Did you know more than 60 million K-12 students attend school in North America?
Given the shift to digital learning, data about those students can no longer be managed manually. For better organization and a more positive educational experience, student information systems (SIS) are a must.
Even if a school district has already deployed SIS software, that solution must still be regularly evaluated. An effective SIS meets not only the district’s needs, but the needs of individual students, teachers, and administrators, as well. Because those needs can be complex, it may not always be clear that a SIS isn’t holding up.
With that in mind, we’re going to go over five signs it may be time to replace your student information system.
1. No Support for Digital Learning
Education has evolved significantly over the past year and a half, with more changes likely in the near future. Software that may once have offered all the needed functionality may, in today’s digitally-focused education sector, be severely lacking. You need student information software that’s designed with the modern landscape in mind, which means seeking out one that offers at minimum the following functionality:
- Secure remote access for teachers and administrative staff.
- An external interface for parents and students.
- Online enrollment.
- Cloud-based, with no need to rely on expensive physical hardware.
- Upload digital documents to the student record
2. Usability Issues
It is no longer acceptable for professional software to offer poor usability. This is especially true in education. Prior to the pandemic, teachers worked an average of around 50 hours a week. In the wake of COVID, their workload has grown exponentially larger, to the point that many feel overwhelmed — some even to the point of quitting.
If your SIS is in any way confusing or unintuitive, that’s even more stress on the shoulders of school staff. Workers in modern education do not have time to struggle with a steep learning curve, inefficient functionality, or poorly-designed interfaces. Your SIS should be lightweight and intuitive, with support for single sign on (SSO) and a focus on promoting a positive user experience.
3. Lack of Analytics
A single student generates an enormous volume of data over the course of their educational journey, ranging from attendance records to grades to disciplinary actions. There are invaluable insights hidden within that information, which is often simply left to gather dust in a filing cabinet. With support from a proper analytics framework, however, student data can provide teachers with a far deeper understanding of the classroom, equipping them to offer a better educational experience for each student.
A well-designed SIS not only collects insights from student information, but also displays those insights in a way that supports better planning and decision-making.
4. Poor Integration/Interoperability
No matter your industry or sector, data silos are inevitably a bad thing. Where education software is concerned, siloed data causes a multitude of issues with efficiency, functionality, and productivity. These may include:
- Increased total cost of ownership
- Crucial insights slipping through the cracks.
- Over-acquisition of applications.
- Lost productivity
- Duplicate data entry
A lack of interoperability is one of the chief causes of siloed data. Your SIS should integrate seamlessly with your other educational technology. Otherwise, you likely have data silo issues without even realizing it.
5. Low Agility
Even if your SIS worked perfectly back when you first deployed it, that doesn’t mean it’s evolved with your school district. As mentioned previously, education has evolved both rapidly and extensively over the past year. The needs of educators are in constant flux, such that any system lacking in agility cannot effectively meet them.
A well-designed SIS can easily adapt to changes in compliance and reporting regulation, with the capacity to easily scale and adapt to increased growth and changing demands.
It’s Time for a Change: Embrace It With Edsembli
An effective student information system is intuitive, flexible, and scalable, with full support for digital education and analytics and the capacity to seamlessly integrate with other EdTech.
If yours does not share those characteristics, it’s time for an upgrade. Edsembli can help. Learn more about our feature-rich student information system here or get in touch with one of our SIS specialists today.