When considering which technology is right for your school, it’s a good idea to start from the “jobs to be done” perspective. There are lots of great apps out there and sometimes choosing the right one can be difficult. One of the biggest problems that result from having too many apps is that they all work in isolation. This creates a situation where you have fragmented technologies and all of your important information and data is spread across multiple systems and apps. Niche products may get one job done, but what about the next job? How do you bring the information together when you need to produce a report? You start importing and exporting and, probably use another app do to it! Where does that leave you when you need to get ready for a meeting with parents, the inspector walks in the door or you have a meeting with your department?
Another consideration when looking at streamlining your technology is, will it talk to, plug-in or exchange information with the apps your school is already using. The last thing you want to do is to throw another ingredient into the mix or add another layer of complexity. People have enough to do without entering the same information into multiple systems, learn how to use them or have to remember another password! The school year is short enough as it is. So, which is the right app for the job?
When we sat down to build SchoolWise the first thing we asked was; what are the “jobs to be done” in a school and how can we categorise them? So, we grouped them into what we now call the “four pillars of our platform” which are;
- Curriculum Planning
- Classroom Delivery
- Assessment and Academic Tracking
- Reporting and Compliance
We know from working with schools over the past 15 years that all of the “jobs to be done” within each of these pillars are linked to the next one. Rather than focusing on one pillar, we took a more holistic view of how we could seamlessly link them together – and so SchoolWise was born. We take all of the “jobs to be done” right across the entire school and link them together making them all part of the same workflow.
So, departments can plan for the new Junior Cycle, get quickly organised for the next parent-teacher meeting, easily measure and track student performance, capture all of the information for an S.S.E. and have nothing to worry about for an upcoming whole school inspection. SchoolWise gets all of the jobs done in one platform.
The second thing we asked was, what are the core systems that a school uses today. We broke them down into two key areas;
– School administration systems such as VSWare, Facility/ePortal and SIMS
– Communication and productivity systems such as Office 365 or Google G Suite
If we were to save you time, reduce your workload and give you real-time access to the information you need at a click of a button, then we knew we would have to connect to these systems. So, that’s what we did! This means that you now have a unified suite of apps to get all of your jobs done.
SchoolWise sits between your Office 365 or G Suite and your school administration system. This means that you can log into SchoolWise with your school email address and password and get access to all of your departments and classes. Everything is set up and ready to go. Best of all, this is a live sync so if a teacher moves departments, takes over a class or if a student decides to move subjects it automatically updates in SchoolWise.
It is a good idea to standardise everything to support and maintain your systems. Have everyone using the same format of email address, using the same version of software or apps, using the same systems and platforms. We believe this is the only way to effectively roll-out your technology and get everyone on-board. There is no point in introducing an app or system if only 20%, 50% or even 70% of people are using it.
In order to successfully meet the requirements for the Junior Cycle and cover all of the GDPR requirements, schools need a standard suite of apps that work together to get the jobs done.