August 13, 2013
Student Management Systems: 3 years on 1
Student Management Systems have been around for a long time but it’s only in the last 3 years that so many schools have signed up to them. Student Management Systems are databases that store all the school’s information on pupils, their families and other useful data. Some of them also allow schools to store policies, host web sites and various other bells and whistles.
In my first teaching job, our school’s student management system was based on a Microsoft Access file that was only accessible to the school secretary and was stored on her computer. I’m not sure if it was backed up, and thankfully, in my time, there was never a problem. When I became a principal, I really liked the idea of a computer system that was able to record pupil information, which could be accessed by staff, so they could print out class lists, record attendance, store test results, etc. I created my own system using Google Apps for Education, using some spreadsheets and Google sites and we worked with this for a while. The system was fairly basic but it worked quite well. It wasn’t until the IPPN conference in 2010 when I met a new company called Aladdin, that my student management changed forever! Aladdin was one of the first companies to specifically tailor a cloud-based student management system to Irish schools. Over the last 3 years, a number of other companies have come on board, each with their own unique selling points, but Aladdin is the top-selling Student Management System in primary schools in Ireland. Back in 2010, these systems were basic enough so three years later, what should student management systems have in order to cater for today’s Irish primary school?
Over the coming days, I’ll be exploring some of the tools that Student Management Systems have and how they can save teachers and principals loads of time. While most products claim to save people time, it’s very rare when it actually works out. Student Management Systems are one of those exceptions. From the October Census to NEWB reports, I can’t count how many hours I’ve saved! In the first article, we’ll look at Attendance Tracking and how Student Management Systems provide schools with important information to identify almost any issue with attandance.