For generations, our school districts have relied on paper in most facets of their operations, from those homework assignments to student records that prove somehow you got through school and graduated. Today, K-12 students and parents hold more technology in their hands than we saw in all of academia. In the present environment, schools face pressure to modernize technology, and district leaders struggle to respond with stagnant budget and staffing levels. Security and data privacy are top concerns for many administrators in today’s education environment. With technology should come the ease of finding student records without having to sort through thousands of papers and file folders. However, the idea of digitizing and archiving decades worth of student records and other documentation can feel utterly overwhelming. Digitizing both old and new student records is a critical step for modern school districts and higher education institutions.
What is ECM (Enterprise Content Management)?
ECM Software is software used to manage electronic documents and content. ECM Software includes tools for storing, indexing, versioning, and retrieving electronic content. It typically provides a central repository for an institution’s electronic content, making it easy to track and manage the student records. In recent years, ECM Software has become increasingly important as organizations rely more heavily on electronic documents and content. As a result, ECM Software is now a critical tool.
The following would be types of student records that could be digitized:
- Grades and transcripts
- Behavioral information
- Personal information
- Exams, theses, papers, etc…
- Financial information such as tuition and fees
- Admission information
- Grants and awards
The software allows organizations to automate workflows. improve compliance and increase efficiency. Day to day operations run so much more smoothly.
Budget Pressures Seem To Be A Constant
For education, it can certainly have a discouraging effect on their ability to embrace new technologies. The most important purpose of schools – educating our children – should get the most attention and budget, but what happens if the costs of administration continue to squeeze that priority? That’s where ECM can help school districts survive and meet expectations for a connected workforce, student body, and parent community. ECM is the one technology that can address reactive needs while proactively addressing costs, workload, and efficiency.
How To Manage Student Record Using ECM
It will not happen overnight. It will take time to capture, organize, and learn how to manage an entire school district’s data. It would have to be done in phases.
- Phase one: Scanning would be the first thing to happen. Scanning items into the school’s SIS (Student Information System) would be the first step. You would probably start with the current documentation and work your way backwards. The ECM system converts forms into PDF. A barcode is used for the cover sheets to help index the file. Bar coding will help the system route the records to the right department and staff.
- Phase two: ECM does more than just store documents. It serves as a powerful search engine. It allows users to find documents based on keywords, meta tags, date ranges or a host of other means. With proper credentials the documents can be accessed from anywhere.
- Phase three: ECM lets the workflow. Considering everything involved from initial planning to completion, it takes multiple steps to prepare digital content to go live. With digital asset management workflows in PDF documents, you can streamline the work by managing all the steps in a workflow from within the repository where the content resides. Easily input assets, add users to projects, and assign roles. Consider ways that teachers can leverage workflows to communicate with students and parents.
EMC Is Not A DIY Project
Finding the right ECM software and the right ECM partner is crucial. Because of the mountains of data that most school districts deal with, you need a good relationship with your ECM partner. Choose a provider that will have experience in the education sector.
About Information Consultants
Information Consultants uses Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software by Laserfiche to help businesses create, organize, manage, and access all documents and forms through secure, easy-to-use programs. At Information Consultants, we work closely with each of our clients to consult, train, and operate Laserfiche in order to boost efficiency and profitability within the company! We are a leader in global technology services and solutions consulting based in South Florida with offices in Pembroke Pines and Downtown Miami.
> Learn More