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Online Education Requires Creative Data Solutions

Apr 14, 2020

Up until one month ago, most schools operated in the way schools had ALWAYS operated.

Parents sent their kids on buses to be educated by professionals, in person. Children returned home, maybe with a few homework assignments, but largely, without many at-home assignments. There was school. And, there was home.

Sure, cyber schools and some charter schools operated under other models. But, the largest chunk of American students? They were educated in standard educational facilities.

Then… The World Hit Pause.

For the first few weeks, many schools moved into “how do we make this work at home?” mode. Amazingly…they did. Situations that seemed unheard of and impossible just a few days prior to closures suddenly became not only necessary, but obtainable.

Does it look different these days? Sure. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely.

But, before those improvements could begin, basic functioning and modes of connection were required. Video conferencing tools, like Zoom, and online education tools, like Edmentum and Epic, became top priorities, as did getting tablets and laptops in the hands of students across the country.

Educators and parents came together like never before. About a month in, kids are learning again!

Now, The Fun Begins

Maybe we’re going too far. Maybe what lies ahead doesn’t feel fun. But, here’s the thing: sometimes, challenges can help us grow. These challenges we’re facing now, and the solutions we put in place today, could help schools adjust to the current changes, along with adding increased, better functionality for the future.

One area that requires serious thought in the days that are coming is how schools work with data; how they surmount data-related challenges.

Suddenly, contracts that could be signed in person, IEPs, GIEPs, teacher feedback surveys, student communication and other tools must happen remotely. Data that has traditionally required a pen and paper, maybe a simple email, must be standardized, formalized, and simplified, taking user experience AND final outputs/organization into account.

Simply put: the way schools work with data and the way faculty and students communicate must change to keep up with new needs. Tasks that required in-person communication and feedback (reducing the need for standardization) will now become overwhelming without the right tool – or tools – in place. Efficiency must become a priority to avoid overloading teachers and students who have new loads to carry. Districts who hope to remain in compliance with specific state and federal regulations must find a way to communicate in a way that reduces complications that could otherwise be avoided through in-person interactions and paper forms.

Data-related tools must change. The right tool suddenly means everything.

We’re Here to Help

Our team – including our CEO who took one school online in a matter of days in the early days of this crisis – understands the new needs and challenges facing schools both here in the US and around the world.

As we thought about how we could help schools overcome data-related challenges while increasing standardization, maintaining privacy and enhancing efficiency, realized that our tool, iFormBuilder, could play a large role. Since our traditional pricing model was more appropriate for business teams, we went a little farther, launching iFormBuilder for Communities.

In this model, our team can provide the same level of support available for traditional customers, but, with a pricing model that makes more sense for educational facilities.

There’s no limit to the forms available, which could include:

  • Teacher Contracts
  • Feedback Surveys
  • IEPs and other Standardized Forms
  • Student Progress Trackers
  • Regular Online Assignment Trackers and Checklists
  • School/Student Health Forms
  • Paid/Unpaid Leave Forms
  • Educational Leave/Trip Forms
  • Technology Agreements
  • Handbook Receipt Forms
  • FAPE Forms
  • Notification of Rights Forms, and more.

If your school has a need for a tool that allows your faculty and students to access online forms in a single location, along with simple options for post-collection data, we’re here to help.

If you’d like to learn more about iFormBuilder for Communities, start a chat with one of our team members, today.

We can’t wait to help your school reach full functionality in today’s new “normal.” Let’s get a conversation started!

Categories: Big Data, Education
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