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| Dec 5, 2017, 11:00:00 AM

The growing importance of modern school solutions

To become a truly modern school –  that is, to operate efficiently, deliver superior education outcomes, and attract high performing teachers and students – technology is becoming more and more essential.

A modern school is not just about results in the classroom: it’s also about running effectively behind the scenes – using smart, digital solutions to improve everything from payroll to staff scheduling, the school calendar, events management and more.

At Insync, we see technology enabling the modern school in six key areas:

1. Automated and consolidated administration systems

Schools have a range of administrative functions: coordinating fees, payroll, paying for third party services, staff management and scheduling, recruitment and even the production of newsletters and parent communication. 

For most schools, this function can be quite challenging – especially if much of it is managed manually and using disparate technology.

In the modern school, however, all of this disparate (and potentially manually handled) information can be brought together into a customised and accessible Modern Automation Platform (powered by Microsoft’s Identity Manager).

Insync’s Modern Automation Platform (MAP)  automates every day common, repetitive tasks and actions – like password resets, user creation, on and off-boarding, access management, and more. On average, MAP has saved our clients upwards of $92,000 and 2,300 hours of labour.

2. Flexible learning - anywhere, at any time and from any device

To ensure your school delivers a rich, effective and engaging learning experience, anytime/anywhere access is becoming increasingly essential. Both students and teachers need to be able to tap into a wealth of learning resources regardless of where they happen to be. And a major challenge facing school IT managers today is how to cope with the variety of devices and operating systems that students work with.

In the modern school, technology is consolidated into a single, easy to access platform - and students, teachers, parents and staff all receive single sign-on access to the tools and systems they need to get better results every day. This means students can flick between tools and applications with ease, regardless of where they are, or what device they happen to be using.

3. More efficient and effective communication

To get the best results, both staff and students need online spaces in which to collaborate and share information, in real time. When it comes to communication, students, teachers, parents and staff are no longer tied to the school grounds or the campus. They want to be able to connect anywhere and at any time.

For this reason, the modern school uses cloud-based communication and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Phone System – enabling staff, students and external parties to communicate efficiently and reliably from anywhere, at any time. Teachers can work with students online when necessary, without the need to be in the classroom, and students can set up their own shared work spaces and have access to the computing power they need.

4. Greater flexibility and agility via the cloud

At Insync, we have helped many organisations transition relevant systems and applications to the cloud – in order to save time and money, as well as considerably improve accessibility for all users. However, schools also handle vitally sensitive data and student information and require highly secure private environments for learning. For this reason, it can be beneficial to invest in a hybrid cloud solution – with a mix of cloud-based and on-premises assets. 

For many schools, moving to a hybrid cloud infrastructure can deliver enormous benefits – improving mobility, increasing flexibility and generating cost savings for the organisation as a whole. As part of this, the modern school will have an outsourced management platform or service in place, with disaster recovery plans and a high level SLA from their service provider.

5. Richer educational experiences

Today’s students need to access productivity tools to help them learn faster and more effectively. They need to co-author in engaging ways; not working singularly but as teams. Students should, for instance, be able to freely collaborate and communicate with their peers, access a range of different learning resources, or engage in discussion forums regarding key areas of the curriculum. In addition, parents should also be able to log in to check on their child’s progress and assistance, and teachers should also be able to participate.

A rich learning management system (LMS) is a key characteristic of the modern school – enabling students to store and access classroom notes and lessons securely, online. An effective LMS can also function as an assessment and grading tool, streamlining the process for teachers.

6. Customised, individualised education

Data is playing an increasing role in education – particularly when it comes to identifying students who are struggling with their academic performance.  

In the modern school, descriptive and predictive analytics can be used to give teachers and administrators a way to measure and monitor student performance, and pre-empt student disengagement. This means the school can intervene early to get the student moving in the right direction. 

 

To learn more about the key features of a modern school:

 

Download the whitepaper: The State of Microsoft Cloud Voice in Australia

Download the value summary: Education in the Cloud

 

Or get in touch with the education experts at Insync on 1300 652 207 or email info@insynctechnology.com.au.

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