manage school budget effectively

How to Plan & Manage your School’s Budget effectively?

While budgeting is a common phrase used in all sectors including organizations, states and countries, a budget for schools is not practiced rigorously in most of the schools. Schools usually follow instructions from the government who funds the schools partially or completely. Or they simply follow the patterns of the past academic years without planning a budget. One major difference of schools’ budget from other organizations is that the majority of a school budget expenditure(80%+) will be on personnel and benefits while for other organizations it will be less than 50%. This brings a challenge to school because they have less than 20% of the budget available for other innovations and improvements. And this expenditure will be tightly controlled by policies and instructions from government and other governing bodies.

What is a budget? Why schools need it?

A budget translated the vision and missions of school to annual plans by mapping the resources against the yearly goals and comparing the income and expense trends of past, present and future. By creating and maintaining a budget for multiple years, the school leadership can understand the spending and income patterns to plan for the present academic year properly and achieve the goals.

A well planned budget helps the school by giving control on the way it spends money. It forecasts and track how the money is being spent and saved by being intentional about each transaction. It also makes you aware of how the money is being spent and the value derived from each of those transactions. The process of creating a budget gives a birds eye view to the leadership about the academic year ahead. It avoids the confusion and chaos while involved in day to day operations and expenses. Creating and following a budget will help the schools to generate profit or to create surplus from the funds available to the school. 

Top 9 proven tips for better school budgeting:

Following are ten proven tips used by schools across the globe for creating and managing an effective budget.

  • Academic goals should drive budget

Before setting a budget, the school leadership must sit together and decide what are the academic goals of the present year and coming years. The primary goal of a school is to impart quality education to its students. All activities and programs in a school must be conducted with this aim. This aim should be the vision of the school. So the school leadership will have to decide how to track the progress and achievement of academic goals. After this, the leadership team can start preparing the budget and each of the expenses in the budget can be mapped towards the academic goals of the budgeted year.

  • Budget decisions should be driven by data

All budget decision to be made after looking at the data for past years. If the school is preparing a budget for the first time, they must first spend quality time in consolidating the expenditure data for past years. Once these are explored, cleaned up and converted into presentable form, the school leadership can start the budget process for the present year.

  • Expect & welcome disagreements during planning stage

There will be disagreements during budget planning stage between the different leaders in the allocations of budget amount. Remember that these disagreements are part of the process and must be welcomed. Including diverse inputs in the discussion phase will help the leaders set a realistic budget and can foresee into the future conflicts and challenges during execution phase. Based on these observations better planning can be done to achieve academic goals.

finance management system

  • Prioritize programs with proven cost-effectiveness and value for money

When-ever the budget allocation is being done for particular programs, always look for value for money and cost-effectiveness. With an organization like school, the budget is always very limited and as noted in the introduction only a small portion of this budget will be available for innovations in operations. So the school can’t experiment on new initiatives. Always look for data and proof of cost-effectiveness.

  • Help teachers understand financial accountability

This is a critical step that most of the school leadership misses during budget planning. The budget will be prepared by the finance head and school owner along with principal. But the execution of the programs have to be done by the teachers who may not understand the basic principles of budgeting. So it is always preferred to give training and coaching to the teachers and other faculty on budgeting and tips for executing programs within the planned budget.

  • Be assertive once budget is frozen

Once all the disagreements during the budget planning stage is over and a budget is prepared, it is time to set aside the disagreements and start working as per the plan finalized. So the leader should be very assertive in any program requirements that comes outside the planned budget. If proper training is given and the practice is conducted for multiple years, this approach will be understood and appreciated by all stake-holders.

  • Expect & manage adjustments throughout year

Even while being assertive to the change requests in the budget, the leaders should be aware that all budgets require adjustments throughout the year. So set up a system and process to make deviations in the frozen budget and follow this process rigorously.

  • Expect two or three years if you are starting fresh

If you are starting a budgeting practice for the first time in the school’s history, have your expectations right. You can’t expect the budgeting process to work properly in the first year. Even while following strict practices expect a two or three year time period for the budget process to be integrated to the culture of your school operations.

  • Use a budgeting application

Nowadays everything is digital. So you should use a software for budgeting process too. There are plenty of software available for this need. Both free as well as paid tool. Look for a tool that is used in schools similar to yours with training and support available in your location. Consult your accountant before finalizing the tool.

For a budget to work properly, you must be extremely transparent in the operations to the leaders who participated with you in the budget planning and finalization. This helps in the purpose of budget and motivating the team in participating for the academic goals of the institution.

grow school business with school management software

How School Management Software can help to Grow your School Business?

If you are the owner of a group of institutions, you would have surely come across difficulties in leading the existing business and growing more business. With the help of good management strategies and good school management software that supports multiple school accounts, you can work more efficiently. A school chain business has multiple verticles spread across operations, administrations, academics, and finance. And if you are a for-profit, the marketing vertical will also demand your attention. With the help of a school management software, you can automate and optimize these verticals and get valuable insights in the form of reports and alerts which you can use to make the right decision making at the right time.

There are multiple groups of institutions globally using the multischool solution of Fedena and while working with the leadership team at these different groups we learned many lessons. Following are some of the smart ways multischool school management software can help you in scaling the school business. These we learned from other leaders and hope will help your business too.

Below we have mentioned the top 7 smart ways a school management software can help to grow your school business:

  1. Helps the central team in charge of the scaleup strategy.

A school management software with the GOD level is access is a must for the central team who runs the leadership role in operating and growing the overall business. This team should have a CIO(Chief Information Officer) role with the responsibilities of setting up and managing the digital transformation aspect of the business. CIO with access to the school management system provides the reports and data for decision making by the CEO and Chairman of the business. It can provide various consolidated reports instantly for the leadership team.

  1. Customizable according to the diverse needs

The school management software allows customization according to the diverse requirements coming from independent schools. The different schools under the same group might be operating on different systems and processes, and might be accredited to different standards. The customized and properly configured software can handle and club all these diverse requirements. This helps you maintain diversity even while keeping the core structure and reporting standardized across schools

  1. Open new digital-ready schools instantly

Once a customized solution is in place, you are ready to start new schools that are digital-first. Just create a new instance of the software for the school you are starting and configure according to the type of school. Since the digital-ready schools are operated online from day one, there will be no resistance to change which is the usual challenge with the digital transformation of an offline school. The leadership team has to just provide the credentials, training, and checklists to operate the software.

  1. Increase student enrolment with marketing automation 

The marketing modules available with the school management software can help the leadership team in improving student enrolment every year. With Fedena multischool, there is a fully-fledged inquiry module and applicant registration module. These two modules along with the admission management module work as the best CRM tool for school marketing. You will get all necessary reports to analyze the admission trends across campaigns, geography, and source. You can customize the solution further according to the unique requirements of the business strategy.

  1. Automate & optimize human resource management

Teacher engagement and performance is a well-known secret behind the success of any school. In a group of institutions, there will be teachers across multiple schools and some schools will have the best teachers and other schools will lag in the quality of teachers. With the school management software, you can generate the reports and take necessary actions. Also, find out the salary trends across schools. You can also customize the software to enable strategies like teacher transfer between schools.

  1. Automate academic excellence management

Similar to the teachers’ data you can consolidate the student academics performance across different schools. Find all trends in student grade book performance and analyze it by comparing it with teacher performance. You might come across interesting patterns to act upon and maybe some random discovery that can change your business forever.

  1. Optimize administration management

One of the major time-consuming tasks for school business is the management of infrastructure and facilities. The leadership team can automate and optimize these activities by configuring and customizing the school management software according to properly. And then training the administration team heads to use the software. You can integrate the software with other specialized third-party software tools like accounting software, canteen management, etc. to improve the insights and automation further.

If you are interested to know about all the features in Fedena multischool and Fedena enterprise, contact us today

Push Notification in School Management App

Benefits of Push Notification in School Management App

You might have seen how easily the push notifications grab your attention while using a mobile phone or browsing on the web. Push notifications are the alerts that show you message outside the app along with the other system notifications. As a result, it is one of the best ways to communicate important and critical messages. Also overusing this method can backfire sometimes. So it is used carefully by app developers.

Push notifications are an integral part of the Fedena School Management app also. The push notification in school management app help the teachers, parents, and students in not missing the critical updates from their college or school. This includes but not limited to attendance related alerts to parents, holiday or event alerts to students, announcements to parents, parent’s communication to the teacher, etc.

The following are the benefits of push notification in school management app:

  1. User engagement

Push notifications provide the best user engagement strategy. You can push notifications and alerts specific and relevant to users and they will use the app with more engagement. In the case of a school, there is no need to send all alerts to students, parents as well as teachers. Without user-specific alerts, each user will have to open the app multiple times a day to see if any new notifications are there in the application, specific to them. This can take away lot of time from teachers and parents. So when an important message reaches them as push notifications, they are alerted even when they are using another app or not using the mobile phone.

  1. Ease of use

Push notifications make the school management app easy to use for parents and teachers. Instead of navigating within a complex user interface involving multiple menus, the push notifications provide easy direct access to the teachers and parents to the user interface that they have to use. Other than that, there is nothing to learn to use a push notification alert. One has to just read and click on the notification alert. Also from the developer’s point of view, there is no effort required as the push notification is easy to develop and customize. It is cheaper than SMS alerts and as a result, developers prefer push notifications.

  1. User behavior insights

You can derive in-depth analytics on the different user behavior related to push notifications. As the push notification will be the first entry point to the app, you can find out how the users are reaching your app and which notifications are opened instantly and which kind of notifications are rarely opened. This is very important for a school management app because it will help the product manager to design the application to help school teachers and parents to get the best out of the application. 

  1. Increase usage or traffic

Push notifications can improve the usage of the school management app as it drives the usage in multiple channels. One is by providing continuous invite to try the app for first time users. Teachers and parents who just installed the app can start getting notifications as soon as they register and login to the app for the first time. These continuous notifications help the user to understand the functionality and start using the app to its maximum potential. Another way the push notifications in the school management app helps is by retaining the users who have stopped using the application. Inactive users can be invited again to use the app through relevant notifications. By engaging all different user types in a school like parents and teachers you can get traffic from thousands of users at the same time. For example, if the exam results are published and the notification reaches all parents instantly, everyone will use the app instantly increasing the traffic multiple folds.

  1. Second user interface

As explained in earlier points, the push notifications are in effect a second user interface for teachers and parents. Considering the limited technical know-how of certain users, the push notifications help them use the app as efficiently as a pro user. This is the reason why the school management apps using push notification have three times more users than school management apps without push notifications enabled. And the push notifications are privacy-friendly and the user can opt-in or opt-out of the push notifications any time. This helps the novice users to access and manage the app using push notifications alone.

  1. Creative brand strategies

Push notifications are the perfect tools for an experienced marketing team to create innovative brand strategies for your school. The school management app is not only the student information system for the parents and teachers of your school. It can be downloaded by anyone. So use this opportunity to create content and user engagement strategies for non-logged in users. And for registered parents, you can use the push notifications to develop the brand of the school by sending the message consistently and with proper timing. 

Presently available push notifications in Fedena school management app

  • Event – Users are alerted by push notifications for any regular event or holiday as per the school calendar.
  • Attendance – Push notification alerts to parents/students for absence on any subject on subject-wise attendance or half/full day absence on daily wise attendance.
  • Fees – Alerts the parents on new fee life-cycle like fee collection creation, fee collection and fee due
  • Gallery – Users get notified when a new album is published in the gallery module.
  • Announcement – Very helpful to the parents as well as teachers to know news updates instantly.
  • Exam reports – Alerts the parents once the exam reports are published
  • Messages – All new communication updates in the message module are shown as push alerts instantly.
  • Employee leave – Push alerts for the manager when the employee applies for leave as well for the employee when the manager approves or denies the leave.

Know more about Fedena school management app

digital platform market edtech product

Top 9 digital platform to market your Ed-Tech product

If you have a product or service that solves the problems of schools and colleges, you will be curious to know the different marketing strategies that can be applied to acquire more qualified leads on your website. If you are selling to schools and colleges, it makes your product or service as a B2B(Business to Business) solution. If you are selling the solutions to the parents or students directly without targetting the schools and colleges, it makes your product or service a B2C(Business to consumer) solution. The marketing strategies of B2B and B2C solutions are entirely different. This article focuses mainly on the strategies for a B2B solution for schools and colleges. This category includes school management software, biometric solutions, smart class solutions, etc. 

The major difference in forming a marketing strategy for the educational institution market is understanding the persona of the buyer. A school owner will be different from the director of a university. The teachers who browse on your website will follow different navigation than an IT officer browsing the same website. This behavior can also change according to geography.

With the help of the right user analytics tools, you can optimize the website experience to generate maximum lead conversions.

  1. Dynamic Website with good design and content

For a crowded online market with a lot of products selling to schools and colleges, you require a good website with dynamic content and user-friendly navigation. The website must be designed with the right kind of website visitors in mind. The content and its design must be as simple as possible and yet effective. The teachers and administrators of a school prefer different layout and color themes. This must be carefully researched and understood to get maximum conversions. Also, the content on the website must be planned in the right way too to match the persona of targetted customers. Inspirations can be derived from other products and services catering to the school market. Along with the quality of content, the focus must be given to produce enough quantity also as a regularly updated website will be ranked higher in Google compared to a website with static content.

  1. Email Marketing

This is one of the oldest marketing strategies but still very effective. The efficiency of email marketing works far better with schools and colleges compared to other businesses. This is because the schools read each email with care and curiosity. But this should not be abused with spam and unsolicited emails. You must make sure that all email marketing standards are followed so that you do not get punished for spamming the users. You can automate email marketing by integrating the email list creation and subscription management software like Mailchimp. These tools will also provide in-depth analytics about the performance of email marketing.

  1. Education Events

Another channel to generate qualified leads is through attending various educational events. These events can be either organized as technology events or pedagogy events. Usually, there will be large crowds of school owners and teachers present in these events. You can try showcasing the solution through a stall and collect maximum contact information. Later you can contact these leads after the event to qualify each of them as a potential customer.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the default work you will have to do before or after making the website go live. There are different levels of search engine optimizations depending on your goals. If the website is properly optimized for search engines, it will rank higher for the chosen keywords in Google and other search engines. Search engine optimization is a broad topic and there are many things to optimize and configure. This will help you generate qualified visitors without spending money on paid marketing.

  1. Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)

If the website is not generating enough leads organically, you will have to spend the marketing budget on a pay per click advertisement campaign. There are many providers of PPC marketing and the most used one is Google Adwords. You can set a daily budget and optimize the different advertisement parameters to generate leads. While writing the content, keep in mind the type of visitors you want to generate through ads. The timing and geography of ad placement also play a crucial role.

  1. Content Marketing

Content marketing strategies work all the time. You should focus on writing quality content regularly. The contents can be blog posts, case studies, white papers or support articles. Just keep them publishing as a regular habit and the search engines will reward you accordingly. Make sure that the contents you create match the keywords of the overall marketing and SEO strategy you planned. 

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a wonderful opportunity to market the solutions as there will be more professionals from educational institutions using LinkedIn. As LinkedIn is a professional networking solution, the content and images should be designed and planned in a way that will be appealing to the audience there. LinkedIn has a powerful search tool that can be used to shortlist the right audience to promote your solution. There are many LinkedIn specific strategies you can follow that you can find online.

  1. Social Media

Social media platforms are the easiest way to promote the tool. More than posting about the solution in your feed or solution’s pages, you can also try promotions through various groups that contain the right kind of audience you look to sell the solution to. Similar to the email marketing strategy, do not overuse this tactic or you will end up blocked from the groups.

  1. Video Marketing

Video marketing is gaining a lot of attention from all kinds of the audience including school teachers, administrators, and principals. Earlier days video marketing was only limited to Youtube videos. Nowadays you can promote the videos through instant messaging tools like WhatsApp or through other popular short video sharing platforms like Instagram. Make sure your video is properly scripted and edited by a professional video creation team.

Fedena 2019 Rewind

Hello 2020, Rewind 2019: Year In Review

Another year has passed and the new year is about to start. Today we would like to share the most memorable moments, top stories & achievements of the last year. 

2019 was an astonishing year for Fedena. Along with most awaited various feature i.e Enquiry module with analytic dashboard, we welcomed our new CEO  and more. Let’s do a quick round-up and see how much has changed in just this year alone.

In April 2019,  Mr.Neelakantha Karinje(Neel) has joined our team as CEO.

Fedena rewind 2019 - new CEO

Neel comes with huge experience in growing and scaling startups. He is with Foradian since 2012 and has mentored and guided us in growing Foradian to the present level.

To Simplifies Daily Operations Added New Feature & Functionalities

Fedena Rewind 2019 - Features

  1. Applicant Enquiry Module – Admin can view all the applications regarding new admission, enquiries of parents/students about courses, also linked the academic year to get a complete admission flow for the year.
  2. Advance Fees Payment – Collect the amount of the fees in advance and use it later for the future fee’s payment such as transport fees, academic fees and more. 
  3. Gradebook Custom Report – Customize the look and feel of the term and planner reports. Also configure additional settings within each template like an additional logo, color theme, student details, etc. 
  4. Transport Revamp – Capture information like type of the vehicle, stops allotted, certificates with reminders if the license expires, details of vehicle maintenance and drivers/attendant allocated.

In this year all together we launched 8 New Features & 22 Feature Enhancements, learn more here

Fedena 2019 Statistics

Fedena 2019 Rewind - Users

Case Studies

Vidya Vikas Academy Case Study

How Fedena the paperless solution helped in reducing the 40% of their administration cost. Also, it helped in saving a lot of time by automating the day to day operations of the Vidya Vikas Academy Institution?

Aparna World School Case Study

How Fedena helped Aparnaa World School in managing bulk data effectively & enhanced data security, also learn how customized reports helped them in understanding the financial health of their organization?

SSRVM Case Study

How Fedena helped 70+ institute of SSRVM (one of the prestigious Group of Institutions in India) in automating their daily school operations. Also, helped in saving approximately 71% of staff time?

HEC Group of Institution Case Study

Fedena the one-stop solution helped HEC in minimizing the risk of misplacing the physical files/records. After Fedena’s implementation, HEC saved 20% of their employee’s time & reduce the management cost.

2019 Most Viewed Article

Fedena 2019 Rewind- Resources

right school management software

In this article, explore why do educational institutions need school management software? 20 best tips & factors to keep in mind while selecting right school software and more.

One of the key disadvantages of manual processes is the sheer amount of time they take to be performed and to be completed.  Read the full article to learn the other disadvantages of manual process.

school management ERP software

We have highlighted top benefits of school ERP system that how it helps school authority in managing the staff day to day information in a single place. Read the full article to know what all you can manage with Fedena implementation.

In April, Foradian turned 10.

Fedena 2019 Rewind- 10 years

Foradian celebrated 10 years of innovation, success & growth in education technology.

New Members to Foradian Team

Fedena Rewind 2019- New Members

In 2019, we beefed up our team with both fresh & experienced talent.

With this, we bid adieu to 2019 and welcome 2020, a year with unlimited possibilities, opportunities, and growth. Here’s wishing everybody a very Happy New Year!

Instagram for Promoting Your School

[Infographic] 10 Powerful Ways to Use Instagram for Promoting Your School

Instagram is gaining a lot of popularity these days as the perfect channel to reach the young generation. This young generation is not only the potential students for your school but also the parents of the students. As a photo-sharing platform, the photos and images posted on Instagram get attention from the users. Creating and regularly updating your Instagram account can create an excellent online presence and can improve the brand identity of your school multiple folds.

Following is an infographic to help you with some tips. It includes creating a unique hashtag as school’s identity, posting daily or weekly challenges to keep the followers engaged, collecting and sharing the photos submitted by students and parents, partnering with influencers in your geography, including your alumnus, posting regular Instagram stories, giving the driving wheel to your students, trying paid promotions, sharing the achievements of students and publishing school events and notices as photos.

Starting an Instagram business account for your school is simple and easy. You can do it from a mobile phone with a good camera and use the same phone to take and share photos on Instagram. Initially, one teacher or administration staff can do it and later the same account can be used in different phones to take and share photos. Create a good profile and include links to your school website. Also add call to action button and address so that visitors can easily connect with you.

Promote the account through other usual communications with parents and by updating the website with the Instagram link. After that start using the strategies mentioned in this infographic. Follow other organizations and schools to get inspiration and ideas. Below we have highlighted the 10 powerful ways to promote your institution using Instagram:

  1. Unique #hashtag for your school
  2. Post challenges for students & parents
  3. Collect & share photos posted by students and parents
  4. Partner with influencers in your location
  5. Engage with alumnus
  6. Post stories on Instagram
  7. Let students manage & promote
  8. Try paid promotion
  9. Promote achivement of students
  10. Publish event calendars and notices

To understand each point in details read the infographic and share it with your management and teachers:

Instagram for Promoting Your School

Share this Image On Your Site

<p><strong>Please include attribution to https://fedena.com/ with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href=’https://fedena.com/blog/2019/12/10-powerful-ways-to-use-instagram-for-promoting-your-school.html’><img src=’https://fedena.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/instagram-schoo_43337890-min.png’ alt=’Instagram for Promoting Your School’ 540px border=’0′ /></a></p>

Reselling school management software

Is reselling school management software is a good business model?

With the millions of schools all across the globe, the business opportunities associated with selling products and services to schools are endless. As the term school can signify all kinds of an organization where the process of learning happens, it can include kindergarten, primary, secondary, higher secondary, colleges, universities, coaching schools, etc. School management software is used to digitize and optimize the daily operations of these different schools starting from student admission to timetabling to assignments to examinations to student placement. The software takes care of the entire life cycle of a student within the school. As this software saves a lot of precious time of school teachers and administrators, there is a high demand for the software. Let us explore the trends and business opportunities of school management software in this article.

Global Trends Leading to Massive Business Opportunities

  1. The fast growth in the number of schools

More and more new schools are being started every year by the government, education enthusiasts and foundations. In India lone in the last 10 years, government schools grew at a CAGR of 1.2% and private schools at a CAGR of 4%+ [source]. That is more than 10,000+ new private schools started in India alone. Similar trends are happening in other developing nations where population growth is high. The new private schools started either come under the category of affordable school or premium school. There are a lot of non-profit foundations helping affordable schools to optimize the educational experience of students from rural areas. School management systems help these foundations to digitize the data to understand the impact of their interventions.

  1. Global digital transformation trend 

There is a global digital transformation wave sweeping all industries. All kinds of businesses from large scale manufacturing to small scale businesses are getting online and digitizing their daily operations. Another important player in this trend is the government. Globally all government is pushing for more digitization to pursue transparency and speed in servicing the citizen. Because of this trend, no business can stand-alone without connecting to the digital mesh connecting all digitized businesses and services. As a result, schools are also buying school management software to keep up with the trend. Since school operations are equally or more complicated than a for-profit business, it demands software in different functionalities. See also – https://fedena.com/blog/2019/10/top-18-school-administration-software.html

  1. Digital-first millennial parents, teachers, administrators, and school owners

Millennials(those who are born after the 1980s) and digital natives(those who are born in the 1990s) are taking up jobs in school. The millennial parents have started sending their kids to school and looking for digital tools to communicate with the school and keep in touch with updates about their kids. Similarly, the teachers and administrators joining the school with good computer skills can easily participate in the digital transformation. These factors are creating trends in more demand from schools for school management software initiated by parents and teachers.

  1. Internet of things & AI

Along with digitization, smart hardware on the internet of things network is reaching schools. These hardware are producing enormous data that are meaningless without connecting to a school management software and communicating to the different stakeholders like parents, teachers and school owners. This along with the increasing capability of artificial intelligence(AI) creates demand for high-quality school management software to function as the base layer of all communication.

  1. Global changes in the economy

This is the time of major shift happening in the global economy and more focus is being given on the previously ignored quality factor of the education sector. There is a shift from the oil economy to the education economy happening in major oil-producing nations. All similar global trends with the changing economy bring attention and budget to improving education and starting more quality schools.

Why Resell school management software instead of developing a fresh solution?

Schools don’t follow a simple operational procedure as we assume it to be. This wrong assumption is coming from our experience as students where everything was managed well by teachers and administrators. The only major processes and tools we were aware of was the timetables and examination coordination. For a school to operate properly it requires hundreds of functionalities starting from admission management of students to human resource management of teachers to online fee collection to inventory management. All these complex activities have to be designed and configured under a single software for the school management software to work properly. This complexity can not be understood unless you work with different schools for couple of years before coming up with the first piece of software which will also be an incomplete one. And it will require multiple developers, tester and product managers to work relentlessly for many years to produce good software finally. This is true for all advanced software. 

As a result, it is good to go ahead with reselling the rebranded version of a proven school management software. It will save lot of cost and time. Above all, you do not need all the schools as your customers. Ten premium schools or a good government project will be enough to get you to ROI and profit.

How to resell school management software?

Most of the school management software will have a reseller program which includes training and marketing support. Fedena has a unique reseller program named as Fedena OEM Partner program, where the school management system can be completely rebranded and sold to thousands of schools. The different packages give different privileges like full access to source code, marketing training etc. Fedena has been onboarding and helping OEM partners to succeed for the last one decade. So contact our experts today!

student's engagement during holiday season

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

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

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

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

1. News

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

news feature in school erp

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

2. Discussion

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

3. Poll

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

Polling feature in school erp

4. Gallery

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

gallery feature in school erp

5. eMails

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

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

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

6. Task

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

task feature in school erp

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

7. Google Docs

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

google document feature in school erp

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

School ERP Polling Feature

7 ways to use School ERP Polling Feature in your Institute

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

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

1. Lesson Progress Review

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

2. Feedback on Teaching Style

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

3. Self-Assessment for Students

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

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

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

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

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

2. Feedback about the School Facilities

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

3. Choosing Books for the School Library

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

4. Feedback on Teacher Performance

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

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

digital marketing tools

Top Digital Marketing Tools To Accelerate Your Institution Growth

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

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

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

  • Engaging And Relevant Content

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

  • The Use Of Keyword Search

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

  • Using Google Analytics

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

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

  • Integrating Chatbots 

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

  • AI-Powered Solutions

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

  • Virtual Tours Of The Institution

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

  • Establishing A Social Media Presence 

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

  • Regular Social Media Monitoring

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

  • Increasing Parental Engagement with the School

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

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

Advantages of Student Database Management System

Top 10 Advantages of Student Database Management System

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

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

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

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

  • Streamlined Activities

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

  • Better Communication

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

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

  • Easier Management Of Transport

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

  • Simplified Admission Process 

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

  • Faster Attendance Management

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

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

  • Report Management

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

  • Automatic Timetable Generator 

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

  • School Event Calendar 

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

  • Effortless Assignment Management 

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

  • Increased Data Security

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

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

phishing attacks in k12

How K12 can safeguard against Phishing Attacks?

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

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

What is Phishing Attack?

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

Common Types of Phishing Attacks

1. Bulk Phishing

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

2. Spear Phishing

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

3. Whaling

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

4. Clone Phishing

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

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

How K12 Schools can protect from Phishing Attacks?

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

Tips for Users (Faculty)

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

Tips for Admins (IT head)

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

Tips for School Owners

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

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

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