School Management Systems (SMS) are used by educational institutions to manage and integrate academic, communication and financial processes. It is an end-to-end management software designed to automate an institution’s diverse operations; from curriculum management to invoicing. The main aim of the implementation of a school management system is the development of a process that manages all data and activities in an organized and automated way.
School Management Systems tie together and define a plethora of processes and enable the flow of data between different types of users and the school. By collecting and organizing school’s transactional data from multiple sources, SMS eliminate data duplication and provide data integrity, becoming a “single source of truth” for all users.
What makes SMS necessary for educational organizations?
Having a reliable SMS in place, allows all departments of an institution to access students’ data easily and perform academic, administrative and financial management tasks.
All data can be easily manipulated, and tasks can be completed in no time. People in different departments can view the same information without the danger of inaccuracy.
Parents can get in-depth details about their kid’s schedule, access academic reviews and communicate with teachers.
School management systems cover, as a result, effectively the communication gap between teachers, students and parents which is a vital issue that lots of schools are facing. Therefore, a good school management system helps institutions enhance communication between stakeholders. This is a factor quite important for the success of both students and institutions.
As a result, many institutions consider an SMS software one of the most important parts of their school’ organizational structure. An a SMS manages several educational related activities, significant for the academic success of students . Activities such as:
- Curriculum management
- Attendance management
- Tuition fees and financial management
- Students personal data management
- One-to-one communication between teachers-students-parents
But while most of school SMS have the needed functions to address all the requirements of an institution, many clients require even more.
This is when integrations enter the picture. Integration is a connection with a tool or software that has complementary functionality to the core Student Management System.
Why does an SMS need integration?
Generally, a student management system is a quite comprehensive tool. So why do we need certain integrations? The thing is, the very purpose of a student management software is to be a robust and reliable tool that handles every function an educational institution needs.
To answer the question of why an SMS, need integrations, it is important to mention that institutions don’t function on their own. They often have to interact with stakeholders that might not be within this field. They might be using software and hardware that was not necessarily built for educational institutions. Their capabilities are affected by these factors and the fact that dedicated educational technology is still an emerging trend. With integrations, educational institutions bridge the gap between their Student Management System software and whatever tool or platform is already used by stakeholders.
What type of integrations is possible in School Management Systems?
There are various integrations that could fit to your SMS and make educational experience better. Integrations help enhance the functionality of a school management system to the maximum by integrating everything possible. But the sheer range of possible integrations might be overwhelming for some school management system users. So where would be the right place to begin?
Below there are the top 6 integrations that any School Management System must have:
A school management system should be fully integrated with Office 365. By enabling Office 365, users can log on using the secured and reliable Microsoft Authentication service of Office 365. Using this single sign-on mechanism, end users can access any Office 365 application from within the portal without the need for multiple logins. With this function, the software could automatically create mailboxes, assign Office 365 licenses and create security groups.
Moodle LMS is the leading open-source LMS world-wide. With millions of installations all around the world on all academic levels and in various educational systems, Moodle is a significant tool that should be also integrated into any school management system. This integration will allow educators to give access to existing online material and curriculums without the need for migrating all these data to the SMS.
School management systems can be integrated with your preferred email service providers and set up email notifications for a variety of stakeholders – such as parents and students. The integration empowers the administrator to send emails to select stakeholders. They can also give the ability to key employees to be able to do the same through the school software integration itself. Finally, automated emails can be set up for specified groups of recipients for certain events taking place in academic calendar (i.e. email notification for announcing the room where an exam will take place).
In general, WordPress is the most popular Content Management System out there. It can be as complex or as simple as you wish. When you combine WordPress with your school management system, you can use, improve, and monitor your WordPress site without adding development hours to overhead cost. WordPress is free of charge, making it accessible to any institution around the world. It includes, as well, several plugins that can be extremely useful to your data management. But most importantly, most schools have their website built on WordPress, a fact that makes WordPress integration almost mandatory for successful endeavours.
Google Suite integration helps the software connect and implements the Single Sign-on with the Google suite of cloud products. With AdWords, G Suite, and Google Cloud, Google has become woven into the fabric of how modern organizations operate and grow, including educational organizations. With this integration, you can easily sync Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Sheets for Analytics. You can, as well as, upload resumes from Drive into Hire and creates candidates from resume files you store in Drive or even Call candidates via Hangouts. Another ability of this integration is that you can sync your Google Calendar with your SMS.
- Barcode/RFID Scanning
One of the most useful integrations with school management system is RFID/barcode integration. But what is RFID? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. A school management system can integrate with RFID reader hardware to automatically convey information every time the ID card is used. An example of the kind of information this integration would be something as simple as entry and exit times for students. Also, integrating barcodes with the library module of your school management system ensures that barcoded library books and materials borrowed by students and teachers are being tracked.
In conclusion, today institutions need advanced systems that will help support them as they reach towards higher learning goals. Student management systems are an effective tool that needs to be included in any school along with its incredibly useful integrations. These cutting-edge tools help institutions to move further, to create and to maintain their course into the road of education.
With an advanced school management system, it is easier to update the features and offer educational institutes the best of the last technology and bring them up-to-date in a competitive and complex world.