6 Edtech Tools Schools Used to Navigate a Pandemic 6 Edtech Tools Schools Used to Navigate a Pandemic

6 Edtech Tools Schools Used to Navigate a Pandemic

Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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What a difference a year makes. 

Things are looking rosier in the future of gathering in-person for schools, although re-emerging can bring its own set of worries. The persistent decision making will unfortunately not be letting up for the remainder of this school year, but with the proper software support, schools can continue to process data and documentation remotely. Let’s explore six tools a worthy SIS can offer to keep communication flowing while minimizing risk as the pandemic winds down. 


Built-in health screeners 

Although third-party solutions and paper options remain, health screening tools built right into a student information system can’t be beat. Ensure students and families have access to this tool for pre-screening before arriving in the classroom or at other events. Teachers and administrative staff can create records when symptoms arise at school and track which families need to quarantine after positive cases. By keeping all the data in one secure location, these records meet both FERPA and HIPAA requirements.  


Virtual conferences 

As more students return to classrooms, it’s still helpful to keep anyone out who doesn’t absolutely need to be in the building. Visitors, including parents, can connect with teachers using remote conferences. Whether a public offering like Google Meets or Zoom, or eLearning specific, these remote conferences have increased participation rates as parents join from home or from work. More parent engagement? We’ll take it. 


Paperless scanning 

Staff and families alike benefit from touchless options. Two main uses of paper mean the switch to paperless scanning is a huge slam dunk. Hiring new candidates remotely may sound like a headache, but there are some silver linings. As candidates move through the process, submitting documentation online saves both time and paper, while still creating a compliant set of documentation.  

Accounts payable and invoices also present an opportunity to move payment online without losing the so-called paper trail. ePayables, online purchase orders, and online accounts payable are all housed within enterprise resource planner (ERP) software. The security of your software can help detect and prevent fraud while making it easier (and more environmentally sound) to pay bills.


Course selection with arena scheduling 

When students select their own courses and build their own schedules, the benefits last for a generation. Students not only take on some of the burden of building schedules, but they learn valuable time management and agency skills. They must create a schedule that meets graduation requirements, but they also have an opportunity to create one that enriches their interests and social calendar.  

New to arena scheduling? No problem. Learn the basics, then see how arena scheduling online works like a charm from any location with an internet connection. 


New student online enrollment 

Pandemic or not, families are moving into new districts and schools. The paperwork used to require the sacrifice of a tree or two—not so with online registration. This also cuts down on trips to the main office to drop off proof of residency and identifying documentation. Similar to new hires, new students can submit scanned copies of documentation securely. The enrollment process then flows into scheduling, fees, and any other registration task, all housed in the same SIS. All this occurs with as few touches as possible, minimizing the flow of germs along with paper.


Built-in PD 

It’s never too late to figure out the specific professional development options your vendors offer. From tips for daily tasks to in-depth data migration support, it may come as a surprise that vendors offer no-cost PD for users. While it’s true these options can get left out of initial integration conversations, it never hurts to check in to see if there are regular training updates, help centers, user communities, or other professional development options. 


Follow-up resource: Leading causes of edtech break ups 

Is your edtech vendor a good partner? Here are 3 red flags to help you find out. 


Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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