Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Raising the Bar of Academic Performance through ERP

It is already an established fact that a conducive learning environment leads to improved and consistent academic performance. Multiple educational facilities catering to different learning styles, are as important for the students as the quality of lessons, along with the knowledge, skill and experience of the educators. The potential to encourage, involve and motivate the students to perform, and develop an interest in learning, has become the chief differentiator that separates future ready schools from the traditional ones. By integrating technology into the classrooms, the lessons can become more engaging with significantly higher retention value. It has, in fact, opened up a plethora of opportunities for both teachers and students to respectively enhance their teaching and learning experiences.

There are several ways in which an educational ERP can enhance learning experience and academic performance.
  • Self-paced learning: With lessons, resource materials and tutorials available on the students’ portal, students can learn and understand complex concepts at their own pace.
  • Catering to different learning styles: Being able to recall answers and present them coherently is important for achieving academic excellence. But, not everyone can remember facts by just reading them. Some find it easier to remember things by listening to them, while others are more receptive to videos and illustrations. Learning management modules make it possible to create and present lessons in different formats, so as to support different leaning styles.
  • Generating interest: Lessons may be reinforced through varied formats such as podcasts or video lectures, e-books, presentations, educational games, etc. to improve retention. Students may also be assessed through online quizzes, games and puzzles to make it stress-free and interesting.
  • Student forums: Discussion forums and networking opportunities allow students to share their knowledge, hone their skills, gain experience and develop their social abilities. Participating in such forums can help students shed inhibitions and gain confidence, which is again a prerequisite for future ready students.
  • Aligned learning objectives, lessons and assessments: Clearly spelled out lesson plans with learning objectives, teaching strategies and assessment guidelines make it easier to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of lessons. While technology makes it easier to create, edit, compare and review the lessons, it is now also possible to share them and get feedback from peers. Aligning lesson plans and assessments across different sections and also different branches of the school is now possible at a click.
  • Personalized support and guidance: Automating routine processes and cutting down repetitive tasks result in reduced workload for the teachers. They can then better utilize their time by tracking and supporting students who require extra attention or guidance.
  • Involving parents/guardians: Technology helps parents to get involved in their wards’ learning process. By having access to mark sheets, performance reports and teachers’ feedback, parents can understand, motivate, prepare or take required steps to improve their wards’ performance.

With the aid of a suitable educational ERP, it is possible for the educators to create and maintain a student-friendly learning environment that keeps learners involved, motivated and eager to prove their mettle.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Attendance Management in ERP

Present Please!

School management has come a long way from the days of recording manual data, maintaining rooms full of documents and folders, and transferring files, documents and reports from one table to another before it got to its final destination. Now, a click can do it all! There is no reason why attendance management should not be stepped up too!

Attendance is directly related to students’ performance. A student who is regular is more apt to be consistent in his/her performance. Attendance is also an indication of how seriously the students and teachers are taking the curriculum and how appealing the classes are to them. But monitoring and recording attendance of a large group of students is both tedious and time consuming.

However, with the help of technology, recording attendance can prove to be quick and easy. Implementing an attendance management solution can have many benefits. Some of them are:
  •  Reducing paperwork
  •  Reducing workload on teachers
  • Saving time and money
  •  Eliminating manual errors in data entry
  • Transparency in operations
  • Status and tracking of leave requests
  • Checking absenteeism
  • Keeping parents updated regarding attendance
  • Generating attendance report at a click
  • Secure and reliable

Teachers can enter information about the students directly into the system, without using pen and paper. Alternatively, attendance may also be recorded using RFID and bio-metrics based system, where each student is given a fingerprinting card for recording attendance. Such a system will also display a warning message for students with low attendance rate.

Something that improves efficiency and decreases workload is real value for money. So, if you still don’t have an attendance management module in place, contact your ERPservice provided NOW!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Bookworms go Online!

The library is the heart of a school. It’s the hub! It’s a place where creativity meets imagination and inspires young minds to explore and achieve. What a school thinks of education is reflected in how much it cares for its library.

Managing a library efficiently is as important as having a well-stocked one. It is a complex task that involves procurement, maintenance, placement, tagging, versioning of all media forms, keeping track of books issued and returned, calculation and collection of late fines, and so on. And the greatest help a librarian can have is a library management software.

Library management system has proved to be a boon for most consumers by reducing cost and complexity, while increasing performance and accountability. In fact, most labour and time intensive tasks can be automated, resulting in smooth working of the library while bringing transparency in its functioning.

An automated library management system helps provide error-free access to educational and recreational resources. It makes each and every book traceable by maintaining a record of all those who had issued the book. Students may also check the availability of a particular book online, and reserve it beforehand.

Some ERP software can be integrated with smart cards, which can display all corresponding details pertaining to the member when inserted in the card reader. With an integrated ISBN reader, all details pertaining to books can also be obtained by typing in the ISBN number.

With increasing use of technology in all dimensions, libraries too have changed the way they offer services. They can now be ready to face the rising expectations of today’s students by implementing and using the library management solutions that ERP service providers have to offer.

Digitize your Library Now!

  • Browse, identify and reserve books
  • Add/Edit/Delete books
  • Manage book issue, returns and renewals
  • Look up book status and due date
  • Tag books
  • Narrow down your search using available filters
  • Search for books using customized tags or ISBN numbers
  • Calculate and look up late fine
  • Track books and avoid mishandling by maintaining record of all members who issued the book

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Teachers' Pet

We have already seen how an ERP solution can improve efficiency and deal with numerous challenges of school administration. We also know how students and parents benefit from a good ERP solution. Now let’s take a look at what’s in store for the teaching staff – how can the teachers realize the full potential of an ERP solution.

With the environment getting more challenging day-by-day, teachers have come to be loaded with several responsibilities like student management, attendance management, carrying out assessments, assigning home task, guiding projects, filling in report cards, interacting with parents, maintaining records, taking remedial action, preparing students for competitions, organizing events, and even maintaining and decorating the classroom! Phew!!! As if teaching 30-40 students and being answerable for their performance is not enough!

Well, the good news is that a good ERP can take away the burden of many of the administration related chores from the teachers. Here’s how…

  • Attendance: Bye-bye attendance registers! By using advanced technology like bio-metrics or smart cards, attendance can be automatically recorded and updated in the records.
  • Time-Tables: Preparing time-tables and assigning substitute teachers is one of the most tiring and mind boggling jobs. But not anymore! With time-table management software in place, preparing, changing and intimating students and teachers is real easy and quick!
  • Assignments: While assigning homework and projects, making sure that every child has noted the same correctly is another unproductive chore. Same is the case with messages for parents, circulars and notices. Teachers can post homework, resource material, notices, messages, etc. online in their free time, without hampering the class. They can also ensure that the parents are aware of the homework, revision sheets, projects, upcoming events, etc. and cannot complain about not being informed later on.
  • Assessments and Grading: Online assessments and grading is another valuable and handy tool for teachers that saves time, energy and also resources. Teachers can also publish the marks, apart from recording feedback. Graphical analysis facility makes it easier to identify poor performers and mentor them in the concerned areas.
  • Exam Management: Examination time is stressful even for the teachers. There are various responsibilities that require time and efforts like preparing the exam date sheet, setting question papers, taking care of the seating, paper correction, grading, report preparation, etc. The exam management module can lighten the burden of most of these tasks.
  • Communication: Now, communication and notifications no longer pose a challenge. Instant text messages and e-mails are just a click away.
  • Interaction and Creativity: There are so many ways of engaging students and encouraging creativity. Blogs, open forums, video conferencing, online resources, smart class material… you name it and you can get it! Interacting and discussing with peers both within and outside the institution can be facilitated for sharing of expertise and further learning. Many ERPs also allow seamless integration of third party applications like smart classes, training sessions, etc.
  • Lesson Planning: Preparing in advance is the key to effective teaching and class management. Lesson plan modules allow teachers to prepare, modify and store lesson plans and resources for a world-class teaching experience. Some ERPs can also be integrated with Google Docs, making it possible to prepare study material offline and then upload it into the system.

A school ERP system not only minimizes paperwork for teachers, it also helps them to use their time constructively. Teachers get a hang of the latest technology, and can use it effectively to foster a conducive learning environment for students. And when it comes to creativity, the possibilities are endless... 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Benefits of Transportation Management

The safe, efficient transportation of students to and from school is a challenge faced by most schools across the country. While there are a number of ways in which efficiency may be improved, the implementation and use of technology has proven to bring in significant and positive results.

For better security and safety, School ERP solution providers often include transportation management modules in their package. But, the full potential of the module is yet to be tapped by the majority of the users.

A good transportation management system can not only track and maintain transportation details, but can do a lot more. For instance, it can calculate transportation fees according to distance; provide real time data about vehicle and route; relay information about breakdowns and delays to guardians; provide information about change of staff like drivers, attendants and guards to stakeholders, etc. With the help of an advanced transportation management module one can:

·        Add, remove or manage bus routes
·        Manage costs
·        Track vehicles using GPS tracking system
·        Send instant notification to parents or guardians via SMS
·        Calculate fees based on distance or other criteria
·        Maintain route details and stop details
·        Enable parents or guardians to view scheduled routes and stops on an online map
·        Maintain detailed reports of drivers, attendants and bus guards
·        Manage and reduce grievances through online messaging facility

By using an integrated mobile application, the module can prove to be further beneficial for parents / guardians. Through real time tracking, parents can get an idea about the pick-up and dropping time of their wards at the scheduled stop, and save time by avoiding long waiting time at the stop. This will also save the children from the hassles of missing the bus.

So, get the most of your transportation module by asking your ERP solution providers, and get rolling!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Must-Have Features for a School ERP Solution

Schools always have the pressure of maximizing performance with the least resources available. Deploying an ERP solution is the best way to deal with multiple stakeholders and different functions that a school must undertake to function smoothly. But, ERP solutions should not be selected in haste. An ideal school ERP software should offer a comprehensive solution that not only accelerates the tasks, but also meets the needs of all stakeholders. Here are some of the must-have features of an ideal school ERP solution.

  • Content Security: In today’s competitive world, data security is of utmost importance. Regular back-ups, safety against unauthorized access and corruption, and redundancies should be taken into account while choosing an ERP software. It should be highly safe and secure for all kinds of data storage and transactions.
  • Ease of Use: Being user-friendly is the ultimate key to a good ERP software. All modules and interfaces should be so simple that the school need not spend much time in training its staff. Handy features like quick links, graphical organizers, etc. prove to be a differentiator.
  • Alerts and Notification: The facility to send regular or instant messages, notices, reminders, and circulars are essential for any school. Fee reminders, holiday notification, scheduled meetings, pending projects, absentee notification, etc. are of utmost importance and an ERP solution must be designed to handle these efficiently. For instant communication, SMS service should be installed.
  • Efficiency: The lesser time a teacher spends on various administration-related activities, the more involved he/she will be in teaching and inspiring the students. An ideal ERP should take care of attendance, reports, schedules, assigning homework, etc. so that a teacher has more time to prepare for class activities.
  • Communication Platform:  Effective communication is one of the core features of a good ERP solution. Detailed performance reports, feedbacks, online polls, direct messaging facility, etc. ensure that parents do not need to wait for a PTM to discuss or share their concerns. The solution should provide a platform for constructive inputs and discussions between parents and teachers. Information regarding various activities, events, or competitions can help parents to prepare their wards for the same. 
  • Access to Study Material: Students should be able to access study material, revision sheets, worksheets, etc. that have been used in the classroom, at home as well, for an enhanced learning experience. It will not only help students who are on leave, but would also help regular students to revise the concepts taught in class. Extra assignments and resources can help students to study further and brush up their knowledge on the topics. Teachers should also be able to inform students about a class’s scheduled course of study in advance by uploading a week’s or month’s planner. 

Finally, an ideal school management system should be designed for all types of users, irrespective of their computer proficiency level. So, let others’ experience and testimonials be your guide. Go for demos and trials. And… choose wisely!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tips for Deploying ERP Applications

Acquiring the right ERP system for your institution is the first step towards smart school management. But, to make the most of it, one should also make sure that it is implemented properly. Here are a few tips for effective deployment of your ERP solution that will ensure successful return on investment.

  • Create an ERP deployment team: Creating a team will help in identifying the requirements, defining the scope, preparing for changes, discussing about deliverables and timelines, and for supporting and helping first timers to get a hang of the system. The team may be a mix of technical staff, administrative staff, coordinators, and teachers. Such a team may be more approachable for help than a team of outsiders. They will also be able to evaluate the solution’s performance and assess how far the goals have been met.
  • Set a budget: Plan ahead and set a budget for the process. Communicate the same with your vendor and move according to it. You may add on more features as and when you feel comfortable.
  • Step-by-step implementation: Your ERP solution should be implemented in phases. With the help of your team and the vendor, you may chalk out an implementation plan which will least hinder your daily routine and also help your staff to register the changes and overcome their inhibitions. Once one phase is in action and running smoothly, the next phase may be deployed.
  • Customize: Ask your vendor for tailor-made solutions to suit your specific needs, rather than trying to adapt your whole system to pre-planned solutions. It will save you needless complications and confusion.
  • Train your staff: Ask your ERP vendor to train your staff (both teaching and non-teaching) to operate the relevant modules. Hands-on training ensures effective deployment and aids in clearing any doubt right at the beginning. Training also ensures optimum utilization of the product. Workshops for updates and upgrades may be conducted as and when required.
  • Make the most of your vendor: Make use of the after-sales support and technical advice team of your vendor to resolve any issues or answer any queries that may arise while operating the system. Inform them of any procedural changes which may need to be aligned with the solution.
  • Communicate: Be in touch with your end users and ask them to communicate their reactions and views on the whole process. You may ask about the major difficulties faced by them while using the solution, or how the process may be made simpler. Critical points may be communicated to the vendor for changes and a better user experience.
  • Reward and recognition: Encourage your staff to use the solution on a regular basis. You may reward and recognize people who lead the way in using the solution for maximum output. You may also ask your staff to get creative and find new uses of the software. 
  • Evaluate: Assess with your project team if the objectives and goals set in the beginning have been met. A post-implementation audit will help in evaluating your success in achieving the established benchmarks.
  • Keep abreast with the latest: It is essential to update and upgrade your ERP system regularly. Acquaint yourself with the latest trends by visiting your vendor’s site, subscribing to newsletters, or by simply being in touch with your vendors. 
These steps will not only ensure a seamless integration of the solution in your institution, but also prove to be immensely beneficial in the long run. So, get ready to make the most of your solution!