Schools must have information technology in their operations. Schools have administrative sides and the teaching sides. Both can be integrated into one centralized school management software which would be the best way forward but then management rarely has that vision. Cost is a deterrent and another factor is the changeover to technology that would involve training for everyone concerned. Even school managements do not know how to go about it and often commit mistakes in adopting technology into their ecosystems. Some of these are mentioned below.
Not knowing about technology and all that it can do
Administrators and managers in schools are rarely up to date about technology trends and what it can do for their school or how to implement it. They may start by incorporating technology into accounting. Then they may have another vendor supply school management solution and then a third to put in place school studies and examination software. This type of adaptation of technology creates more problems in that accounting has to feed data to the school management module in order to send out reminders about fees, for example. The separate pieces of technologies work in isolation and do not plug in seamlessly with each other. Then again, one may choose software that works only on-premises and not as a browser based app that can be accessed from anywhere or a school management app that works on mobiles. This limits the usability of the software. Not knowing what they want means they are open to what salesmen tell them and adopt whatever is offered without full consideration as to whether it suits their set up or not.
Software that is hard to learn and use
Ease of learning and ease of use are rarely considered when deciding on school management software. Cost may be the sole driver and this could result in the installation of software that has a steep learning curve and an unfriendly user interface. Those who are not familiar with technology may not invest the effort to learn and may ignore or avoid the use of technology and that means the school does not get the benefit of investing in the software solution. If at all they wish to put in place software for schools the administration would do well to appoint technology consultants to evaluate the software. If and when such software is installed they need to make it a point to train staff in the proper use and extract maximum benefit from the technology situation for schools. Everyone is using smartphones today so a school management app that works on mobiles would enable school staff to make better use of it even as it connects to the main software installed in the school’s IT system.
Assuming technology will improve education
Technology does help to improve the education provided the right software is selected. Schools may go in for multimedia systems, libraries of interactive learning materials and the internet. Some may even go as far as equipping students with laptops and then assume they will make full use of technology to learn. However, teachers also need to adapt to the changed system and use it to buttress learning instead of leaving students to learn on their own.
Not keeping everyone connected in the loop
Schools may decide on the technology that only the staff members can use. This limits the use of technology. The school has administrative staff, teachers, students and parents. It should connect everyone. Parents may wish to know of the progress of their children. Students may wish to use software to access learning materials and also to contact teachers in case they have issues and administration may need to broadcast messages to all parents or to selected parents as well as to students.
Going by cost alone
The routine procedure for purchases is to invite quotations and then choose the lowest offer without proper technical evaluation of the school management software. You get what you pay for is a statement that can hold true in such cases. School management could be stuck with software that has many limitations and no support for maintenance and upgrades may be expensive.
The right way to go about the purchase of school management is to first evaluate all your sections and find out areas that would benefit by implementation of technology. School management and administration will certainly benefit from the use of software or school management app that speeds up tasks and automates functions. You may wish to include technology in the teaching department or implement school exams software but at a later date. In that case, the software you plan to purchase now should have a facility for future upgrades so that you have one centralized seamless solution instead of disparate solutions that create another set of problems. It is best to spend time evaluating software along with a consultant before making a decision.