In an edtech survey conducted by GLG, a whopping 98% of the respondents mentioned that they were using a Learning Management System (LMS) at their educational institution. Further, around 63% of the survey participants mentioned that they were using a Classroom Management System (CMS), while around 57% said that they used Student Information System (SIS). These numbers re-emphasize how COVID-19 has driven digital acceleration across educational institutions. But at a time when the digital acceleration is happening at an unprecedented rate, educational institutions are also in the need of comprehensive edtech tips.
The right edtech solution can make a world of difference for your educational institution. It can help you save time and resources, while also improving the quality of education you provide. This is particularly important because moving forward, staying relevant will become a top priority for universities, colleges, and K-12 in a reimagined education landscape.
However, with so many edtech solutions on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve asked two product experts from Classe365 – Patricia Esmaquel and Ravi Chandra – to share their top five edtech tips.
Tip 1: “Go Paperless”
Patricia: My first advice is to move from paper to digital. Educational institutions should try to become 100% paperless by maintaining their entire records online.
The benefits are multiple – reduced cost, easier tracking and management, and better storage options being some of the most notable ones. Going paperless will also ensure that you can have access to the data anytime. But going paperless should just not be restricted to a particular department or workflow. Instead, going paperless should be followed across all aspects of an educational institution’s day to day activity.
Edtech solutions like Classe365 can facilitate this in multiple ways. For example, our Learning Management System (LMS) allows educators and students to access materials and submit assignments online. Similarly, the student records can be maintained through Student Information System (SIS), the information of the leads can be maintained on Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Enrolment and Admissions Management can help with making the entire application to enrolment process paperless for students.
(Did you know? Classe365 helps educational institutions go paperless, right from the admissions & admissions process.)
Tip 2: “Make tech interoperability your overarching goal”
Ravi: Purchase every solution with an overarching goal to achieve tech interoperability. This is an often ignored, but is a very essential step. So what is interoperability? It refers to systems and software applications being able to communicate with each other seamlessly. In other words, systems that are interoperable exchange information in real-time.
This becomes increasingly important as more and more institutions move towards a digital-first approach. Edtech tools that are not interoperable will create silos of information, making it difficult to track the progress of students or analyse data. Achieving interoperability should be one of your top priorities while making technology investments.
When it comes to the benefits, from easier scalability to cost reduction and better data security, interoperability helps with multiple aspects of everyday student management.
Tip 3: “Make sure you can track your students’ progress”
Patricia: Edtech tools that come with the student tracking feature allow educators to track the progress of every student in real-time. This is done by monitoring their activity, engagement levels, and performance on assignments and tests. The data collected can then be used to identify areas of improvement and take necessary corrective measures. This data collection is an important aspect because teachers usually find it difficult to assimilate student data effectively to increase performance.
I have a three-step guideline on how to use student tracking to provide a personalised focus to students in edtech: Step 1: Use the tracking data to identify struggling students and help them get back on track. Step 2: Use the data to create customised learning paths for each student. Step 3: Use the data to assess how well different teaching methods are working and adapt as needed.
(Did you know? Classe365’s LMS module comes with a student tracking feature. With this feature, students, teachers, and administrators would be able to track every part of their academic journey.)
Tip 4: “Keep updating your digital & edtech readiness checklist”
Ravi: Technology is evolving very rapidly, so it is important for educational institutions to keep their digital readiness checklist updated. It’s because the needs of an educational institution change frequently. While some tools like SIS, CRM, LMS, etc should always be a part of the digital readiness checklist all the time, other important tools arise over a period of time.
I say this because, in this new normal, we expect hybrid education (the co-existence of online and offline classes) to be the trend moving forward. In such a scenario, the wants and needs of an educational institution would start changing rapidly. For example, tools like online proctoring are very important for schools now. But a few years back, it was not even on the radar. So educational institutions should make sure they update their readiness checklist regularly.
As an extra-tip, I can provide a list of must-needed edtech solutions that would ALWAYS be relevant. This includes pre-admissions, CRM, SIS, LMS, admissions & enrolment solutions, institutional and student analytics, student tracking tools, fees and finance solutions, and alumni management systems.
Tip 5: “Ensure the edtech tools you purchase cover the entire learner journey”
Patricia: Edtech for student management evolves from being efficient to empowering when it is implemented across the learner journey. By learner journey, what I mean is, from the time of inquiry up until the student becomes an alumnus.
Most institutions purchase edtech tools that are standalone, siloed, and do not cover the entire journey. I strongly recommend you move away from this approach. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is, the siloed approach can make your edtech purchase costly and time-consuming. The second reason is, since the solutions are siloed, you cannot cover the entire learner journey of your students (from the time of admissions until becoming alumni) with a SINGLE solution.
On the other hand, if you choose a platform like Classe365, we follow a unified approach with an integrated LMS, SIS, and CRM. This not only makes the software purchase highly affordable but also helps to cover the entire learner journey with just one solution.
(Recommended Read: Digital transformation across student lifecycle A Classe365 Framework)