As the demand for Student Information Systems rises— institutions stress the need for well-integrated mobile apps.
It’s long been known that the future of education is one that works seamlessly, hand-in-hand, with technological innovation. As blackboards, became whiteboards became smartboards, technology has touched nearly all aspects of how we learn throughout our lives— and how we help others learn. K-12 Student Information System, or just SIS for short, is the latest in a flurry of new technology that’s helping to keep students, staff, administrators and families on target and in the know.
The wildly popular systems are designed to keep better track of students throughout their educational career. Collecting, sharing, and storing data about performance, registration, finance, and other pivotal statistics regarding every student’s learning experience. Specifically when faced with the growing burden placed on administrators, faculty, and the students themselves— offering all parties involved a more intimate and individual look at how the student is progressing, where they could need help, and what could be best for future education. As the technology has grown, institutions and researchers are now pushing for the integration of SIS mobile apps, and their reasons are sound.
Why SIS Are Thriving
More than just collecting and disseminating raw data, SIS can play a key role in helping students to succeed— which comes at a time when solutions seem to be few and far between. School systems, particularly those in North America, are largely overburdened and overpopulated. Stretching teachers and administrators to the maximum, and leaving many easily addressed issues by the wayside. Purely because few have the time or the technology necessary to keep students from falling through the cracks.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 56.4 million students were headed to school in 2020; with over 1 million of those just beginning their educational journey. Despite this massive figure, there were only about 3.7 million teachers there to help guide these students on their way. More than that, prior to the novel coronavirus shutting down schools last year, only about 19% of schools offered courses online. Which meant that distance learning and the tech associated with it had quite a sharp learning curve to contend with as 2020 brought us the year of learning from home.
Possibly because of this, distance learning and mobile apps became hugely in demand for the 2020-21 school year, and despite the easing of stay-at-home measures, these methods appear to be just as popular for the 2021-22 year. Particularly when it comes to further integrating SIS with distance learning and mobile apps, in order to drive engagement and recognition of students, in such a way that is realistic for our educators.
Benefits and Features
K-12 systems do more than just benefit students and faculty. Perhaps the most valuable piece of SIS technology is the way in which it integrates entire scholastic systems. Providing organizational structure and data retention with little to no paperwork. The amount of data that one system can hold and collect is not just immense, but entirely comprehensive. Allowing faculty to interact with administration, administration to interact with parents and caregivers, students to interact with faculty, and any other permutation of the system. Each time, collecting useful student metrics, collating and interpreting them to help students succeed.
Depending on the SIS that is used by any particular institution, they can also help to create cloud-based data storage, online registrations and payments— as well as the incredibly useful mobile apps. These in-phone applications allow all parties involved to interact with the SIS as it is most convenient for them, keeping a constantly open line of communication for when it is needed, and the moments most appropriate. Mobile apps may also help to encourage students to interact with the system more often themselves. Helping to improve existing analytic tools, data stores, and valuable information necessary to the educational retention of the students, easing the struggle of the institutions, and keeping parents and caregivers better informed.
Where Mobile Apps Dominate
Despite all the benefits and features that Student Information Systems bring to the entire educational ecosystem— without the use of thoughtful and well-developed mobile apps, the technology is unlikely to take hold. This is largely because mobile apps grant unfettered access to such systems in a seamless and ubiquitous way. Easily connecting administrators, teachers, students, and caregivers together, without the bulky, bogged down, and often difficult to navigate structure of full software suits.
Essentially, what mobile apps offer are bite size, relevant windows into the system as a whole, that are distinctly tailored to whichever audience is using the system. Despite on-the-go accessibility, these smart applications only allow access to pivotal systems that are essential to any one group. For example, administrator apps would allow access to teacher’s records, complaints, accolades, and other staffing/HR functionality— where a teacher’s mobile app would create avenues to provide feedback, assign homework, and talk with students and parents. In this way, student and parent apps would follow suit accordingly.
More than just providing a bespoke experience, apps also help to encourage all parties to interact with the system. Largely through convenience and familiarity. Apps also make it even more simple to collect and collate raw data, helping to improve functionality, communication, and service. Which is exactly what SIS strive to provide.