Using Technology to Manage School Operations

Instructor: Kristilynn Turney

Kristilynn has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management. She has taught high school English, Public Speaking and Theater; served as instructional coach; consultant, assistant principal, principal, asst. director and college professor.

Technological systems are an important tool in managing day to day school operations. There are even software tools that help students collaborate on assignments and keep parents up to date on their students' progress. Continue reading to learn more about these tools.

Technological Advancement

Remember the days when student information was only on paper in a filing cabinet or rolodex? If parents wanted to find out how their child was performing they had to call the school and sometimes wait days for a return call. Times certainly have changed.

Teachers and administrators now have software computer programs house information like phone numbers, addresses and even test scores. Some of them date back to when the student was in kindergarten. All this at a few clicks on a computer. Parents can now check grades, attendance, and behavior comments without even picking up the phone.

Let's take a look at the use of technological systems and tools that educational leaders can use to support management of school operations. We'll cover compliance with public education rules, regulations, and laws too.

School Operations

Technological systems now track all kinds of information - from parents reporting student absences to teachers recording grades to administrator's analyzing data. Educational leaders must make sure that the environment is safe, caring and conducive for learning. When upholding these expectations, educational leaders are responsible for three key factors:

  1. Developing and supporting professional development that instructs teachers on how to use the technological systems.
  2. Utilizing technological systems that meet the needs of the students and families.
  3. Overseeing the technological systems and making modifications or updates as necessary.

Innovation and Change

Educational leaders and teachers must be innovative and open to change. Here are three innovative programs that can help manage everyday school operations:

  1. Google Apps for Education is an online program where teachers can develop lessons for students. Assignments are streamlined and promote collaboration, helping them to be more effective and meaningful.
  2. Progressbook is an online program for schools to post grades, standardized test results, and attendance. Often compared to electronic gradebook, parents can access their students' grades anywhere and anytime. Teachers can update grades and post notes, and there's even a way to communicate via personal message.
  3. DASL (Data Analysis for Student Learning) is an online program for school employees that maintains student records including personal contact information, enrollment history, transcripts, standardized test results and discipline records. In many schools it serves as the primary data system.

Rules, Regulations and Laws

There are rules and regulations that protect students personal details in all this technological accessibility.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. In general, schools must have written consent from the legal parent of the student in order to release records or information. Some conditions in which student information can be released are:

  • Juvenile justice system or in pursuant of a specific state law
  • Accrediting organizations
  • Officials in the case of health and safety emergencies.

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