K-12 school districts in the US just got lucky. Congress just passed a pandemic relief bill that sets aside billions for K-12 education. The new money comes to about $2500 per student nationwide. With students returning in person, this infusion of federal funds comes just in time to help school districts battle COVID-19 in the classroom. Some are even considering using the money to hire new teachers to help students catch up. But increased public funding means increased accountability. K-12 school districts will be under more scrutiny than ever before.
School funding, however, is just one of several challenges K-12 education faces these days. Conflicting priorities, computer security, and inefficient processes are also K-12 education struggles. School districts can combat these challenges with help from a digital transformation program. It enables school districts to provide engaging and compelling learning experiences cost-effectively. A critical step in implementing a digital transformation program for K-12 school districts is modernizing their IT systems and updating legacy ERP software.
IT modernization is not a panacea for school districts. It will not solve all the districtâ€™s problems. But it sure helps. Some K-12 school districts already have IT modernization programs in place. A report by IDC estimates K-12 IT departments would increase spending by 46% in 2018, with 28% devoted to software.
But some districts still have not embarked on IT modernization yet. Modernizing their IT systems provides school districts with numerous benefits. More importantly, it helps them provide anywhere, anytime learning and teaching.
Taking K-12 Education to New Heights â€“ 6 Points Checklist
A critical roadblock to modernization for many school districts is in understanding the types of school management software out there and how it helps. Below is a checklist of go-to software solutions school districts should have in their technology toolboxes:
- Digital Asset Management Tracking
Managing digital assets is critical in education. Integrating interoperable solutions, for example, lets teachers pinpoint student data, share educational tools, devise optimal educational strategies, and update everyone on progress. CherryRoadâ€™s Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool simplifies and streamlines digital asset management. Powerful and Cloud-hosted, DAM features a secure web-based repository, an encrypted secure network environment, an easy-to-use web interface, and support for industry-standard file formats.
- Remote Classrooms and PTA Conferences
Finding a cohesive meeting software solution that meets the unique meeting needs of school boards and students is challenging. CherryRoadâ€™s Digital School Board, however, isnâ€™t your typical meeting tool. Itâ€™s an ideal alternative to face-to-face interaction. School Board features a virtual classroom and a learning system connected through a single sign-on portal, full audio and video, panel/participant rooms, and 24x7x375 access. It also features functions outside the classroom, a secure private network, rapid response tools, and real-time updating for emergencies. Digital School Board brings cohesion to learning and technology.
- Integrated Back-office operations
Using IT staff to write custom code for antiquated, inefficient legacy systems is costly and risky. Plus, it spurs duplication and produces inconsistent data. Hence, upgrading a school ERP system results in sound decision-making and accurate reporting. CherryRoadâ€™s school ERP implementation experience is extensive. It has worked closely with more than 200 K-12 and public sector entities to upgrade their administrative systems. Several CherryRoad employees have worked with a school district. When needed, CherryRoad can design extensions for payment transfer, teacher contracts, and timekeeping.
- Internet and Telecom connectivity
Network infrastructure is a challenge to set up, maintain, and manage without driving up costs and/or adding staff. It is also a challenge for K-12 school districts to predict future networking needs. CherryRoad is a full-service technology and Internet solutions provider. It can implement an adaptable, affordable internet infrastructure that is flexible, reliable, and efficient. Plus, it delivers ISP and WAN services ranging from Broadband to Leased and Dark Fiber solutions cost-effectively. When necessary, CherryRoad partners with multiple telecommunication providers to meet its clientsâ€™ needs.
- Cloud applications- anytime anywhere access
Increased infrastructure costs, budget constraints, and limited resources are good reasons to migrate to Cloud-hosted environments. So is limited server growth. CherryRoad is among the largest Cloud service providers to K-12 school districts in the US. Its private Cloud-based hosted environment is scalable, affordable, and efficient. It provides numerous benefits for K-12 school boards and governments. Migrating to the Cloud not only cuts cost and optimizes processes, but also frees IT staff to work on more critical educational initiatives. CherryRoad also measures and reports on Service Level Agreements, providing full transparency to clients.
Staff and students often fall prey to phishing, the leading cause of breaches, leaving IT systems vulnerable and exposing sensitive data. CherryRoadâ€™s comprehensive security services, which include an Enterprise Security Assessment, shores up vulnerabilities and network weaknesses. The company also provides the Shark UTMÂ® security appliance designed to provide real-time network security services.
With web content filtering, malware intrusion prevention, a fully featured IPv4 application firewall, and remote access services, this security appliance provides multi-layered protection against network intrusions, viruses, worms, DOS attacks, spyware, and blended threats. Designed specifically for educational environments, Shark UTM is easy to use, cost-effective, and flexible.
School Modernization: Taking the First Step
COVID-19 is here to stayâ€”at least for a while. But it is only one of several challenges K-12 school boards face these days. Additional school district challenges include conflicting priorities, rising costs, computer security, and increased accountability to students, parents, and governments. A digital transformation program can help school boards beat these challenges. A critical first step in this effort is IT modernization. Many school boards, however, do not know what school management software is out there and their benefits.
The checklist of tools provided above will help school leaders to choose apt school management software. Including these tools in their modernization toolboxes sooner rather than later can help school districts take K-12 education to the next level. More importantly, it can help school districts provide anywhere, anytime learning and teaching and help them meet districts accountability demands. Partnering with CherryRoad ensures school districts that students, teachers, and staff have the right technology solutions during the pandemic and afterward.
CherryRoad is an industry-leading provider of IT and Cloud services to k12 school districts in the US. We understand the challenges faced by school districts and have developed customized Cloud-based solutions to their individual needs. To know more about CherryRoad services for K-12 Schools, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.