Technology aids schools in navigating busy seasons by streamlining a school’s administrative process.
When you have a million items on your to-do list, you want to have as efficient a process as possible.
To counter the overwhelming feeling which often accompanies running a school or afterschool program, you should invest in the right tools.
Technology trends are constantly changing, developing, and innovating to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of communities around the world — why not take advantage of the benefits that technology offers?
You should use technology, and potentially invest in educational software, to make your life easier and enable you to focus your efforts on something other than the mundane, tedious administrative tasks that must be completed to properly run your school.
5 technology trends for schools
Adopting new software can be tricky and you may not know where to start. Don’t worry! These tech trends will set you on the right path to improving your school’s administrative process.
As you try to keep up with the latest tech trends, consider enhancing your school with:
Online registration tools.
After school program tuition management.
SIS compatible software.
Digital attendance tracking.
Summer program management.
Don’t let yourself suffer through an abundance of administrative duties when you don’t have to. Your school can operate smoothly and effectively without adding any extra stress to your day. Let’s dive into these top technology trends that you should consider adopting immediately!
Technology Trend 1: Online registration tools.
When your school is responsible for hundreds (or even thousands) of students, you should have an easy way for them to register for before and after care programs, extracurricular activities, summer school, activity and club fees, laptop rental fees, trips, and more.
Registration season typically means a mountain of paperwork for you and your administrative staff. But it doesn’t have to.
Don’t forget to make sure your registration tool is completely customizable for your school’s needs. You should be able to personalize the forms you need so that you get all the required information to meet your school’s registration standards. This can include:
Emergency contact information.
Remember, parents will frequently need to register their children for your school’s programs and when they do this, they will all be going through the same online registration process. Your software tool should take advantage of this fact and have prompted donation screens to remind users to give to your school so that you may better serve your students.
TIP: Read all about AI innovations in edtech in 2019!
Technology Trend 2: After-school program tuition management.
Tuition management is extremely important for any school that offers before and after care programs. Keeping track of decimal points on a spreadsheet or chasing down checks from parents is not how you should spend your day.
You should be thinking up exciting new programs for your students and aiding teachers as they facilitate the education of our world’s future leaders. You can’t do any of that if you are chained to a desk worrying about money.
Your tuition management tool should digitally manage payments, which will greatly reduce the amount of time and effort that you would otherwise put into ensuring your payments stay up to date.
This tool should provide a completely centralized place to process payments that will:
Accept full payments, partial payments, and deposits.
Apply family discounts.
Monitor late pick-up and late payment fees.
Manage payment invoicing.
Just think of the paper—and time— you are saving with this tool!
However, you must make sure all payment processing is 100% PCI compliant. This will ensure the safety of your users’ account information.
Technology Trend 3: SIS compatible software.
Remember, no matter what software you choose to adopt, it must be capable of integrating with an SIS system. Your software should maximize the efficiency of your administrative process, not slow it down. There are two main aspects you should look for in your software: integration capability and easy accessibility.
When you adopt a new technology tool, the last thing you want to do is manually import all of your past information into the new software.
The right software will have integration compatibility with your existing student information system. This will ensure an easy and automated way of transferring data from your SIS to your new school program registration software.
Make sure the system automatically adds students who join the school after the beginning of the year and removes students when they leave school. This will eliminate the need for you to hunt through your system to manually update the information. Similar to how modern school door lock systems integrate with employee HR systems for increased efficiency and security, the same practice should apply to choosing the right SIS compatible software.
There is absolutely no need for parents to come down to your school simply to update their information. This only wastes their time and that of your administrative staff.
Your software tool should provide parents with a simple website to verify and update their student’s information from the comfort of their own devices. By ensuring your software is compatible with your existing SIS, you can know that all information is kept up to date in your system.
With all of your information in a centralized location, you will be able to better organize and sort your data as you try to analyze and understand your community.
Technology Trend 4: Digital attendance tracking.
There are no limits to the value that digital attendance tracking adds to your before and after care programs. Say goodbye to the days of drawing little tick marks next to names on a roster and say hello to real-time digital attendance updates.
Integrating digital attendance tracking into your before and after care programs provide you with a safe and secure way to manage your students’ attendance. You can record data on who attends your programs, how long they stay, and which facilities the student enrolls in while they are there.
Parents will be reassured by the fact that your staff maintains rigorous attendance records. Parents will never have to worry about their child being lost or wandering off with the wrong family.
This tool should have a security measure in place to ensure the children go home with the right family every time. Identity verification is extremely important for a school to manage well. This could take many forms, but consider:
Password protection. If a parent attempts to digitally sign their child in or out of a school program, they should be required to enter a password.
Photo ID requirements. The school should have on record a photo ID for any individual authorized to sign a child in or out of a school program. This is an easy solution that protects children, reassures parents, and empowers your school to make accurate decisions at pick-up and drop-off.
Incorporating this new technology trend into your school will enable you to quickly and efficiently manage your attendance records without the stress of maintaining paper forms.
Technology Trend 5: Summer program management.
Your work is never over even when the school year ends. Your job as an administrator is to ensure students have programs year-round for additional enrichment.
Your summer camp registration software should include:
Online registration and payment processing.
Securely saved payment preferences for convenience.
Purchasing options for merchandise.
Automatic waitlist and camp capacity management.
Forms with customizable fields.
Digital attendance tracking.
Schools’ summer programs offer an opportunity for students to continue their academic enrichment beyond the traditional classroom. There are so many opportunities that a summer program can offer that a classroom setting simply cannot.
Don’t miss out on offering summer programs because of the added stress of additional administrative duties. The right software will remove the stress and enable your school to effectively incorporate summer programs.
Trends in technology are dynamic and constantly evolving, so get ahead of the curve and consider these must-have technology tools in your school. Technology is an asset for schools to increase administrative efficiency and allow the school to provide more services. There is no reason why your school shouldn’t run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Joseph Oriente is the President and Founder of Capturepoint, creator of CommunityPass software. Joe established Capturepoint in 1999 and launched CommunityPass in 2003, which was initially created to provide online registration and payment for a local town sports council that was overwhelmed with an increasing number of paper registrations. Since then Joe has been responsible for expanding CommunityPass nationally to become one of America’s most well respected and complete online management solutions with registration, membership and facilities software serving the recreation and school markets.