Cloud-Based or Online school ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is slowly becoming a vital part of the educational ecosystem. It is not too long before one will open up the newspaper in the morning to find entire districts/area that boast of being run 100% on cloud-based school ERP software. In this blog post, we will look at what this ever-present piece of technology is, its users, its advantages and disadvantages.
WHAT IS SCHOOL ERP SOFTWARE?
It is a management software like School Software Pro that helps most optimally utilise resources and personnel at your school by more efficiently managing processes centered around administrative tasks.
BUT WHAT IS ONLINE/ CLOUD-BASED SCHOOL ERP SOFTWARE
When this software is integrated with the cloud or online, it ensures all-around accessibility and reduction in storage costs. It’s a system which centralizes all the information on a single platform which can be accessed by administrators, employees, students and parents from anywhere at any time.
HOW DOES IT DO THIS?
Online or Cloud-based school ERP software focuses on automating processes that are predictable and repetitive on a large scale so as to eliminate wastage of time, resources, and the work of human personnel. All information is stored in the cloud, so people with the right permissions can access this information or initiate tasks from anywhere. Useful!
WHO WILL USE IT?
While it might seem like school ERP software is a boon for administrators, it has a use for every stakeholder in the system. Students learn more effectively thanks to highly personalised learning and one on one interactions with the teacher. Parents are able to track their children and process payments online. Teachers have better control of their classrooms since they can use the school ERP software as a management tool for each of their classrooms and students. Cloud-based school ERP software is an all-rounder that will be used by everyone to their benefit.
ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE OR CLOUD-BASED SCHOOL ERP SOFTWARE
The advantages of cloud-based school ERP software have been discussed extensively on this blog before. But here’s a quick overview of what the right school ERP software can do for you:
Accurate record maintenance
Cloud school ERP software is a star player when it comes to record maintenance. Merely channel all your administrative tasks through the system and see accurate records being maintained automatically. What’s more, since this is a cloud-based system, these records are now available from anywhere making managing on the fly simple.
Regardless of stakeholder, communication is much improved by the use of a school ERP software. Whether it’s a parent communicating with a teacher about a homework issue or students clarifying last minute doubts, the communication module is secure and reliable – a must have to maintain student privacy. Plus, records of the communications are maintained in the cloud making it easy to refer to when queries arise again.
In our globalised world, remote teaching helps in building the bridges between the haves and have-nots like never before. Imagine a child in a remote mountain town having the same access to education that an upper-class student in Stanford would? This is made possible by virtual classrooms, one on one communication and a full library of classroom material available online to any student.
Peer learning through student groups
Speaking of student classrooms, research shows the positive impact peer learning can have on students. Data shows us that students learn especially well from their teachers in addition to classroom instruction. Virtual classrooms or student groups created by a teacher via their school ERP software can make this possible even in the most dynamic situations.
Quicker processing of administrative tasks
A big boon school ERP software has bestowed upon schools is the automation of administrative tasks. A majority of these are inherently process driven making them easy to integrate into your school ERP software. Cloud systems help maintain accurate records – a must where precision is required – and stakeholders not in your finance department appreciate the ease with these formerly odious tasks are completed. Parents can pay for the go and accounts can issue a fee receipt within minutes – a real win-win.
DISADVANTAGES OF CLOUD-BASED SCHOOL ERP SOFTWARE
One thing school ERP software relies on is the access to internet and electricity. When these are unavailable, pen and paper is still king. While we see rapidly growing internet access in Nigeria and increased electrification options, the reality of load-shedding and power cuts in some areas is undeniable. These are factors to keep in mind when investing in school ERP software – do you have secondary sources of these infrastructural needs to ensure that everything does not collapse around your ears when you need it the most? Ensuring things are in place for your school ERP software will ensure things function at their best.
Every office has is luddite and your school is no different. For legacy employees, switching from the familiar to the modern may be an uphill task – it requires a willingness to learn. Introducing new technology like school ERP software is key to ensuring employee buy-in. Emphasising its usability and efficiency is the way to go here in order to ensure your school has the best school ERP software experience possible.
A predictable consequence of school ERP software is the automation of certain tasks – this might mean that certain roles are now obsolete. However, this does not mean an automatic mass reduction of the workforce but encouraging employees to adapt to a new system where their roles have evolved to have higher integration with this new piece of technology. Skills are better distributed and employees can focus on more strategic endeavours and problem solve faster since they are no longer bogged down by mundane, repetitive tasks that are much better handled by school ERP software.