virtual summit

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

Intro & highlights of our first virtual summit

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

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


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

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

Highlights of our first Virtual Summit:

 

Number of visitors Conversions Conversion rate
4848 1686 34.8%

highlights of virtual summit

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

Chetan Bhagat virtual summit landing page performance

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

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

virtual summit survey graph

Steps to host a successful virtual summit

Phase 1

1. Goal of the summit

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

2. Topic & Theme of the summit

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

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

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

3. Live or Recorded

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

4. Tech Tools

Listed below are the tools we used during our summit:

5. Deciding the date

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

6. Asset require to promote a summit

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

Phase 2

1. List building of speakers

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

2. Screening process

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

3. Outreach & communication

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

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

Phase 3

1. Landing page & Content Planning

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

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

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

school operations development virtual summit 2018

2. Promotion on all digital channel

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

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

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

    3. Lead Magnet

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

4. No Live interviews, then record the interview

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

Phase 4

1. Promote & Execute the summit

Finally comes the event launch week.

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

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

Phase 5

1. Follow up

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

Benefits of Virtual Summit

  • Brand Awareness

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

  • Lead Generation

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

  • Revenue Generation

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

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

What is coming next?

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

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

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

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

 

 

IoT in education

Significance of IoT in Education

Learn how this new tech impacts your school

What is IoT?

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

Where is IoT usually used?

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

How can IoT be used in schools?

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

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

Why should I be using IoT at my school?

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

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

How have educational institutions used IoT in the past?

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

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

Artificial Intelligence in education

Artificial Intelligence in education – How it improves the learning experience?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our lives whether we know it or not, and whether we accept it or not. It has risen to such a status over the years in a slow but steady manner. Everything that we do like buying clothes and shoes on the internet as well as watching shows on TV is influenced to various extents by AI.  However, the question that needs to be asked in this context is what effect would this have on education?

The fact of the matter is that AI does not take away, in way, shape, or form, from the classroom. Rather it makes the classroom experience a lot better than before.

Here are some benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Education which improves the learning experience:

Personalization

This is one of the benefits that AI is expected to have as far as education is concerned. In a class, it can get really difficult for a teacher to meet the expectations of each and every student out there. After all, there are so many different kinds of students that teachers have to deal with!

There are remedial students, ESL students, advanced students, and students with special needs, to name a few. In this day and age, it is very important that all of them have the same kind of access to education and learning. The beauty of AI systems is that they are able to adapt quite easily to the individual learning related requirements of a student. As such it can also target instructions that are based on their relative strengths and weaknesses. It also reduces the meaningless work that teachers have to do every now and then. This also means that the learning experience is a lot more meaningful for the students.

Teaching

In fact, this is one effect that is already being seen evidently. AI is already being used in order to teach students. There are so many ways in which machines are starting to play the same role that was once being played by humans and this includes tutors as well. Just like human tutors can do, intelligent tutoring systems are able to understand the style of learning preferred by students. They are also able to gauge the amount of knowledge that a student already has. All this data and analysis is being used to deliver instructions and support that is created specifically for that student.

Grading

This has got to be the best benefit that AI can have in this particular domain. As far as tasks that teachers are supposed to do this is supposed to be the most boring. At the same time, this is the one task that takes the maximum away from them. It is because of work like grading that teachers are unable to devote more time to more purposeful and meaningful work such as professional development and lesson planning.

These days, machines have become a lot more advanced than what they were earlier. They are now capable of performing a lot more than just grading an examination by using an answer key. They are capable of compiling data regarding how students have been performing. In fact, they can also grade on assignments that are as subjective as essays.

Constructive feedback on course quality

Nowadays, AI has the capacity to find out gaps in course content on the basis of how students are performing in the assessments.  Let us say that most of the students in a class have failed to answer a question the right way.

Now AI can actually look into that pattern and see if certain information or concepts are missing from the program’s curriculum or not. This, in turn, can help teachers provide better materials or use better methods of learning so that students can improve in those areas.

Providing meaningful feedback to students

This is the age when most of the people around the world are communicating by way of text messages. These days, students are also growing increasingly insecure about asking questions or clearing doubts with their teachers in front of their peers. For them, it is a risk better not taken.

They are also worried about receiving critical feedback on a public forum. By using AI students would be more comfortable when it comes to making mistakes that are necessary for them to learn well. As a bonus, they would also get the suggestions that they need in order to improve.

Recap: Run Your Educational Institution Like a Fortune 500 CEO

Creating a global classroom

With AI it would be possible for schools to create global classrooms, as it were. From now on it would no longer matter as to where a student is. If she or he is unable to attend a class due to some reason or the other all she or he would need to do is visit a link, click on it, and the student can join the live classroom. Similarly, thanks to this technology it would also be possible for them to interact with their peers even if they were a thousand miles apart from each other.

There can be no doubt about the fact that technology such as AI is making education a lot more efficient and easier than what it was. In fact, as Hadley Ferguson – the executive director of the Edcamp Foundation – says, students can actually use such technology in order to interact with their teachers as well as famous authors, experts, and scientists, whose books they may be reading in class. It is expected that in the days ahead some of these kids, so adept at technology, will grow up and become teachers themselves. They can push this change along even further.

The role of skilled teachers

No matter what one may think skilled teachers would always have a role to play even in the AI age and beyond.

Experts such as Shannon May, who has founded the Bridge International Academies, say that technology would never drive teachers completely out of the fray. Rather it would be teachers, skilled in the ways of using technology, driving the usage of AI based on the needs of their students. Education technology such as AI would be used more to supplement the best ways of teaching and learning that exist already.

Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO (chief executive officer) of General Assembly, feels that with the advancement of technology there would be better ideas regarding what its limits are. He says that there is no way that going online completely is going to solve all the problems with education now. However, at the same time, he does acknowledge that it could make access to education a lot easier. According to him, when combined with school curricula and programs AI could become a powerful tool. He signs off by saying that the human factor would always be important.

Making education a lot more interesting than before

There are many ways in which AI can make education a lot more interesting. It can create the sort of immersive experience that you need in order to get students hooked on to their class and understand all that is being said. Things such as game technology and simulation are expected to play major roles in this regard. It can actually make education a lot more adaptive and intuitive. In fact, such technology can actually be used in order to encourage students to come together and develop knowledge themselves. This is something that you need so badly in this day and age of short attention span.

Monitoring performance

AI makes it a lot easy for teachers and school management to keep track of how well or poorly the students are performing. Such systems can be used to deal effectively with the vast volume of data and statistics that these schools and colleges normally have. They can use these to create definite reports that help them understand the progress being made by various students. The best part of all this is that such reports can be created as many times as needed. The quality of data can be enhanced as well.

Conclusion

It is not uncommon for educators has to fear how their role would be diminished by the use of technology such as leading school enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

It is true that when systems are changed en masse there are always some bad things that can happen. In some instances, there are actually logically justifiable reasons for such fears. However, at the same time, it would be absolutely foolish to ignore the improvements and possibilities that AI can offer in the domain of education. It is actually supposed to bring about a dramatic improvement in the overall educational experience with AI. In fact, as has been said already, when you have the right teacher using it AI can actually do wonders that traditional methods of education may not be able to do.

hiring the best teachers for your school

5 Simple Tips For Hiring The Best Teachers For Your School

Teachers are the founding pillars on which great educational institutions are built and hiring great teachers can often be critical to the success of a school. However, when hiring the best teachers for your school, one of the most important elements to remember is that every school has different needs and different prerequisites that make for a good teacher is that school.

For instance, in a school that is more modern and uses online learning platforms and school management software, it is essential that the teacher be more technically savvy and digitally confident. On the other hand, if a school is stressed with discipline among students, then a conventional teacher with strict teaching methods would work perfectly well

It is therefore that one of the most critical aspects of hiring teachers starts with the school identifying the type of teachers needed.

Let’s look at a few more essential tips when hiring teachers for your school

  • Determine Hiring Goals

The first important strategy related to teacher hiring is to be able to identify the position, the necessary skills, knowledge and experiences that you are looking for in your teacher candidates. By bearing in mind the specific skills and knowledge that are needed for the open teaching position, the school authorities can prepare stronger questions to ensure that the selected candidates possess the required skills.

Most school principals are effectively looking for teachers with some pre-determined qualities such as intelligence, knowledge of the subject, pedological skills, emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence and required educational experience.

  • Adopt A Paperless Screening System

One of the fastest ways to screen candidates is to use a school management software that will allow you to collect and review the candidate applications in a hassle-free manner. The school management software can enter applicant details into the online system, segregate the applicant and send pre-written letters to the selected or rejected applicants – thus saving the time and effort of the school administration team.

Recap: Run Your Educational Institution Like a Fortune 500 CEO

  • Evaluate Soft Skills

When you call the selected candidates for an interview – start by evaluating the soft skills of the prospective teachers. Check with the teachers on their classroom management strategies, on their personal belief system as well as their instructional strategies to deal with different types of learners.

  • Assess Hard Or Technical Skills

Once you are confident with the soft skills of your teachers, you can then assess the technical skills of the teacher such as writing skills, curriculum knowledge, analytical skills etc. Craft and ask the questions that will elicit that information that you are looking for about the candidate.

  • Recheck and reference check

When you have narrowed candidates, you can call their references for a check. It is also essential to relook at the application folder to recheck the basics about your selected candidate. This includes checking handwriting, grades in various coursework, trends in work patterns etc.

Hiring the perfect teacher for your school does not have a set formula and while the above guidelines can help you select the best candidates, you also need to rely on your instincts and experience. And most of all enjoy the hiring process as you network and get to know the brilliant teachers in your community.

Run Your Educational Institution Like a Fortune 500 CEO

Run Your Educational Institution Like a Fortune 500 CEO

Have you begun working smart yet?

Being a part of the education ecosystem can often feel like you’re living in a bubble. It isn’t just constantly being reminded about the potential this world contains thanks to the eager hopefulness your students demonstrate but also having your focus be more about empowering these scholars, rather than being part of the regular rat race. But this does not mean we have nothing to learn from the corporate world. An efficiently run school has trickle-down effects that benefit a lot more than your happy accounts guy – teachers are able to run classes more smoothly, students focus better, and your non-education staff works more competently.

So how does one run their school like the latest startup maverick? Or even his predecessor, the much-lauded Fortune 500 CEO? Here are some maxims to keep in mind when running your own school or college:

Have Clarity of Mission

A journey without a destination is just aimless wandering. Adventurous asides are all well and good, but the captain of the ship (that’s you!) must know where he’s taking his charges. What is the aim of your school? What do you want to excel at? Are your educators and non-educational staff aware of your goals? Have they bought into the vision you have for the school? Do they identify with your collective mission?

These are all questions you must have answers to before you open your doors to future change makers and world leaders. Maps are not just another app Google blesses us with, but a handy reference for you to return to time and again, especially when you are feeling lost.

Get Your Basics Right

You have your vision and mission now…great! The next step is getting the bare bones in place to ensure your school is built on a strong foundation. We aren’t just talking about the infrastructure your school has to offer, but also the people that occupy key positions. Ensure that you aren’t cutting corners at this stage – hire educators and administrators who identify with your mission and have demonstrated excellence in their previous positions, seek out guidance that will move you towards your end goal, and ensure that you publicise your mission to parents and scholars appropriately. The students you will be educating should be ones who will flourish under your tutelage.

Recap: School ERP System to manage and enhance Parent-Teacher Communication

Build Agile Attitudes

Mission buy-in and deliberate hires are step one to building a successful team. You will reap the rewards of their contributions only if you instil a collective attitude that leans towards agile or lean working and empowers them to do their best in this environment. Embracing tech is the most low-hanging fruit you have to make this possible. Using open source, robust school management systems like Fedena ensure that a lot of the chaff is discarded at the outset, leaving your stakeholders to focus on what they do best – enable students to excel!

Challenges are Opportunities

You and your team have hit the ground running and things seem to be chugging along just fine. But challenges are inevitable, so do not fear them. When encountering an issue, see how you can lean into the systems you have set up, the attitude you have inculcated, and the skill set you have acquired to turn them into opportunities. Problems are signals to you that something might not be running as efficiently as possible – so here is your chance to improve things around you! When you view challenges as an opportunity to do better, you teach students to do the same. An important mindset to take into the world, so inculcate it early.

hacks to skyrocket your institute’s productivity

Top 5 hacks to skyrocket your institute’s productivity

Productivity is not just the art of doing things in the fastest way possible, but it also entails doing things in the most efficient manner to get the best results

This essential skill is the need of the hour for school, colleges, and other educational institutes. This is because schools need to put in additional efforts to increase their proficiency and fulfill the needs of various departments. They need to ensure that the educational institution is functioning efficiently. Schools today, face a constant demand for data, which needs to be immediate and accurate. In the midst of this, it is often easy for a school to find itself distracted by constant administrative pressure and lose their focus on teaching students productively.

Let’s look at a few easy hacks that will help you boost the productivity of your institute:

  • Advance Lesson Planning

Productivity is often synonymous with preparation and schools can encourage their teachers to prepare lesson plans in advance, so that they do not have to struggle in class with what part of the course needs their attention.

Using a school course management software or an eLearning software, teachers can easily upload their course content online as a guide to help the teachers stick to the lesson plan and achieve maximum productivity in the classroom

  • Eliminate Manual Record Keeping

The use of a school management system has made manual work such as managing student attendance, sports records, contact details not only much easier, but it also ensures that the security of data is maintained at all times. Additionally, work such as responding to emails, managing admission queries become a lot easier – thus effectively saving time boosting productivity

  • Assess your students in the classroom

Instead of taking assignments home and assessing the students post-school hours, teachers can opt for online quizzes and tests that assess the students in real time. Using an online school management software helps the teachers to assess students without waiting and give them the help before it is too late. This also enables students to see their subject comprehension faster and get more time for improvement

  • Enable discussion boards

Even as the teacher is at the helm of the classroom, having an online discussion board will enable students to resolve each other’s queries instead of constantly addressing them to the teacher. This will not only create a more productive class environment, but it will also empower the students to be more independent and resourceful

  • Flip the classroom for increased productivity

The Flipped Class model is a highly successful teaching model that uses eLearning platform to reverse classroom events. A great productivity tool, the flipped classroom allows students to watch or listen to the lectures at home and use the time in the classroom to do clarify their doubts.  The time is class is then highly a highly productive way to enhance classroom learning

The use of technology in the classroom is a great way to engage the students as well as to keep the institute highly productive. As we hurtle towards a completely digital era, one of the best ways to ensure highly productive and efficient educational institutes is through the use of various online learning platform.

How to Deal with the Technical Challenges That Face a Modern School or College

Today’s schools and colleges face a wide range of technical challenges that did not exist a decade or two ago. As more technologies are developed and go mainstream, these challenges will continue to increase. However, if you take certain steps and precautions, you can use the latest technologies to their full potential and use them positively in your school or college. Below are some of the ways you can achieve this goal for your school or college.

 

Training and Education
As technology has advanced and becomes more important in the education system, it’s essential to have staff members who understand these technologies. A wide range of systems is required in a modern school or college, including learning management systems, financial management systems, school and college management systems, and complex technical equipment.

These systems and equipment need to be installed and maintained on a regular basis, so it’s important to hire people who are qualified to work on these systems and equipment. If you already have people doing this work or you want an employee or employees to improve their technical skills, it’s worth your while sending these individuals on a software development masters degree program offered by a university like Maryville University.

The skills they develop and improve while they are on a course like an online MSSD degree will benefit your school or college in many ways and you will have employees who are able to cope with a wide range of technical issues that affect today’s schools and colleges.

 

Bring in the Experts
Online bullying, promoting your school or college properly online, and other important online issues need to be addressed by the person or people running a school. Unfortunately, many senior staff members in schools and colleges may not be aware of these issues and how to deal with them. If this is the case, you may need to hire a person or people who can consult with you and identify the threats and the opportunities that the internet and the latest technologies present.

 

Introduce Rules and Regulations
Schools and colleges have always had their own codes of conduct. However, in recent years, it’s become a necessity to introduce even more rules and regulations that govern the way technology is used in a school or college. The use of smartphones and social media has changed the way students interact with each other. A school or college now needs to find ways to control how these technologies are used during school hours.
Budgeting

As more educational technologies are developed, more money and resources are required to purchase and maintain these systems. These are added costs that today’s school or college administrators have to include in their budgets when they sit down to decide how much money they have to spend during the academic year.

The latest technologies are changing most areas of our lives and the education system is one of the areas that are most affected by these developments. If you are running a school or college, you need to know how to deal with the technical challenges you are facing.

3 Education Technology Products Built in Developing Nations

Ensuring access to education technology despite economic constraints.

 

We have ​previously discussed​ how education technology is a vital ingredient when it comes to greater inclusion, especially for those from marginalised groups. The same principle holds true no matter what the scale. Whether it is your classroom or a nation on the verge of becoming a world player to be reckoned with technology is a resource that cannot be ignored.

 

But most educational technology is developed in the western world, where access to high speed internet, a constant supply of electricity, and other infrastructural support is presumed to exist in plenty. Anyone who has stepped outside their first world bubble will realise this is not the case in most developing nations. This is not to say that non-western countries are not technologically savvy or economically capable – the thriving economies of some African, Middle Eastern and Asian nations have been the subject of much analysis. The issue here often has to do with the comprehensive availability of infrastructural support across a nation and its people’s socio-economic classes and the consistency of its quality.

 

It is obvious, then, that educational technology built in the nations that they are made to support are the perfect fit for its people. These products are most likely to keep in mind the location specific constraints other products might not address, making them more useful to those who need them the most – their users.

 

BRCK

 

The biggest blocker for product developers in most developing nations, even those that are economically robust, are having to deal with a much larger set of unknowns than their counterparts in more developed nations. BRCK is a portable connectivity device that helps users cope with unreliable internet and electricity connectivity issues. These two are non-negotiable requirements for most technology products, even if it is something as simple as video conferencing in a social studies professor to teach school children in Ghana about the world around them.

 

Developed in Nairobi, this product has now multiple copy cats which only speaks to the very real need that existed in the market for such a device.

 

MobiStation

 

Developed in Uganda, MobiStation is billed as a classroom in a suitcase. Powered entirely by solar electricity, MobiStation enables teachers to use it in a variety of ways. It’s in built projector and audio system can be used to play educational videos, project classroom notes, or video conference with students across the world to help build bridges amongst the youth of the nation. MobiStation also has a rich library of offline content to supplement the school curriculum and teaching material being used in the classroom, that does not require internet connectivity to be used. Features like a touchpad and stylus allow students to have a more tactile learning experience resulting in higher engagement.

 

Ustad Literacy

 

Product developers in Afghanistan noticed that a lot of existing education technology on the market was relying on ubiquitous access to tablets, laptops, or high end smartphones. While access to mobile devices is expanding at breakneck speeds in developing nations, it is foolhardy to build for a more westernised future when the present need in developing nations is critical.

 

In order to improve literacy amongst students, developers at one of Afghanistan’s few technology firms, developed Ustad Literacy on existing eXe open source software, to allow people with low-end brick phones to be able to have access to learning tools on their devices. This non-dependence on electricity, internet connectivity, and even cellular connectivity, allows the poorest of students in the most remote areas of the world achieve literacy outcomes that keep them on par with their more privileged counterparts.
 
Our intent with our Learning management sytem – Uzity too is to make learning easier for everyone.

education technology tools blog

Four Unexpected Education Technology Tools That Will Transform Your Classroom

These education technology tools were under your nose all along
 
 
Education technology is growing by leaps and bounds, supported by an immense amount of credible research and backed by robust engineering. We’ve spoken on this blog before about how education technology tools and platforms are not just for the elite, but that the simplest of tools can help marginalized students learn better. But as any teacher in an underfunded school knows, making the case to purchase the latest piece of technology on the market can be an uphill battle. Assessing the needs of your classroom, comparison shopping for the most cost effective option, ensuring that it will be useful over the long-term are all just the first few steps to convincing school administrators to make a purchase you just know will empower your students. It is often a long drawn out and exhausting process. So here are a few existing tools that are not necessarily built for the classroom, but are as effective as that best-in-class dream tool you have been eyeing for months now.
 
 

Education Technology Tools

 
 
Google Docs
 
Working with Google Docs for a group project is one of the most fulfilling experience your very particular students are going to thank you for. Its auto-save option is perfect for the absent-minded kids, while it’s multiple person edit feature allows for seamless real-time collaboration. The best part is that it’s continual archiving enables you to see who really contributed what in that report you assigned – enabling you to better help students who might be flying under the radar and lagging a little behind their peers. These features can be found across most Google Apps features – from Slides for presentations to Sheets for some organization or analytical assignments.
 
 
Duolingo
 
Struggling to get your students to pay attention to their language lessons out of the classroom? What better way than to gamify it. Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning apps out there, and there is nothing stopping it from being a fun five-minute game your students play on the bus on their way to school. While it certainly is not a replacement for in-classroom instruction, it makes for a handy supplementary tool perfect for practice – one of the most vital elements to perfect learning a new language. This is by far one of the most under-rated education technology tool in the market.
 
 
Prezi
 
A big part of learning is communicating the information absorbed to an audience. Even the most enthusiastic listeners can be distracted when confronted with a dull and static powerpoint presentation straight out of the 90s. As a savvy teacher, you know that communication and presentation skills will stand them in good stead for their college career and their professional lives after. So why not give them a head start? Prezi is a presentation tool that allows students to easily create highly dynamic and engaging presentations. Using this educational technology tool will not only encourage your students to think about how to best communicate their ideas but also about how to use good design to their advantage.
 
 

StayFocused

 
Let’s be honest with ourselves – the best education technology tools stand defeated in the face of the multitude of distractions our students have to cope with. Whether it is a notification about their favorite singer tweeting or the latest meme going viral or a fight brewing on the group chat, work and pleasure are intermixed in our increasingly connected world. Tools like StayFocused enable students to be online but still stay productive by blocking certain distractions for pre-determined periods of time. Deploying tools that help you focus early can only train young brains to remain on task more easily.
 
Let us know what are the other education technology tools you like to use!

Sampoorna school management system blog image

Project Sampoorna – The School Management System Every Indian Student Deserves

Proven results in scale and effectiveness for our nation

 
Sampoorna school management system blog image
 
In 2011, the Government of Kerala took on the ambitious challenge of better serving its students by more efficiently managing their school record details. The end-goal was to make previously tiresome processes more hassle-free for all administrators, from the Headmaster at the very top of the institution management to the classroom level teachers interacting directly with students.
 
From this vision was born Project Sampoorna, a school management system that would track the details of every student in order to enable institutions to better empower them. Sampoorna was built on Fedena’s open source database and server software and was launched under the aegis of the IT@School Project in Kerala, whose aim was to leverage technology to bring about school level transformations. The numbers involved in this project only speak to its ambitiousness – over 300, 000 teachers benefited in Kerala had the opportunity to use this system to better track and manage their students’ schooling. 70 lakh student records in 15, 000 schools across the State were tracked using the Sampoorna system.
 
But why was this project so important to begin with? While the processes of yore might have seemed cumbersome, they certainly were not entirely dysfunctional. Things had been carrying on without too many major mishaps. Was this yet another effort to fix something that was not entirely broken?
 
Sampoorna in the media
 
Let’s start with a deeper than surface level look at a phenomenon most people are familiar with – the skyrocketing of school fees. This is not only a subject of popular debate at dinner table conversations, or an electoral promise made by anyone running for office, but a a primary factor in people’s individual economic decision making. The refrain from a disgruntled parent about how much he/she is spending on school for his child whose marks are not quite up to par is practically a trope now. Educational loans are one of the most utilised types of funding banks offer. Every parent aspires for their child to join a brand name school, get into a brand name college, and secure a brand name job. So it makes sense why school fees are rising and will continue to do so. There are a multitude of factors that influence this trajectory. In addition to the usual suspects – such as rising cost of living, the demand for more specialised competencies from our teachers, and the increased competitiveness students are facing with each passing day – there is a hidden cost that is not often factored into increased school fees.
 
School administration fees are often overlooked when considering why school fees are so high nowadays. In addition to property costs, schools are dealing with a greater number of administrative processes, from issuance of certificates to catering to the real-time information demands of increasingly involved parents. The sheer scale of these processes is hard to keep pace with, especially without the help of technological support. Anything that helps mitigate this cost is a win for everyone – from institutions who seem to be perennially struggling with budgetary budgetary concerns to parents who are making heartbreaking compromises for their child’s educational future.
 
This is where ambitious initiatives like Project Sampoorna come in. The robust engineering upon which the platform is built and its comprehensive technical capabilities allow schools to focus on their primary goals of educating India’s future thinkers.
 
What started off as a 100 day pilot programme in 2011 was found to be so effective, leaders in the Government of Kerala have now mandated the compulsory use of the Sampoorna school management software across the entire State going forward in 2017.
 
Educational technology initiatives are rarely this successful, especially when one factors in the massive requirement in terms of scale. Especially of note here is that this has been accomplished not by a private entity with billions of dollars of investment, but by the Government of Kerala, ensuring its democratic implementation. This is not an elitist program accessible to only a few financially blessed institutions and their equally privileged wards. Students from all walks of life in Kerala have benefited from this project and will continue to do so.
 
A second point of commendation is that Project Sampoorna has led to stellar financial outcomes – data shows that over $10 million dollars a year has been saved every thanks to the cost-cutting in labour and resources that the platform has allowed. Every dollar earned through this type of frugality at scale is a dollar that can be put towards resources that directly improve student learning and thus, student outcomes.
 
So what are the administrative functions that the State of Kerala has saved on in the last few years?
 
The processes the system can manage are comprehensive. Administrators can use the Sampoorna school management system to streamline previously burdensome processes like preparation of Transfer Certificates, copying of Admission Register, generation of a variety of student reports, generation of lists for numerous scholarships, preparation of SSLC examination database, preparation of student progress report, student class promotion lists and even entry forms for sporting and cultural events. Students and parents can keep a better track of their progress in school through the easily generated reports for parents, teachers and non-teaching staff who support student activity The system has become a necessary facet of everyday school functioning – teachers utilise the time table management feature that has been integrated into the software.
 
Sampoorna Fedena The hindu
 
And what can we look forward to from Sampoorna in 2017 and beyond?
 
Now that some existing processes have been tested in the system, the possibilities are endless. The potential of the system must be utilised at its fullest in order to ensure complete effectiveness. Whether it is ensuring its existing features to better track government spending at individual schools, or expanding the scope of the system to track more than student details, the sky’s the limit.
 
In a country like India, where various out of school factors like number of siblings, gender of the student, parent’s income, parent’s education, distance to school, nutrition(body mass index) etc. play a critical role than the quality of schools and teachers, Sampoorna has the capability to track student data that directly affects our ability to understand issues that truly affect educational outcomes for students. This data collection is the first step to implementing highly effective and personalised students. Sampoorna is also ready to manage the implementation of these students. For instance, tracking the implementation of a government scheme like the Mid-day Meal program utilises features that already exist in Sampoorna and have a proven track record of success.
 
Research shows us that education is one of the key factors in social mobility – a marker of success, especially in a country as diverse as India. For most people, education is their one route to improving their social conditions, especially for those struggling with abject poverty. Detractors might argue that spending on educational technology when students go hungry is a frivolous and foolhardy act. This is an outmoded way of thinking. Education technology helps effect real change that can transform people’s lives. It is not just a student that benefits, but their entire family, and consequently their communities. Investing in educational technology initiatives like the Government of Kerala has can make or break this country’s future.
 
Sampoorna’s robust technical capabilities and cost effectiveness at scale make it a highly reliable educational partner, especially for Governments that already have the reach that private entities struggle to match. Its success is not just limited to the State of Kerala, and visionary leaders from across the country must recognise that there is no reason to not expand it to the rest of India. This future ready platform is what students from across our country deserve.

student management system report card format blog image

Are Your School Report Cards Communicating To Parents Or Confusing Parents?

The Changing Role Of Schools In Society
 student management system blog image
 
A few decades ago, schools could be defined as fundamental centres for imparting knowledge and formation of the citizen according to the constitution. However, with changing economies, shrinking families and increasing pressure of children the role of the school in society is fast changing.
 
The role of the school has evolved to not only be places that transmit information but to encourage critical thinking, creativity and foster healthy social relationships. The schools of today are places of research, cultivating among its students positive attitudes of enquiry and a desire for lifelong learning.
 
Understanding The Purpose Of The Report Card
 
While the role of the school has evolved, the humble report card has continued to remain a paper that simply grades the students on their scholastic achievements.
For schools, the report card is an essential administrative tool that serves as a record holder of the students’ academic progress. But for parents, the report card is the most common and formal form of parent – teacher communication and hence needs to be in a format that is clear, easy to understand and universally acceptable. It is vital that the report card of schools be meaningful for parents as accurate evaluation and communication of the students’ progress in school is crucial to the students learning.
 
Communication Or Confusion?
 
Despite the fact that all schools have the same goal of facilitating learning, different schools have adopted different designs for their report cards. While local schools offer simple formats that include a brief summary of students’ performance in school, the international schools offer more detailed reports with in-depth narratives of student performance, analysis of strengths and weakness, records of awards together with testimonials from teachers. Some schools also provide attendance records, behavioral records and other non-academic information in their format.
 
However, with so many schools, often within the same education board, and school district offering differing report card formats, evaluating a report card can be quite confusing for parents. While on one hand, some report cards are overwhelming with their pages of information, on the other hand, the lack of data in the more simple report cards can leave the parents longing for more information about their child in schools. For parents, whose children are migrating to a new school, the lack of standardization, and disparities in the system are creating further confusion.
 
With so many report card formats floating around, how do parents then compare the performance of their students to the norm? How do migrating parents deal with the confusion? How do school accepting migrating students compare and analyse their performance?
 
Is a society, where kids are often judged by their report cards, differing formats and evaluation methods can be confusing and often hampering to the student academic progress as well as self-confidence.
 
Is Standardization Of Report Cards The Solution?
 
Earlier this year, the Indian CBSE board released common templates for report cards to be issued by all CBSE schools. The aim of this move was to standardize evaluation of students across schools.
 
According to the new format, the report cards for classes VI to VIII will be identical with rows which specify the terms, periodic, notebook, subject enrichment and half yearly/ yearly marks scored in each subject and the corresponding grades. It will also have co-scholastic assessment where students will be graded on a 3-point scale
 
This marks only the first step towards standardization of report cards, ensuring transparency about strengths and opportunities, and establishing a common platform that evaluates all students equally.
 
As schools preparing our kids for the future, our reports cards to need to be equipped for the future. As an educational institution, are your report cards a comprehensive guide for the parents or a confusing sheet of paper? What progressive changes would you like to see in your school’s report card?
 
Do email your report card to us at support@fedena.com and let’s discuss ways to create standardized reports cards that will help parents and students get a complete understanding of the learning of a student.
 
Are you a parent struggling to understand your child’s report card? Do share your experiences with us.

Fedena Report card #ultimatereportcard

A Report Card Built For Parents

Better design can result in more comprehensive report cards

 
 
#ultimatereportcard
 
For your average parent, the report card is the first and oftentimes only reference we have to assess how our child is doing in school. It is a tangible piece of evidence that becomes a signpost in their educational journey.
 
When stripped down to their essence, most report cards contain the same basic elements of information:
 
1. Subjects the student is studying
 
2. Scores or grades received this semester in the last examination held for these subjects
 
Beyond this report cards can also contain the following elements, amongst others, whose aim is to give a more comprehensive picture of a student’s progress in the classroom:
 
1. Comments from the teacher explaining the student’s performance with more nuance or context
 
2. Scoring or grading of skills outside of the student’s knowledge of the subject at hand (punctuality, discipline, etc.)
 
3. Percentile scores, to give parents an idea of how our child is doing compared to their peers
 
Most parents are worried about two things – that our child do well, and that they do well relative to their peers. Striking a delicate balance between the providing information that immediately tells us how our child is performing, while also ensuring that the optional information provided only adds to this knowledge is an art.
 
Report cards tend to err in both directions. They either report too much, muddying the waters and confusing us parents on the course of action they need to take with regards to our child’s schooling. Or they don’t tell us enough, with stark scores that don’t really provide enough context to situation a student’s performance in school. A given score may look exceptionally low until context is provided that helps us parents understand that our child is in the 99th percentile of the class, and the score is low due to the nature of the subject, or harsher grading.
 
What’s missing here is a standardised understanding of what a good report card looks like. The variance in design and information means that there is no defined standard across schools and education boards that us parents can compare with. It also means that we, as parents, might be missing out on information or suffering from information overload due to bad design without even realising it.
 
A simple example of this is scores versus grades. Over time, in India, we have seen shifts in favour of each style of assessment. Indians seem to like scores in their report card as it gives them a concrete, quantitative idea of how our child is doing in class. Over time, however, many institutions moved towards a letter grade, as it helps categorise students in a band, giving a better idea of their performance relative to their peers. In India, where the pressure to perform in school can reach dangerous heights, it was thought a letter grade would also prove to be less embarrassing and stressful for students. While the alleged futility or success of such an exercise is the subject matter of another blog, this variation has caused immense confusion for parents. While they might have a reference key that explains these grades relative to that of our child’s peers, when it comes to assessing their performance vis a vis that of students in another school, or across the city, or under a certain educational board, the system falls apart. Scores fare slightly better in being more easily comparable, but aren’t foolproof – different education boards and schools score with varying degrees of rigour, which puts us parents back at square one.
 
The only way we can ensure that we parents get the most out of the report card is by pooling together our collective knowledge. Over the years, every report card we have seen has either added or taken away our understanding of how our child is doing in class. Why not share the possibilities of how a report card could look, and then pick and choose the most informative and useful elements to build a report card to beat all other report cards once and for all?
 
Crop or anonymise any personal information and share your report cards at the link below/in the comments/on social media pages using the hashtag
​#​UltimateReportCard. The time has come to build the mother of all report cards, and this time it will be designed by those who rely on it the most – you and I, the parents.