digital technology elevate campus security

How digital technology can elevate campus security?

These days, schools and colleges are using the latest digital technology. This is being done to make sure that they are able to keep the campuses safe. One of the first names that one needs to take in this particular regard is that of the seamless alert systems. There could be so many different kinds of threat at a campus. It could be a fire that got lit by accident at the chemistry building. It could also be a criminal or terrorist at the campus premises. No matter what it is, it is imperative that the students stay safe. The same goes for the stuff and the faculty members as well.

With such a system the educational institutes can send alerts quickly. This comes in handy if there is any such threat in the campus. There are many ways in which educational institutions can use emergency communication systems. In some campuses, the authorities use visual alerts. In these cases, they use digital signs that they have placed all around the campus premises. There are some educational institutions where the authorities have used beacon technology. They have placed the beacons at strategic locations around the campus. These send push notifications to all mobile phones. This is how the users can be alerted of any danger that has been reported on the campus.

Let’s have a look at some robust technologies which helps in enhancing the school security: 

1. Using IP network cameras

In the campus, there are always officials who are entrusted with the job of keeping the campus safe. It is very important that they have a hawk eye of sorts on every little thing that is happening on the campus. This is where the IP (internet protocol) network cameras can come in so handy. This is especially when compared to the likes of CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) that run on analog technology. As opposed to the latter the former is controlled by way of a remote network.

This is why they do not need any separate device for the purposes of recording as such. The security cameras, in this case, are controlled by using a LAN (local area network). Through such technology, the campus police officers are able to watch all the live feed in a much shorter span of time. This is also applicable for reviewing all the videos that they are getting. In some cases, educational institutions have established partnerships with leading tech companies. This is to create networks comprising security cameras. They are also connecting them to the network of the campus.

In some cases, they have set up centralized command centers from where they are able to see the feed from any camera that they choose to. This means that they enjoy a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to monitoring the campus happenings.

2. Using communication applications in mobile devices

There is nothing to deny the fact that alert systems play an important role now as far as communication is concerned. Yet, they do come with their flaws as well and one such flaw is that they can at times be one-sided.

Students too should have the power to report anything suspicious that they see on campus or an emergency as well. They should be able to do it in an efficient manner as well. In some cases, educational institutions are using mobile apps that let students get in touch with campus police in case the need to do so arises. This has helped them in situations where the campus has been struck by natural disasters such as hurricanes. In such situations, the staff and students have several communication channels to choose from. Thus they can easily get in touch with the people in charge of security.

3. Smart patrolling

Campus officials should be able to use data that is more streamlined and deeper in quality. Then they would be able to stop any criminal behavior or untoward incident from happening on the campus. They can also use the likes of automated databases to make communication simpler than before. This is especially as far as the campus security officials are concerned. These systems normally use specialized algorithms to track down criminal patterns. This is done so that they can identify certain trends. This, in turn, helps them identify if there would be any future criminal activity on the campus premises or not.

In fact, it has been seen that many educational institutions work together with local police to collect and then coordinate information from various sources. This helps them determine the areas where more officers have to be assigned – ones that have to be prioritized, so to say. Advanced machine learning allows these officers to analyze all the crime related data at their disposal. This is how they are able to recommend the hours where the focus needs to be on certain parts of the campus. This is how they are able to predict the chances of something bad happening.

Apart from predicting such activity, such data-based patrolling also helps the officers identify ones who have the potential to be repeat offenders and then engage with them in a proactive manner. They can also this way track down people who may retaliate against them for foiling their criminal activities. The campus and local police can always come together and work with the likes of administrators, housing officers, and academic advisors to get information regarding the past incident history of a particular individual. They can also look up her or his connections as well as previous arrest record.

Should they see any cause for concern, these officers can take preemptive action and get in touch with them. In these conversations, they can inform – and if the need is, warn – these individuals of the consequences of violent behavior and actions. Such emphasis on prevention can actually prove to be rather helpful in these cases. It can play a direct role in stopping any violent action. At the same time, students can also trust the campus police officers to keep them safe and integrate them better with their workplace.

4. Better emergency response

When an educational institute has the right technology at a campus it becomes easier for all to stay safe a lot better.

When we say right we focus on qualities like shorter response time and better levels of coordination. These days, campuses are prone to criminal activities such as armed aggression, multi-victim crime, an active shooting. This calls for the campus and local law enforcement entities to be aligned in a better way and communicate a lot better as well. The same is also applicable for the emergency and fire response teams as well. Thankfully, these days, you have great solutions in this regard such as CAD (computer aided dispatch) software that works on a single source basis.

This way, the educational entities would be able to fine-tune their analytics as well as sharing their information. This, in turn, can help them do away with issues such as confusion and delays that can otherwise pose threats to the overall well being of individuals who may be on threat because of such issues. These systems usually employ high-class technology such as IoT (Internet of Things) and automated data collection.

Conclusion

Apart from this, educational institutions also need to safeguard their safety teams, do away with faulty alarm systems, and mobilize mitigation processes and systems for active shooters.

       

Help Odisha Cyclone Fani Victims

How schools can help Odisha Cyclone Fani Victims?

There are several ways in which schools in Odisha and beyond can help people who have been affected by Cyclone Fani. The first such way would be to start a charity fund drive. It is common knowledge that recovering from a disaster takes years and the needs tend to change over time as well. This is the reason why any nonprofit group right now would ask you to donate cash rather than items as such. This is because with the passage of time such items may not be as useful but cash would always be useful.

There are plenty of steps that schools can think of and take for purposes such as these:

1. Donate blood

If you are a high school with students over a certain age you can surely do something like this. Moreover, the teachers too can take part in this and make this a much bigger success as well. You can organize camps by yourself or you may also visit local blood donation centers that are doing such work and donate blood over there. This would help with the treatment of the affected.

2. Feeding the children

This is particularly applicable for schools that are in Odisha itself. Right now in Odisha, it is highly possible that most of the pantries and grocery stores would still be in a woeful and sorry state.

It could also be that food trucks are still finding it hard to get over there. This means that there are many communities that still do not have access to uncontaminated food. This is where you can and should think of donating to the food banks. In fact, with little money, you can help feed a lot of children who are still going days without food.    

3. Talking with the students

It is possible that students may have been affected by the cyclone – directly or indirectly. No matter what it is, it is very important that you talk with them and find out as much as you can about their situation.

This way, you would be able to find out more about the effect of the natural disaster and understand the impact it has had on others. Thanks to the internet these days you would be able to find a wide range of resources in this particular regard. These are all supposed to help students cope with the effects of the devastating cyclone. Over here you would also get resources and tips on how you can help the students dealing with natural disasters such as these.

4. Using social media

As you know by now, the process of recovery would take many years to happen. This is why it is very important that you encourage others to donate to relief efforts as well. This needs to be done for the longest period of time possible. In fact, many leaders of non-profit of entities feel that with time news about the havoc that Fani has wreaked on Orissa would reduce. This way, the entire process of raising funds for them would lose momentum as well. This is where using social media can play such a major role.

This way you can keep the spotlight on the plight of the present condition of the victims as well as their future.   

5. Donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund

Schools can donate online and straightaway to the Relief Fund set up by the Chief Minister of Odisha. You can send a bank draft or a cheque for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Odisha. It is payable at Bhubaneswar. Following is the mailing address for the same:

  • Additional Secretary to Government
  • Chief Minister’s Relief Fund
  • General Administration & Public Grievance Department
  • Orissa Secretariat, Bhubaneswar-751001   

6. Donating through Amazon

Amazon, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms of the world has a presence in India. As such it has set up a donation drive to help families that have been hit by the cyclone get their jobs back. You can use the Amazon app on your smartphone or tab or even make a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payment on the platform. There is a QR (Quick Response) code that needs to be scanned for this purpose.

7. Donating through Zomato

Zomato, one of the leading food tech companies in India has collaborated with Feeding India. It has come up with a relief drive for the cyclone hit the state.

It is aiming to provide help to victims that have been hit by Fani get back their livelihoods and it is also looking to get common people to take part in the same. You can contribute to this relief program straight through Zomato. Else, you can also sign up in order to be a volunteer so that you can provide help on the ground. You can also help them with essential items such as clothes and utensils.

8. Help Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity India is a nonprofit organization and in the wake of Cyclone Fani, it has pressed its rapid response team into action.

It has also mobilized volunteers in order to help with the recovery operations. Its basic aim is simple – to help rebuild the lives that have been affected by this devastating cyclone. As part of the first phase of this process of response, Habitat India is helping these families and individuals with humanitarian aid kits as well as emergency shelter kits.  

9. Use Paytm

Paytm, one of the biggest Fintech companies in India has opened up the possibility of making contributions to the relief efforts through its digital payments app.

You can visit the app and find out how you would be able to donate to the relief and rehabilitation program.

10. Help with SEEDS India

SEEDS India is a program that is aiming to help 100,000 people in the regions that have been affected the most by Fani. It is helping the people over there with safe drinking water, medical camps, and hygiene kits. This is a not for profit organization as well. It is primarily using local water treatment to provide safe drinking water to the people who have fallen victims in this particular context.  

The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The focus of SEEDS is primarily on families that have been affected the most by this cyclone.

11. Help through SOS Children’s Villages of India

SOS Children’s Villages of India has set up a couple of relief camps and in the process reached out to around 1000 families that are in the most vulnerable position right now. It has created safe childcare spaces in various relief camps and children are being treated over here.

Conclusion

ActionAid Association too is playing a constructive role in this particular context by using its emergency response teams. They are basically doing an early assessment and trying to find what the affected people need the most right now. In fact, they have been monitoring the situation rather closely in West Bengal as well. Apart from these, you can also donate through the likes of Goonj and Ketto.   

certificate generation system

Certificate Generation System: To Effortlessly Generate Multiple Certificates

Multiple Certificate Management Made Possible by Certificate Generator Modules

What are the certificates?

A certificate is a document that signals qualifiers to the viewer at a glance. It is essentially a document that endorses the bearer with some sort of qualification or attribute at an institutional level. The most common example of a certificate is a school leaving or degree certificate. A school degree certificate endorses the bearer as someone who has met all the requirements mandated to be qualified to leave school as a graduate. A degree certificate endorses that the bearer has met all the requirements and has the knowledge to be awarded a given degree.

Certificates usually contain varying elements, but usually have the following standard ones: name of the institution issuing the certificate, name of the individual who holds the certificate, the expertise, degree, or attribute conferred by the institution to the individual, date field, place field, signatures and seals or stamps from the institution.

Certificates are handed out usually at various milestones in a student’s academic career. From certificates endorsing them for art or elocution skills to certificates signifying their qualification to do certain jobs, these are endemic to the educational ecosystem.

But certificates are not just for students. There is another stakeholder in the educational ecosystem that also uses certificates to signal similar attributes – the staff of a school. From learning and development certificates generated after a training session to upskill staff to a simple joining certificate signaling the end of an employee’s probation period, staff too use certificates to signal their professional progress to others within the school and even externally.

Certificates are the fastest way one can communicate one’s attributes to an evaluatory body and are usually asked for in professional institutions, potential employers or subsequent employers, and places that are assessing you for further study, usually. Certificates can also be a signaling tool – displaying them often signals to potential customers, partners, etc that the holder is a professional of a certain standing.

In this blog, we will discuss the following:

  1. What is a Certificate Generation System?
  2. How the Fedena Certificate Generation System can help?
  3. Type of certificate can be generated in Certificate Generation System

What is a Certificate Generation System?

Certificates have been a long-standing feature of the educational ecosystem. Traditionally they have been designed and created to be produced in pen and ink or using a commercial printer. Institutional certificates thus rarely change in terms of design and information being communicated – because to redesign or customize these fields of information would be time-consuming, cumbersome and expensive.

However, with the advent of technology things are changing. Certificate Generation System is an automated, highly customizable, easy to use and quick to produce plug-in or module or feature of a school management system. The certificate generation module brings the process of generating certificates into a new age.

As the name suggests, it is an automated plugin for a school management software or other tools or technology that are able to generate custom certificates quickly and easily, after checking that they are authorized to do so. These are better than traditional paper and ink certificates since they can be far more easily customized instead of having to create bespoke certificates for various reasons, present comprehensive information, and are quickly and easily generated.

How the Fedena Certificate Generation System can help?

Using the Fedena Certificate Generator Module is a sure shot way of eliminating all the disadvantages of a paper and ink certificate while also capitalizing on the benefits of using a certificate generator module. The following are the benefits of using such a certificate generator module like the Fedena Certificate Generator Module:

1. A comprehensive variety of custom certificates

The key advantage of using a certificate generator module is the sheer variety of certificates that can be designed and generated within the certificate generator module. Everything from a bonafide student certificate to a qualifying certificate to a staff probation period end certificate can be generated easily in the certificate generator module. All sorts of certificates can be created using this module. The level of customization made possible thanks to the certificate generator module is also impressive. A wide variety of fields are available that can be chosen to be included on a certificate, ranging from name fields to other information that needs to be communicated.

2. Environmentally friendly

Paper and ink certificates have a massive and lasting impact on the environment. There is the paper that the certificate is printed on, which is often not recycled paper because it is high-quality bond paper appropriate for a certificate. There is also the ink and printing costs and process which contributes to the release of pollutants into the environment.

Certificate generation system is then a more environmentally option. First, there is a reduction in the number of test prints and sample prints being taken reducing paper wastage. Second, these certificates remain within the certificate generator module within the school management system and can be accessed and share electronically. This might negate the very necessity of printing the certificates thanks to the certificate generator module.

3. Better Record Keeping

Certificates created and shared within the certificate generator module are stored on the school management system for as long as they are needed. This means that there exists an archival history of all certificates generated by the student, subject, class, type of certificate, time period, occasion, etc. A certificate generator module is thus a record keeping system that chronicles all certificates generated for staff and students alike.

While it is nice to have a record like this thanks to the certificate generator module, it is also important for the authentication of certificates awarded. For instance, let us assume a staff member makes a transition to a new role in a different organization and their new employers call to verify their bonafide – a certificate generator module comes in handy in terms of being a reliable source for such information. Similarly, a student applying for further studies may request attested copies of their certificate.

Once again, the certificate generator module has a ready record of these and can regenerate the certificate if needed to share authenticated copies with prospective institutes or universities for the student.

4. Reduction on Time and Cost Overheads

Simply put, paper and ink certificates are far more expensive than the ones generated by certificate generator modules. They are also time-consuming. Think about the process of issuing a paper and ink certificate to staff or students. This entire decision-making process takes time as anyone who has worked at a large organization will have experienced. First, the time has to be spent designing, optioning and finalizing a format internally, in the school or college. Then this has to be sent to the printers, who are usually external to the school since this is a special print job. Multiple copies of the certificate have to often be printed and turnaround time is variable since we are depending on vendors and other external resources. This exercise is also usually expensive since printers charge a certain amount to print certificates, even if they are happening in bulk. Using paper and ink certificates is thus inherently expensive and time-consuming.

With a certificate generator module, however, many of these steps are eliminated. Since the certificate generator module usually comes with plug and play customization options to create your own certificates or pre-designed templates for various types of certificate designs. The certificate generator module also generates a certificate to the staff or student it is endorsing electronically, eliminating the need for a paper and ink certificate, unless the person themselves desires it.

Types of Certificates can be created in Certificate Generation System

1. Bonafide Certificate

A bonafide certificate is one that validates that the individual in question does indeed belong the school, college, or educational institution that he or she is claiming to belong to. This is usually proof that the student or staff in question has actually studied or worked at the school or college they say they have.  The bonafide certificate issued by the certificate generator module also mentions other details such as time period during which the student was a student at the school or college, date of leaving, any conduct remarks, character comments, etc.

2. Course Completion

A course completion certificate essentially states that the individual it is endorsing has completed all course requirements, handed in all coursework and has successfully passed all course-related examinations and has officially completed the course in question. Course completion certificates are becoming increasingly common for schools and colleges that offer classes to individuals looking to upskill so it is a necessary feature of a certificate generator module. The course completion certificate generated by the certificate generator module also mentions other details such as the date of issue, the date of completion, on what attempt this was cleared, the ranking or score or marks of the student if necessary, the validity of the certificate, etc.

3. Migration certificate

A migration certificate is usually issued to a student who is leaving the school or college for another institution. A migration certificate certifies that the student was a bonafide student of the school or college in question. It also certifies that there are no pending dues or charges against you in the school or college. Finally, it also certifies that all fees and dues have been cleared, as have examinations needed to certify you for a certain grade or competency level.

Migration certificates are necessary for a student who wishes to change their school or college so it is important for the certificate generator module to be able to create and share them. The migration certificate generated by the certificate generator module also mentions other details such as date of leaving, the period of time the student was at the school or college, the reason for leaving, conduct comments, and any other details deemed necessary.

4. Transfer certificate

A transfer certificate is issued to a student when they pass out for the school or college by the school or college itself. The transfer certificate states similar things to as the migration student, validating that they are a bonafide student, without dues or charges pending against them, and that they have passed required exams. However, migration certificates are issued for voluntary departure or change in schools. Transfer certificates can be issued by the certificate generator module for every student in a school or college. Transfer certificates also mention other details, such as qualification of the student on leaving, the time period they were at the school or college, the period of time for which the certificate is valid, etc.

5. Participation certificate

A participation certification essentially validates that the student or staff member being endorsed has successfully taken part of processed a course, event, class, training, etc. It can be issued to students who are taking on extracurricular activities or to staff who are upskilling and need certification to signal their new qualifications. Participation certificates are often customized to the occasion, making a certificate generator module the most time and cost effective method of generating them. They also usually mention other details such as the date of the event or training, the accolades the student or staff might have received and the validity of the endorsement, if necessary.

6. Student School Leaving Certificate

A student school leaving certificate is another name for transfer certificate. It is issued to students who have passed out from their school after successfully completing their course requirements and passing all the examinations. These details are mentioned on the certificate, along with other details such as the period of time they were in school for, their highest qualifications, etc. Every student receives a school leaving certificate and it is necessary to ensure the certificate generator module in your school management system is capable of generating one.

7. Staff Probation Extension Certificate

A staff probation extension certificate – much like the name might suggest – is one that confirms a member of the staff at a school or college is on staff on probation and will be extending the probation period for whatever reason. It essentially endorses that the person to whom this certificate is issued is a probationary member of staff at the school or college and identifies for what time period this is valid for. Since probations are often converted to full-time positions or extended longer unpredictably, it is difficult to use a standard issue paper and ink certificate for it. Instead, a certificate generator module can be customized on a staff member by staff member basis as necessary.

8. Staff Job Confirmation Certificate

A staff job confirmation may be mistaken for a bonafide certificate but for staff, but in reality, it is more a certificate confirming a job offer or finalization of a job role as a permanent role for staff in the school or college. Staff Job Confirmation Certificates are often used to prove one’s legitimacy when applying for loans, passports or for other financial or legal transactions. The staff job confirmation certificate also states the period of employment – or at least the start date, the position or job role taken up by the staff, and the validity of the certificate issued by the certificate generator module. They are one of the most commonly issued certificates for staff. It is necessary to ensure that your certificate generator module is up to the task.

network security in Small K-12 schools

How to improve network security in Small K-12 schools?

Everything you need to know about securing your school

What is network security?

Schools today are interconnected in ways never seen before. It’s not just about paper, pencils, and blackboards anymore. Instead, modern schools are very much run on different types of technologies, including products like school management systems. These technologies run on networks because they are all connected with one another. Network security refers to the processes and policies in place at a school that controls their accessibility (in binaries and also in terms of degrees). The goal of network security is to prevent the misuse, monitor access to, and modify or deny access as necessary to a computer or computer networks within the school. Simply put, it is the rules schools follow to ensure their computer systems, networks or technology assets remain secure from unauthorized access and use by malicious elements.

What is the importance of network security?

The idea of network security existing at schools may seem excessive to laypeople – why would something as benign as an educational institution have to think of something like this?

Wouldn’t network security be the domain of institutions in banking or national importance?

While such institutions might be a better fit, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the security needs and concerns of schools out of hand. These days, schools have a lot of sensitive information about their employees, parents and most importantly students. This includes information about grades and scores that track a student’s academic progress. But that is not all it is limited to. Schools also have very sensitive information like how to contact a student and their parents, where they live, what bus routes they take, what school activities they are involved in. It is also possible, in some cases, to extrapolate this information to figure out student sensitivities, which can then be manipulated by malicious elements to their advantage. The importance of network security at schools thus cannot be overstated.

How improve network security in small K-12 schools?

Ensuring network security at your school is a comprehensive task – there is no one process or policy that will take care of it entirely. It is important that schools treat this as an intrinsic part of their rules and regulations, rather than an add on. When the principle of network security is integrated into the school’s day to day functioning, that is when it becomes more infallible.

Below we have highlighted some ways, using which schools can enhance their network security :

1. Eliminate paper-based process

Paper-based processes are endemic to the educational ecosystem. Every cliched visual of a school will feature textbooks, notepaper, circulars, notices, pen and paper note-taking, etc. – it is practically inescapable. But we are now in the most advanced technological age, and it makes sense that increasingly paper is being phased out. Students already rely on using their personal computers to take notes and make presentations, so why is this not being addressed to the administration of a school?

Using technological tools like a school management system helps eliminate paper-based processes that are a security risk. Information stored on paper – like files, folders, important copies of mark sheets and bank statements, etc – is easily accessed, copied and distributed, even by malicious elements. A locked cupboard cannot keep everyone out and we are relying on fallible humans for our security. Instead, password-protected information ensures that only the right people with the correct permissions can access sensitive information. Some school management systems also track the actions of each user so these can be pulled up later if needed.

2. Keep safe confidential data about student and staff

System for school management is the ideal platform that can keep confidential data about student and staff safe. Unlike files or human memory, the information remains where you left it and can only be accessed by people with the right permissions that have been granted after careful review. The school management system also has an archive of actions taken by all users which can be pulled up in case we need to find out who is accessing what information and when. This is also information that does not deteriorate over time, since it is stored electronically, not in files or folders. One can rely on the school management system to keep confidential data confidential and safe for a long time.

3. Implement a unified platform to monitor daily processes and loophole in the system

A school management system tracks the actions of all users in the system and stores this information in its user history. This means that it is easier to monitor and track what each user is doing within the school management system if needed. In the case of malicious elements, it establishes a chain of evidence of the movements and intent of users who may be trying to access the information they should not have access to.

This is also a good way of identifying gaps or loopholes in a system – if many users use workarounds or alternative methods to access the information they usually do not have permissions to access, being able to track their movements helps identify these workarounds. In some cases, this inaccessibility might be a result of an error in the system itself. In this case, it is a quick way to identify this gap and rectify it immediately in order to make processes smoother.


4. Enforcing 2-factor authentication

As humans, we are all fallible and the case is no different for students and staff at a school. Despite moving to technological solutions, student and staff may often indulge in bad security habits, such as reusing the same password for everything. They might not realize the importance of school security and feel like this is just another piece of information to remember. By enabling two-factor authentication, the dangerousness of this is mitigated, because users are forced to use their regular password and also the code sent to their phones in order to access their network. This 2 step password protection decreases the risk that user accounts will be accessed easily by malicious elements who may use these weak accounts in order to harm students and staff.

Two-factor authentication also is a good policy for staff and students since it alerts them to anyone trying to access their accounts without their knowledge. Most systems also provide location information about where this attempt took place, which helps narrow down who the person trying to access the account could be. Such kind of information is useful in taking preventative action to improve network security at a school also. 2-factor authentication enables a mindset change within school staff and students by making them a part of the network security system – this kind of empowerment makes them more aware of their role in ensuring network security at the school and makes them feel more responsible and accountable for it also.  

4. Provide secured payment platforms

One of the areas in which school staff, students, and parents are inherently careful about is financial transactions being made through the school management system. Whether this is online transactions like through a payment gateway or services like PayTM, RazorPay, PayU, etc, or offline through the point of sale transactions, users are automatically more careful when it comes to their money. School management systems are aware of this and provide secure payment gateways with receipts and messages that make a user aware that their financial transaction has gone through or whether there has been an error in the transaction. This ensures that users are aware of what is happening and can take appropriate action according to the message they have received. The financial information of users of a school management system must be kept secure and the in-built security measures of the software ensure that.

5. Educating staff and students in the importance of security

All measures and rules and policies and processes put in place by the school are useless without buy-in from the users of networks in the school. This means that when staff, students, and parents at a school do not understand the importance of network security, all technology and protective methods put in place are for naught. It is thus key to impress upon all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem the importance of network security so that they adhere to the rules and regulations being put in place with regards to this. A good method of doing this is to have regular training and refresher courses where the tenets of network security and the consequence of not following them are clearly laid out. Informed users are aware users who will then be careful and mindful about their security as they interact with the school’s network.

biometric attendance system for school

Explore Biometric Attendance System To Streamline School Operations

Significance of Biometric Attendance System 

Biometric systems are fast gaining popularity in organizations across the world. But understand how a Biometric attendance system can streamline school operations. It is important to first understand what it is.

The word biometric is derived from the Greek words bio meaning life and metric meaning to measure. Thus, Biometrics is a system that is used to identify the various physical and behavioral characteristics of a person. Instead of using traditional methods of identification such as ID cards, PIN numbers, and passwords – which can be easily hacked, a biometric system uses various physical traits of a person to identify them and provide them with access to a place or software. Thus a Biometric Attendance System can be used as either a foolproof identification system or authentication system.

There are different types of attendance systems ranging from the simple that many of us use on our phones or the more complicated ones that seek to recognize vein pattern, fingerprints, hand geometry, DNA, voice pattern, iris pattern, signature dynamics, face detection and lots more.

Today, Biometric sensors have established themselves as an essential feature of identity technology and this is one of the reasons that many organizations including schools are opting for them

How Does Biometric Attendance System Streamline School Operations?

1. Identification Of Students and Staff

One of the key benefits of using a biometric system is that it eliminated a significant portion of paperwork, formalities, and procedures associated with the creation of a traditional identity and authentication system. From collecting photographs, personal information, etc., it reduces the time the administration team spends to create identification formalities.

Additionally, these physical ID cards made by school are carelessly forgotten by the students, easily lost and often mutilated by the end of the academic year. However, the use of a fingerprint scanning system, these problems and costs are easily eliminated and new standards of accountability can be put into place.

2. Avoid the use of proxy attendance by the students

In many schools and colleges, a rampant problem is the lack of attendance by the students, who try to mask them by asking their peers to provide a proxy attendance for them.

In fact, in many examination halls, many proxy students have been caught writing exams on behalf of their friends and colleagues. This is especially common for entrance exams where there are hired professionals willing to write exams for students.

The use of a Biometric system is one of the most effective ways to address these shortcomings in the school attendance and examination system, thus ensuring a foolproof system in schools.

3. Easy management of attendance and time keeping

In every classroom across the world, teachers spend ten to fifteen minutes of precious teaching time in managing the attendance of the students. This includes taking attendance and keeping a record of the absentee students as well as the latecomers.

However, the use of a Biometric System makes this process a lot easier and faster.

Students can simply scan their fingerprints when entering and leaving the school or the classroom and the system will automatically take care of various details such as attendance, timing, late coming, leaving early, half days, etc.

4. Identifying the day-to-day movements and activities of the students

Throughout the course of the school day, students move from room to room – often accessing the computer library, the laboratory, borrowing books, visiting the school medical room, or being called to the school office and even traveling on the school transport.

It can be tedious to keep track of the various movements of the student. However, the use of a biometric system makes it easy to keep track of the students, as well as ensure that they do not get access to unauthorized parts of the school. Thus, the use of a biometric system can not only keep track of the movements of the students around the school, but it can also be used for student identification school events and practice sessions to out other students who don’t belong.

5. Maintaining privacy and security of school data

The school ERP software often has many confidential files and data related to the students and the teaching staff such as personal contact details, banking information, medical records, etc. Often the system also has essential administrative records such as financial records of the school, taxation details, land records, etc. The use of a biometric system as an authentication method ensures that only privileged persons have access to this essential information – which if leaked would hamper the day to day working of the school.

6. Visitor access to the school premises.

Creating a controlled environment is critical to maintaining a safe and secure school environment. Therefore it is essential to only allow access to authorized persons inside the school campus. Using a biometric system the various recurring visitors like visiting teachers, temporary professors, laborers, parents, or any other regular visitors can be accurately time-stamped and identified. The system will also ensure the school administrators that those entering their schools actually belong there and that the unauthorized persons can be correctly denied entry into the campus.

7. Cafeteria and Library Management

Today, many schools offer cafeteria services and it is often difficult for the cafeteria teams to keep track of the number of students eating or the placing order as this number can vary on a daily basis. However, the cafeteria can use biometric systems to eliminate this problem. By using the biometric system, the cafeteria can keep track of the students availing the meal facilities, vending machines and accurately report those while automatically adding the bill to the student’s account. This saves students the hassle of carrying exact change or keeping the money safe in class. By implementing a biometric system in the cafeteria there is an accurate report created of students accessing the meals, the students entitled to free or reduced meals.

Similarly, the school reference library and lending library houses thousands of books – often worth a lot of money. Librarians who can access to the biometric system can use the software instead of library cards to keep a track of students who have borrowed books, overdue books and well as all pending library late fees.

8. Transportation System

The use of a biometric system in a school transportation system ensures that only the authorized, background checked drivers and cleaners are on the bus. It also ensures that students enter the right bus. It avoids the danger of young students getting lost or getting off at wrong schools and bus stops.

These are just some of the various ways in which schools can not only streamline their day to day operations but, they can also ensure that the students remain safe, the data secure and the staff has a reduced workload.

HR management system for school

10 Key questions ask when choosing HR management system for school

Does your checklist cover everything it needs to before making a purchase?

Why is HR management system?

The HR management system is any type of tool, platform or application that is focused on managing the budgetary and personnel processes and needs of an organization. These are usually ERP software which helps organizations more efficiently manage their daily HR processes. They usually do this by automating processes wherever possible, while maintaining granular level rules, so as to reduce human time and labor investment. This is especially good for HR functions since so many of their processes are repetitive and thus ideal for automation.

Why do schools need an HR system?

It might seem like HR system would be more suited for large organizations, rather than a school. On a structural level, however, what is a school but a large organization? The institutional HR needs of a school are comparable to those of a large business. It thus makes logical sense that a school too would benefit from the implementation of an HR system.

Do we need a dedicated HR system for schools?

Earlier, one needed to purchase dedicated software whose core competency was limited to certain domains. However, with the release of increasingly versatile software and the growing use of technology, it makes sense that schools might want to invest in a single tool that works seamlessly across functions and departments at their institution. Keeping this in mind, modern school ERP software, like Fedena, often include features or plugins that are capable of handling educational institutions human resources needs. What is even better than when a school uses a school ERP software these HR features are customized to be aligned with typical school practices. No need to customize your HR management system to the working of a school system. Instead, your school ERP system doubles up as a fully functional  HR system right out of the box. Just plug and play!

Below we discuss in detail the key questions that need to be asked before purchasing your HR management system for school and why:

Question #1: Does it facilitate web-based recruitment?

In this modern world, paper-based applications and application processes like this are likely to edge schools out from acquiring the best candidates for the job. Increasingly, online applications are the norm. It also helps stay better organized, since all information and related documentation is stored in the HR system itself, making it easily accessible anywhere and any time.

This is also an important historical data that is useful for any school. Even applicants who might not be a good fit during a given round of hiring might become a better fit for another role or for another time. Building an internal database of talent is key to superlative hiring for schools.

Question #2: Can job applications be automatically screened based on keywords or qualifications?

Create better hiring processes for teachers and staff when you use technology in the right way. Your HR system should be able to dig into applications for keywords or phrases that signal that an applicant is qualified. Being able to automate this process reduces the time and labor burden on a human evaluator, while also being more efficient and blind to biases.

This is also valuable data for management to see what keywords and qualifications garner them higher quality applicants. Tailoring future job descriptions to these keywords is likely to increase this pool in hiring drives at the school, all thanks to the HR system.

Question #3: Will employees have self serve options available online (including on mobile devices) to request leave/vacations, view payroll information, and other activities?

A bureaucratic system is a broken one. Having complicated processes and long waits for simple HR tasks is a type of inefficiencies that should not be found in modern schools. With the right HR system, schools can automate entire processes such as requesting various types of information, applying for leaves or absences, etc. This means a reduction in the burden on human staff with simplistic administrative tasks and a more democratic process for teachers and staff seeking information or disbursal of leaves.

Furthermore, this is all valuable data for management, who can base many budgetary and personnel decisions based on this data being collected by the  HR system over a long period of time. Data-driven decision making is key to seeing actual success, instead of being stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of nothing getting resolved thanks to biases coming into play.

Question #4: Does it helps in managing the staff’s required professional development and credit history?

The clarity in financial information and professional development records are necessary for every employee of a school to be able to track their progress and personal growth at their institution. Having a data-driven bird’s eye view can be invaluable to their personal development within an institution. Your HR system can keep track of this data easily and confidentially becoming a handy developmental and training tool for every teacher and a member of staff in your school.

Management is also able to better track the impact of the professional development training and opportunities it offers its teachers and staff members. When they are able to directly see the impact of their efforts – both positive and negative – they are able to continually tinker and improve what they are offering their employees, creating a positive feedback loop of improvement internally at the school.

Question #5: Does the HR system for your school maintain employee history of compensation and ratings?

In a similar vein, keeping track of HR details like the pay of an individual teacher and staff or even teacher and staff bands is important to track their growth. When combined with the ratings they received during appraisals or student evaluations, one is able to get important learnings about the professional growth of every teacher and staff member at a school. A school is only as strong as its teachers and this feature helps schools track of where they stand year after year or semester after semester.

When this kind of data is being collected by your HR system, it means that management now has a breadth of data over time on which to base its hiring and firing decisions. Instead of relying on infallible human memory, it is easy and swift to instead pull up this kind of factual data within the HR system itself and make decisions based on hard figures instead of feelings.

Question #6: Does it record district assets including keys, smartphones, laptops issued to employees?

Schools are constantly under budgetary constraints and financial pressure. So it makes sense that their assets – such as electronic items like laptops, smartphones, tabs, etc. or security assets like keys and key cards or access codes or even student learning aids like projectors, video players, audio and visual equipment – must be safeguarded to the highest degree possible.

This kind of record keeping also makes an impact on the bottom line of school budgets. As was mentioned earlier, schools often view such expensive items as investments. It is important to see what is being used, what is not, and track the wear and tear of school assets so that there is continual improvement in purchase decisions. The HR system’s data can help make these decisions in a more data-driven way.

Question #7: Does the HR system for your school maintain job descriptions attached to employees?

Having detailed job descriptions for every role in the organization may seem unnecessarily pedantic at first thought. But in reality, it is an excellent HR practice. Job descriptions often help define key areas of responsibility, key performance indicators and job responsibilities and deliverables for each role, whether teaching or non-educational. This helps employees understand and define the goals they wish to strive towards and for management to be more fair and effective in evaluating the performance of their employees.

Job descriptions also help management understand the evolving needs of their school – with the advent in technology, teaching, and learning methods, it is good to have historical data to see what works for a school and what does not. It is a far superior and data-driven method, rather than relying on humans who might bring their unconscious biases to the table when making hiring, firing and promotion decisions.

Question #8: Does it track the performance review process, including dates and ratings?

Keeping track of employee ratings and assessments over time is the best way to track the professional growth of teachers and staff. It is important for employees of a school to remain dynamic in their thinking since they are constantly interacting with young students and influencing their intellectual growth. The right HR system can help teachers track their own improvement, identify key areas of growth, identify strengths and weaknesses and take their career more seriously, overall. This helps retain the best teachers and staff possible – since using such a system also demonstrates that their employers value their own growth within the educational institution.

Data like this also helps management identify star employees and those who might not be a good fit for a school, resulting in data-driven hiring and firing and promotion decisions. This is only fair to all staff that is ideally seeking to constantly improve.

Video to explain the HR module setting. Try 14 days free trial today!

Question #9: Does it allows users to view absence plans for each employee: vacation, personal days, sick days, bereavement, unpaid leave, etc.

An open and transparent system that allows teachers and management to have a clear view of their leaves is necessary for the smooth functioning of a school. Things like vacation days and sick leaves cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a sole human administrator. One must also take into account the propensity for human error in matters like this. No human is infallible, but it is unfair for employees to be expected to take on the burden of their infallibility especially when it comes to precious perks like leaves. Since this is also connected to payroll – loss of pay is a consequence of exceeding allotted leaves – it is important to maintain the highest level of accuracy in leave records for every teacher and member of staff at a school.

It is only fair, decent, and professional to rely on a tool like an HR management system to do so. This is also valuable data for management that can use it to track specific employees in order to make hiring and firing and promotion decisions, but also track overall school trends – knowing that schools tend to fall sicks around a certain time period, for example, helps management be prepared with alternatives to missing employees, whether it is planning workflows or having temporary workers come in as substitutes when needed. Good planning really impacts the budget of a school in a positive fashion, since you are able to identify when and where extraneous expenses might be incurred and then plan for it in advance.

Question #10: Does the HR system for your school track benefit plans and deductions, including eligibility rates?

Employee benefits can often make or break the peace of mind of an employee. This also affects their ability to work. Having documentation and tracking of any availments and changes in employee benefits is absolutely necessary. An HR system helps ensure that this tracking is maximally accurate, instead of relying on humans who have a higher rate of error. It is also automated, so one does not need to rely on a time consuming and cumbersome process while attempting to avail important benefits. This is also a form of data collection that helps management better understand the needs of their employees over a period of time, leading to better management level decisions that actually help school employees while also potentially impacting the bottom line in a positive fashion. Data like this can really help schools looking to cut corners do so in a fair and productive fashion.

SMS feature in School ERP Software

How important is SMS feature in school ERP software?

Educational Institutes and Schools play a pivotal role in shaping the future of children. From the academic development of the students to the development of social skills, schools play a very big role in molding the life of a student.

It is therefore important that a school ensure that all their resources including the time and effort of their staff members get directed towards ensuring that their students get the best and are prioritized.

However, what often happens in real time in schools is that very often the administrative tasks and day to day banal tasks get priority treatment because they are essential in the functioning of the school. This is the reasons that many leading and popular schools from around the world are today opting for School ERP Software.

While schools of the past functioned with a few students and staff – today schools have evolved into a large enterprise where there is tons of data and paperwork that needs to be managed every single day. The need of the hour for school management teams is to have a School ERP Software that lets them access their information from a centralized platform. This advocate for a School ERP Software rather than the traditional and conventional work approach to managing a school.

What is an SMS integration module in a School ERP Software?

The SMS integration module in a School ERP Software is an effective communication tool that plays an important role in building a strong network of communication between parents and teachers.

It provides many benefits to not only the school but also to the parents and the students’ community by ensuring that communication in faster, easier and seamless between.

How can the SMS feature in School ERP Software benefit the functioning of the school?

1. Fees Pending Status

Very often parents may miss important deadlines related to the payment of school fees or other essential term related fees. An SMS module allows the school to schedule automatic reminders to the parents about the various fees that need to be made, the deadlines for the same as automatic reminders closer to the deadline or after the deadline of the fee payment date.

These automatic reminders ensure that the school management team does not have hours compiling a list of unpaid fees and sending manual reminders for the same. The School ERP Software seamlessly takes care of sending fees pending status reminders when needed.

2. Student Absentees Reminder

When a student is absent from the school, especially for prolonged periods or for regular patterns of absenteeism – this can be a matter of concern for the school and for the parents.

The School ERP Software ensures that when a student is absent, an automatic SMS reminder is sent to the parents so that they are aware of that their child was not in school on a particular day.

 Learn: How to manage SMS feature in Fedena 

3. Upcoming Event Reminder

A school calendar is often filled with many important events from school cultural performances to special days and celebrations.

For parents keeping a track of all these days can be a tedious task and for teachers to send manual, handwritten reminders to every single student’s parent can be a tedious and time-consuming task. However with the help of a School ERP Software the teachers can send of automatic reminders to every single parent at the click of a button – thus saving the class teachers precious time and effort.

4. Emergency Holiday Update

Often during the school year, there are emergency holidays declared by the government for a number of reasons ranging from weather conditions of socio-political reasons. At this time, the use of a School ERP Software will help the school to send out urgent messages to all the parents about the emergency holiday update.

The biggest benefit is that these mass SMS updates can be easily sent from the School ERP Software at the click of a button without any hassles of any kind.  

5. Student Progress Notification

Effective and constant communication about a student’s performance is essential for helping students improve their performance in schools.

However, it is not always possible to hold parent-teacher meetings every month or for parents to make time in their busy schedules to attend every such meeting. By sending student progress notifications over SMS not only to the parents stay updated about the academic performance of their students but they can also that urgent and immediate intervention measures can be taken if needed.

6. Upcoming Examinations

The timetable for school examinations is always shared by the class teacher in the school diary – but sometimes a student may incorrect note the exam time table or simply forget to show the school diary to the parents.

Automatics SMS notifications sent by the School ERP Software ensures that the parents are aware of the exam dates, timings and any changes in either of these schedules.

7. Result Announcement

Results are a pivotal aspect of academic life and the use of the SMS module by the School ERP Software is a great way for the schools to send the results of all classroom tests, assignments as well as exam results directly to the parents.

This avoids the risk of students hiding the results from their parents of buffing up the marks when sharing with their parents.

It also serves as a direct motivation for the school students to study harder and improve their performance when they know that the school results will be sent over directly to the parents. For the parents, this SMS module saves them the hassle of constantly checking with the schools for the dates related to the announcement results.

8. School Bus Timing Change Alert

The use of the SMS module by the School ERP Software is a fast and efficient way for the school transport teams to send out reminders to the parents related to any change in the school bus timings, routes, breakdowns or any other essential information.

Hence instead of waiting at the bus-stop for many anxiety-filled moments, the SMS system can alert them giving them peace of mind and helping them schedule their pickup and drop accordingly.

9. Latest News Update

The School ERP Software is a great communication tool to update the parents, school staff and even the students about the latest school-related news and keeps everyone informed and update.

Special awards, achievements of any other school-related news can be communicated faster and in a more efficient manner.

10. Password Update Reminder

The SMS module by the School ERP Software is a great way for the schools to also remind parents about regular administrate tasks that need to be done on the School ERP Software. This can range from adding updates to updating passwords.

school management software

How to know when to upgrade school management software?

There are some signs that you need to upgrade your school management system. The first sign is that it has not been built as per your requirements. Your institute is well regarded by the parents and you have recognized by many awards for your work in this domain over the years. Maybe, you have also been successful in increasing the number of students that would be able to attend your school. Yet, in all this, your school management system is unable to keep up. This is because it was built for smaller schools.

It is simply not able to cope up with the present size and stature that your school enjoys. Your school has become a lot busier and you are achieving a lot more in terms of academics. Now, would be the time to look for other and more suitable options. When you grow as a school, you recruit more staff – teaching and non-teaching. You feed more details about students and other relevant areas in your database. You get into more complex projects. If your school software is not built for such dimensions it would not be able to ease any of your worries.

Below we have highlighted some key points to understand that when your school management software needed to be upgraded:

1. You are unable to integrate it

As a school, you may be using various software products. They are helping you perform basic functions for your school. You can keep track of attendance, faculty management, academic reporting, and compliance. Maybe you are able to customize each such tool to work according to your needs. In that case, having so many different kinds of software for specific tasks may seem like an attractive proposition. But, when you have so many different systems for various purposes you usually end up repeating a lot of the work. This way, you also lose time and are not at all efficient.

The good thing about this situation is that these days there are different kinds of service providers. They provide software tools that come with almost all the functionalities that you need. At the same time, it is also pretty easy to integrate them into your system as well.

2. Issues with keeping records

There are certainly other signs that you need to improve the management software that you are using for your school. One such sign is when you are facing issues in meeting the requirements related to keeping records. This is an extremely important part of the entire process. This is because you want to qualify for whatever funding you are eligible for from the government. For that to happen, you need to be able to provide the officials with an unending array of paperwork. Your records have to be in perfect order and there are no other ways of looking at it.  This is the time you need to improve your school management software.

You need to fit it with features such as student tracking. This, in turn, would mean that you would have complete knowledge of when a student is coming to the school and when she or he is leaving. You have a secure trail of data to fall back upon.

3. You face truancy issues

You can be sure that you would never get the funding and all other kinds of help if your students are not attending the classes. By using student tracking features you would very easily be able to find students that are wayward. Then you would be able to bring them back for purposes such as counting.

In fact, there are schools that have used systems such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). They have been able to increase their student attendance by significant margins. This is simply for the reason that the technology that we are talking about has helped them track down the truant students.

4. The parents are calling you way too much for your liking

As a teacher or a school authority figure, you would know that if students arrive late at school the worried parents are always going to call you up.

This would happen even if they are late by a few minutes. But, if you use RFID and GPS (Global Positioning System) technology you would be able to take care of these calls in an easy manner as well as within a short span of time. You can be sure you would have all the data that you need at your fingertips and you would be able to give them exactly the information that they need.

5. Fire drills are draining your resources

These are something that is hated by the teachers as well, let alone the students. There is nothing to deny the fact that they are rather necessary but at the same time, they also have the potential to disrupt your day. They can become a logistical nightmare as well. All you need in this case is a simple system that allows you to track the whereabouts of your students. With such a system at your disposal, you can be sure you would be able to find out the exact location of your students – if they are in the building or not. At the same time, such a system would also help you make sure that they are back within the school building at the right time.

This way, you would be able to restrict the disruption to the least possible level. At the same time, you would also be able to make sure that you do not lose time because of students who may have wandered off during the drill.

There are certain parts of the town that you would want to steer clear of

In all cities and towns of the world, there would always be a street, neighborhood, or intersection where you would not wish the students of your school to visit.

With the help of the bus route features and modules of the kind of software we are talking about over here, you would be able to make sure that such a thing does not happen. This way, you would be able to create routes whereby you are able to avoid stops that may be too close for comfort. You do not really need to expose the children of your school to criminals such as sex offenders and drug dealers when you can easily avoid aforementioned areas with the kind of software we are talking about over here.

6. Field trips become too demanding logistically

When you have a school management system that has the right kind of student and bus tracking features it can help you immensely. There is so much that you can do with such software. You can create initial sheets with details of students who are taking part in the same. You can also make sure that each and every student is getting off and on at the time they are supposed to. This way, you would be able to streamline these trips unlike ever before.

Conclusion

Apart from these, if you are unable to make reports within a stipulated period of time or if the system is not user-friendly you should usually change the same. This is also applicable when your system cannot generate customized reports and does not provide you any control over generating ID cards, and the like.

Why Schools Should Stopped Relying on Manual Processes?

 The disadvantages of not using school management software

Processes are present in every organization in order to ensure its smooth and steady functioning. They might or might not be defined, however, without them any organization – even an educational institution like a school or college – would fall apart.

Processes can broadly be divided into two categories – manual processes and automated processes. Usually, modern organizations, like schools and colleges, use a combination of both types of processes in their day to day functioning.

We explore both types of processes in greater detail below:

What are the manual processes?

Manual processes refer to an internal process at a school or college that does not rely on people or human labor or pen and paper to be completed. Earlier, most processes in any organization, including educational institutions, were manual processes. A good example of manual processes is when employees file claims with the accounts department for reimbursements. This usually involves filling in the reimbursement claim form, attaching all bills and particulars, submitting it to accounts, receiving an acknowledgment of submission, following up in person or through the post, etc before the claims are cleared.

Automated processes are merely digitized or electronic versions of the manual process that cuts down on human intervention, time is taken to accomplish this process in the usual way, and the overheads involved, such as paper and other materials. Automated processes are also self-motivated after they have been initiated they rarely need human action until completion. Automated processes usually feature in a school management software that is being used to manage processes in the school or college.

For instance, an automated version of the example given above – employees filing reimbursement claims – will involve an employee using the school management software to request a reimbursement, sharing supporting documents electronically from their device, even if remote, and then the software processing the reimbursement once it has been approved. This process is far less cumbersome than the previous manual process.

It is clear that automated processes have taken over most schools and colleges due to the inadequacies of manual processes. Below we discuss the disadvantages of manual processes that should encourage schools and colleges to allow automated processes to replace their obsolete ones:

What are the disadvantages of manual processes at school?

1. Time-consuming process

One of the key disadvantages of manual processes is the sheer amount of time they take to be performed and to be completed. Manual processes simply take longer than the lightning speed of automated processes being performed by a computer using school management software. For instance, it will take a human accountant much longer to calculate payroll, compared to payroll software or a payroll plugin or feature in a school management software.

2. Increase in paper usage

Paper is both an environmental and financial sinkhole. As we go through global environmental crises, it is important for systemic push backs to be implemented in order to save our earth. Part of this is making real efforts at reducing the amount of paper we consume on a daily basis in order to reduce deforestation. Educational institutions, especially, are huge consumers of paper and paper products. If we are able to reduce our dependence on paper and paper products by eliminating manual processes we might be able to make a significant difference. Paper and paper products are also a huge portion of many school’s bottom lines. Simply put, the paper is expensive and trying to reduce our use of it by switching to automated processes from manual processes are a way to help cut costs on a system level.

3. Prone to error

Humans are extremely fallible which means the work they also do is not perfect. Manual processes rely on humans entirely, which means that they are prone to error. For instance, a simple mistake of data entry on the part of a human accountant while entering figures can result in a dramatically different bottom line and understanding of the final health of the school. Similarly, a simple misplacing of admission application for a potential student can result in the loss of a scholar for an educational institution. This is not the case with automated processes that follow a set of pre-defined rules and thus merely stop working instead of producing costly or time-consuming errors that need to be fixed. Switching to automated processes thus reduces the error rate for processes in a school or college.

For instance, an automated accounting process records numbers and performs calculations automatically. Flags can also be set up for incorrect variables entered into specific fields in case of human data entry. Admission applications are all automatically collated and stored on school errors which means that no child is left behind. One of the key advantages of automated processes, thus, is a dramatic reduction in how error-prone a school or college is towards its stakeholders.

4. Less safe and secure

Manual processes are performed by humans and subject to human security measures such as a locked cupboard or the ethics of humans not looking at confidential information. In these times, it is important to accord data privacy and security its rightful place. In this sense, manual processes will always be vulnerable to the fallibility of humans. Automated processes, on the other hand, usually require permissions to access and administer. They are also present in school management software than generally assigns handles to each user, adjusts permissions accordingly, and tracks usage and history so users are automatically held accountable. Data is also secure due to in-built security measures and privacy settings like passwords and permissions.

In these days of heightened security concerns, it is important to especially protect one of our most vulnerable stakeholders in the educational ecosystem – the students. Not everyone can be trusted with personal and private information such as student medical details, transport details or even personal information like addresses and contact information. Unfortunately, with manual storage of such information, access to it is easy. With automated processes that focus on storage however, such information can be limited in terms of access through the judicious use of passwords and permissions.

5. Cost Inflation

cost inflation

Manual processes are very heavy on the bottom line primarily because of the associated labor and overhead costs. Unfortunately, such costs are also recurring which means that they are perpetual in nature since it is unlikely for all such manual processes to be reduced or eliminated. Instead of hoping for such an eventuality, it might be more prudent to have automated processes take over the role of manual processes in your school or college. This is because while automated processes that are part of, say, a school management software, have an initial investment, they pay off over time by reducing labor and overheads costs on the school. They also rarely have recurring costs associated with it – instead, they continue functioning without interference for years.

6. Decrease Productivity of Employees

Processes are one of the most mentally taxing, tiring, and time-consuming experiences for any employee. While process work is unavoidable in a school, one cannot deny the impact they have on the energy, time, and morale of employees, no matter how small a part they are of an employee’s day to day job. Most employees would rather offload the responsibility of administrative or processing work so that they can focus on their core responsibilities and be more productive where they are most valuable.

7. Limited Access to Reports and Data

reports and data

Processes are a valuable storehouse of information and data on how employees function over long periods of time. Such data allows employees to better streamline their work, management to provide necessary support and resources and for the school or college to just overall start functioning more efficiently One of the most frustrating things about manual processes is the inability to use this readymade knowledge in order to inform future decision making that could increase overall inefficiency. Automated processes, however, as a part of school management software automatically collects this information in the background as it performs its assigned tasks. Everything from timelines, actions taken, issues run into as a certain task is performed is automatically recorded and most school management software also generates reports about the same. Such reports can help inform decision making by a school at both the micro and macro level resulting in improvements in efficiency, finances and just overall functioning of the school.

8. Long Queues

Who likes standing in a queue? Manual processes by their very nature demand human presence and engagement, resulting in situations where there are often masses of people attempting to finish the same process at the same point. Anyone who has stood in line to collect an admission form, to make a fee payment, or to find out examination results is familiar with this phenomenon. Automated processes do away with this obsolete issue once and for all since they allow for such tasks to be performed by authorized users remotely – from anywhere at any time and from any device. This means the permanent reduction of masses of overwhelming people to perform simple tasks and a consequent reduction in pressure and stress on employees and an already overworked infrastructure.

9. Less Adaptable

By their very nature, manual processes become more about habit than efficiency. This means that they are not as quick to adapt since they rely on individual behavioral change as well as institutional change at an organizational level, Conversely, automated processes can be easily making them dynamic beasts that are responsive to change. This means that your school or college’s internal processes will always be relevant to the way modern institutions function these days and actually be relevant to the ever-evolving and changing needs of students, teachers, employees, administrators, and management.

Customized Reports In School ERP Software

Role of Customized Reports In School ERP Software

How Customized Reports In School ERP Software Can Improve Performance of Your School?

Most schools across the world are repositories of raw and often unorganized data. This does not only relate to data related to students but also data related to the administration of the school, records related to the teaching staff, financial details and other important business information that helps the day to day functioning of the school.

Experts believe that the more data an organization has at its fingertips, the more insight they can get about the financial health, organizational stability and operational efficiency of the school. But for this raw data to be relevant it has to translate into actionable information that does not rely on standard formats.

Today, schools and educational institutes across the world are realizing the importance of creating custom reports on the School ERP Software that highlight indicators of their school performance health and other unique indicators.

What is a Customized Reports in School ERP Software?

A customized report is a school report that is made using School ERP Software. It is a valuable tool that can be used for tracking and analyzing the performance of the school and overall business health of the brand. This well-documented report that has the records and fields needed to reveal nuances related to predicated and pre-defined functions, thus helping the school with the exact data that they wish to view. It helps the school administration with information and knowledge to investigate and reach solutions, essential for the functioning of the school.

What are the benefits a Customized Reports in School ERP Software?

1. Customized Report Helps in Critical Understanding of the Functions of the School

A school needs many reports from the student’s attendance reports, transport fuel records, teacher’s performance reports to other administrative and financial reports. A customized report helps to sort all the raw data and helps to understand the various departments of the school. This valuable tool helps to critically analyze various reports, functions, and areas to get a better understanding of which department of the school is doing well or poorly. A customized report helps to create a deep diving approach into various data that is available and helps to create a cause-and-effect approach to solving performance problems.

It may help you understand where finances are being squandered and which students are showing a consistent improvement in their performance or which transport route is working efficiently. You may find that one department is under-performing – the list can be endless.

A customized report helps eliminate the turmoil and will aid school to reach the various goals and improve the performance of the school. It equips the school with knowledge and information to efficiently solve problems and reach goals.

2. Customized Report Helps In Setting Benchmarks And Goal Setting For The Schools

Using School ERP Software, schools will have the option of selecting the time period for which they would like to set the customized report. This can vary from weekly reports, monthly reports, and even annual reports. Thus schools can get an accurate view of the performance of various departments across a specified time frame.

Understanding this performance can help the administrators to strategize, and set benchmarks and goals for the students, teachers and for the school as a whole.

For instance, by understanding the admission statistics over a period of time through a customized report, the school can set new admission goals for the coming year and strategize on various tools to help them meet those goals.
Thus, a customized report helps the school to take raw and unprocessed data and convert into digestible goals that are easy to achieve.

3. Customized Report Plays A Pivotal Role in the Planning and Decision Making For the Schools

A customized report can help the school principal, as well as the school, administrate team make strategic decisions and plans related to the school. They can use the data to justify their strategic plans and decisions.
Using these highly customized reports, the administrative team can make decisions about hiring, firing, new classroom tools, the elimination of entire departments and take classroom decision to help the students perform better. The administrative teams can then use these customized reports to track understand the relevance and the value of the decisions they have taken – decisions that can improve the overall brand value and performance of the school and its students.

The Fedena school software allows users to create a custom report module that can then be used to create reports that contain fields of the user’s choice. These custom Reports can be created for students or employees of the school. The main advantage of this module is that the user can generate a report based on the information that they are looking for, thus saving them time, effort and generating an error-free report

school management software

Is your school management software keeping your ward secure?

How School Management Software Ensures Student Safety?

The idyllic idea of a school involves a utopian paradise where children have freedom and security in equal measure. Realistically speaking, however, the world can often be a dangerous and harmful place – especially to vulnerable communities like children, who often do not have the skills or agency to defend themselves. In the West, we are already seeing a spike in threats to student safety in the form of mass shootings, missing children, gang violence entering schools, etc. While in India, these are not as common as they are in the United States of America, student safety is still a top concern for school management.

Students are a group that is especially vulnerable due to their age and inexperience. Their security and safety are of prime importance for any school administrator, especially since students need to be focused on their academic endeavors rather than auxiliary concerns like these.

Maintaining a sense of safety is thus of primary importance and an issue schools must prioritize for themselves. With the growing role of technology, maintaining security for institutions is becoming easier, but did you know even your school management software can help ensure student safety?

Below we discuss in details the features of a school management software that help maintain the safety and security of students at your educational institution:

1. RFID Attendance Tracking

One of the keys to ensuring student safety is knowing or being able to easily access information about their whereabouts at any given time. Earlier we relied on attendance registers, a student’s assigned schedule and community knowledge from teachers and fellow students to know where a student is at any given point of time. However, good student management software like Fedena ensures that attendance tracking becomes a highly systemic process thanks to the use of allied technologies like RFID.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and refers to the use of a radio wave signals embedded in smart tags or chips in identity cards to track the coming and going of a student. Simply put, when a student uses their RFID enabled identity card to swipe in and out of the school, specific rooms, or to perform certain tasks like gaining access to canteen facilities or to check out school equipment, the school management software keeps track of this data. This makes it easier for school authorities to pull up information on the history of a student’s comings and goings within the school management software in real time and from anywhere.

2. Transport Tracking System

school bus tracking

It is not enough for school management to maintain a secure facility on just the school premises. Students – especially younger ones – are vulnerable during the chaotic time of entering and leaving school. In the confusion of what bus to board and where the student is alighting, it can be easy to lose track of students in even a smaller school.

Student management software solves for this sensitive issue by offering a reliable and robust transport tracking system. The transport tracking system keeps a record of the school’s transport assets, whether a student is one their assigned transport vehicle or not, and also offers live tracking and updates on routes and stops. This means that school management and concerned parents are able to keep an eye on their students at all times, even as they commute to and from school.

3. Sturdy Data Protection Systems

In these modern times, the importance of data security cannot be overstated. Student information is no different. In fact, in many ways, it is important to maintain the highest levels of security for student information – since it is often personal or logistical information about a minor student.

A student management software is inherently robust on the data protection front since this kind of sensitive information can only be accessed behind password protection and that too by authorized handles or logins only. Users need to be granted access to such information and the student management software also tracks who has accessed such information and sometimes how it has been used. An archival history of all actions is maintained within the school management software making it easy to go back and check on who has been accessing such information and why, as needed.

4. Secure Communication System

secured communication

One of the keys to maintaining safety and security of students is to ensure that information flows efficiently and optimally through the right channels to the right person. This means that there should be no leaking of information that might get into the wrong hands. A student management software enables this by making communication between various users secure, confidential and private through a variety of channels.

For instance, teachers can communicate directly with parents about student progress and grades using the inbuilt messaging in the student management software. Students may discuss group projects with their teacher and fellow group members securely using discussion groups set up for that very purpose. Such discussion groups can be closed or open to as many students as considered judicious for the given purpose.

Secure communication is key to ensuring a free flow of information between stakeholders in the educational ecosystem, while also ensuring that such information remains secure. It is key to maintaining a safe but communicative environment for students.

5. Instant System Wide Updates

In an emergency, it is necessary that information that helps students, parents, teachers, and staff be communicated swiftly and appropriately, while also reaching a large group of people at the same time. In student management software, this is made possible through features and plugins like the dashboard, instant SMS alerts, and instant email alerts.

For instance, in a school-wide alert, the most efficient method might be to use the dashboard to make an announcement that will show up on the dashboard of the school management software that everyone has access to. For limited groups or for reaching people’s phones in case of internet breakdown instant email alerts or instant SMS alerts might be respectively appropriate.

6. Robust Financial Security

robust financial security

A final piece of the puzzle for maintaining student safety and security is to ensure the safety of their financial information and transactions. This means the use of secure payment gateways, robustness in the generation of final information, and secure access to such kind of actions and information.

A student management software maintains this perfectly by ensuring such actions are only accessible to the appropriate users through judicious granting of access and maintenance of action history in the archives so such information can be looked up easily. This does not compromise on ease of use since student management software enables users to clear financial transactions or actions like fee payment, receipt generation, etc from anywhere and at any time using any device. Student security and safety does not have to result in a reduction of ease of use and convenience for parents and management, but it does not have to compromise on student safety or security either.

How to increase parents’ engagement in students’ success with digital technology?

These days, there is a significant amount of pressure on schools. They now need to make sure that they are showing the effort to engage the parents. This is being done so that they can be invested to a greater extent to the success of their wards – the students. Schools are using various solutions for these purposes. Digital technology is one of the main tools in this regard. The end aim, in this case, is to make sure that the efforts of increasing parent engagement are effective. Digital portfolios are playing a major role in this particular regard.

They are helping the parents take an active part in the learning of their wards at the same time as it is happening. This is the reason why experts rate them so much in such regard.

What are digital portfolios doing?

Digital portfolios are pushing updates to the parents. They are not only providing them to the parents and then expecting them to check the same in due course of time. With the help of such technology, parents can now stay connected to all that is happening in the classrooms. They are also helping the parents start a conversation with the students. This is the most important contribution that they are making in this particular regard.

The basic aim of such technology is simple – to help the students get better than what they were earlier. Now at the dinner table, parents can talk straightaway to the children about a particular project that they saw in their portfolios. They do not have to pose simplistic questions like what is going on with their school and education in general.  

Some good examples in this regard:-

There are plenty of good examples in this regard to show how successful such technology has been in the first place. In some schools, they are organizing interviews between parents and teachers after a gap of a couple of months.

After using the digital tools and technology that we are talking about here these interviews have become a lot more open. There is a great deal of relaxation as well. Both parents and teachers feel that these meetings have become a lot quicker and friendlier. Much of this is because of the usage of digital technology. They are more like friendly check-ins instead of being the formal events they were earlier. The parents are receiving regular information about the progress of their children.

This has meant that the shock factor is now a lot less. These meetings now serve as a continuation of discussions that are going on at all times. This also means that now these meetings take less time. The relationships between the parents and the teachers have improved a lot as well.  

  • Remarkable improvement in parental engagement thanks to digital tools

Digital tools such as portfolios have increased the engagement levels of the parents when it comes to their kids and that too in a remarkable way. The best thing about such technology is that you have various portfolios to choose from. Examples of such options are daily work portfolios and project work portfolios.   

You can always choose one that suits your needs and requirements the best.

  • Expectations at the lower levels

Normally at the elementary classes, it is expected that the teachers would inform the parents at least once a week on the progress of their ward. This is where such digital technology has been of such immense help. In some cases, schools are directly inviting parents to the portfolios of their children. The teachers are also coaching the parents on how they can provide their feedback in these cases through the various means that are available to them.

In fact, these days, schools are also using iPads and other such devices to provide parents a very clear idea of how well their child is doing in her or his class. It is common for parents to love the fact that they know where their child’s education is at in terms of performance and quality. This is why educational technology can help the parents so much as they are able to follow the progress of their children closely enough.

Quite often it is being seen that students themselves are coming forward and taking ownership of the process. They do so by sharing their work straightaway with their peers and parents.

The importance of having parents in the educational process

Teachers know that it is very important that parents are part of the educational process of their children. With the help of digital technology such as these portfolios, they are creating an environment that is conducive to letting such development happen. They too can now be a part of the classroom as well and watch what the kids are doing.

This way, they also have a clear idea of how the kids are learning. Teachers are of the opinion that the actual power lies in the way that these portfolios are connecting schools with homes.

How are parents responding to these systems?

The efficiency of these systems can be gauged from the way that parents have responded to such technology being used in the classrooms. Parents can now watch important aspects of their child’s education within really short spans of time. This way, they can also provide feedback almost instantly as well. This, in turn, happens to be beneficial for the students too.

It also helps that these digital tools are built in such a way that parents have no issues navigating them as such. In fact, most parents these days are pretty familiar with these apps and much of this boils down to the fact that they are really at ease when it comes to the digital world in general. These systems are rather easy to use and they also offer the parents plenty of support when it comes to finding a level of engagement that they would have no problems with.

How are these systems helping with assessment?

The school ERP system these days have shown that they are effective when it comes to communicating with the parents. However, even such effective systems have their limitations which are not to be found in the kind of systems that we are talking about over here. In most cases, the school management system is focused on communication with parents. It is basically a two-way street where things that can be discussed over the phone or sent through email/messages are focused on. An example of such an item would be the various school notices. Digital technology, on the other hand, emphasizes the conversations on student learning.

In these cases, there is an evident conversation between parents, teachers, and students. Teachers say that with such conversations they – as well as the parents – are basically able to see what the students are thinking. They are able to know how much they can understand, the misconceptions that they have, how tolerant they are to other perspectives, and the points of view they have. They also get an idea of how well they are able to listen, build on ideas from others, and answer various questions.

So, this, in a nutshell, is how such tools are helping parents get more invested in the learning of the students.