soft skills like communication. Many academic studies have shown that games help build motor skills like spatial awareness by the very way players engage with the game. For instance, imagine a first-person shooter game that places players in a war zone where they have to seek and capture or destroy certain targets. Players quickly learn how to spot these targets amongst plenty of clutter and distractions within the game. Repetitively engaging in such tasks helps players improve their inherent motor skills all while entertaining themselves. This improvement in motor skills also helps outside of the game – faster reaction time and better spatial awareness help both in academics and extracurricular activities within the school, giving some students confidence in their abilities.
A majority of video games out today tend to be team player or multiplayer. This means that most video game enthusiasts today play their favorite video games collaboratively with friends and other players from across the world. Often, the game is also built to be played and won in a collaborative fashion. Players of the video game take on roles with strengths and weaknesses and band together to achieve goals and acquire points. Part of this process is understanding how to work in a group for the collective common win. This means that everyday players of such multiplayer or team-based video games are building their collaborative and communications skills. These are soft skills, yes, but they are vital for where these future workers will end up – working with colleagues on larger scale projects at their jobs. Video games thus help players build a sense of loyalty towards teamwork and teaches them how to be effective working in them.
4. Better problem-solving skills
These days, most video games have a goal to be achieved or a quest to be completed. Players work over long periods of time patiently in order to acquire the skill, knowledge, and experience to be able to successfully achieve these goals or complete their quests in order to win these games. Along the way, blockers and challenges are thrown up in the game that users must learn how to solve applying everything they have learned so far or through trial and error. This kind of problem-solving skill is honed over many hours of playing games. Such skills are easily transferable to the working or academic world, where users are no longer intimidated by problems. Instead, there is a mindset change inculcated through long hours of playing video games that help them view problems as challenges to be overcome and that they are capable of overcoming.
5. Learn how to work consistently
Parents and teachers often complain about how video games are a waste of time and energy for students. But another perspective to take here is that video games do require time and effort – but that is because players only improve their skills and outcomes by practicing consistently over long periods of time. This same ability can then be transferred to subjects of their interest and things to be learned if student curiosity is sparked by teachers and parents in innovative ways. In many ways playing video games is the first time a student will learn the value of hard work and consistent practice – a lesson they will carry with them throughout the course of their academic and professional careers.