Transforming schools and districts from run-of-the-mill operations to legacy-leaving systems is the dream of every administrator. As technology advances, academic institutions are under increasing pressure to keep up with digital innovations to enhance the learning experience for families and their students.
Implementing a digital transformation strategy is easier said than done. This article provides insights and tips on how to execute a digital transformation strategy for schools and highlights solutions for digital records management, file storage, and enrollment options.
Creating a powerful digital transformation plan doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are five tips on transitioning your administrative processes from overlooked to center stage.
Assess the digital needs of schools and staff
Transformative work begins by conducting a full assessment of the top tech needs of your school or district stakeholders. The input you receive from staff and community member surveys will dictate the action items for your digital transformation plan. Don’t forget that all schools and districts have different needs, so it’s important to make sure your plan isn’t strictly based on what you’ve seen work for others.
In addition, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Make a high-priority list of the technology resources that are needed the most and can act as a good springboard for your next investment and focus on that to start.
Communicate your plans with key stakeholders
After identifying the most important needs for your school, it’s time to communicate your plans to essential stakeholders—all the way from administrative department leaders and their staff to teachers, families, and even adjacent community members. Set up regular times to communicate with stakeholders. Keep decision-makers in the loop regarding the next steps that need to be taken and how much time it takes to complete them. There are a variety of ways to keep everyone informed with technology implementation plans.
Consider updating stakeholders via:
Newsletters: Share administrative updates with a dedicated email newsletter.
Regular meetings: Create recurring meetings at several different times to share progress and collect feedback in a group setting. Be open to one-on-ones or office hours.
Video updates: A dynamic and convenient way for stakeholders to learn about changes. Screen recording software makes showing off new tools simple and productive.
Open-door policies: Allow stakeholders to drop in with questions or concerns. Mimic an open door with remote workers through availability to meet, chat, or email at their convenience.
On the contrary, be sure to keep information shared on a need-to-know basis as your leadership team works out the logistics of all the big and little pieces that go into your implementation process. Be strategic about the type of information shared and who it is shared with in order to avoid setting unattainable expectations from stakeholders and unnecessary miscommunications.
What must be considered for a successful digital transformation?
The next step is identifying all of the materials and resources required for a successful implementation plan. This makes it possible for your staff, students, and families to adopt the changes and ensures IT department staff are sufficiently supported and not overwhelmed with support tickets. Here are a few necessities for a successful digital transformation:
Make sure that any hardware necessary for technology enhancements is readily available and at the proper inventory numbers for all the classrooms, students, teachers, departments, or community members involved in your plan.
Optimal software for your stakeholders
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it is the importance of obtaining the best software for your constituents. Make sure the product or service that you purchase can handle the nuances of your school or district; no institution is the same, so it is important to work with a software vendor that understands this and makes a product configurable to your unique needs. Use this technology guide for support as your team considers different technology vendors.
A strong and united implementation team
Having the proper human resources is as important as having the proper technology resources when it comes to a successful implementation process. Make sure that you have a realistic amount of leaders needed for the specific undertaking, and communicate consistently to all members of your roll-out team to ensure that everyone is on the same page with expectations, roles, and guidelines.
Periodic and specialized training for staff
No professional becomes perfectly proficient overnight, and your staff needs the best support you can give them. Make sure to partner with a vendor that offers ample opportunities for training to ensure your staff feels empowered and comfortable in their new way of doing things.
What other tips will ensure a smooth digital transition?
School-wide technological transformation isn’t just about the big changes but the ongoing ones. To ensure your administrators and teachers both experience and deliver enduring success, they need ongoing support.
Start by ramping up your staff’s proficiency with technology. Create co-learning groups and coordinate with your tech support staff to ensure proper training.
Next, make two-way feedback an ongoing activity. The smartest way to understand what to improve is by discussing it frequently. Create end-of-semester feedback forms for your staff. You never know when fresh insight will surface based on changes you’ve made.
Remember to embrace flexible plans, as they’re usually the most realistic. A digital transformation strategy that’s too rigid has a higher chance of failure. Bake some flexibility into your plan, such as the date by which schools must be using the new tech solutions you’re rolling out to account for inevitable obstacles that will arise.
Implement valuable digital records management solutions
It’s no secret that keeping track of thousands of student records is difficult for district staff. By implementing better digital records solutions for schools, you free them up to do their strongest work. Scribbles has everything your staff needs to save time, find information on the spot, and build more meaningful connections with students. Here are three highlights from our roster of solutions:
Cloud-Based File Storage
An electronic cumulative folder solution allows you to say goodbye to paper records for good. Save money on paper and ink costs, transportation, staff time, etc. while sharing information more efficiently with this tool.
Effortless Records Management
A digital records storage, management, and archival solution enables you to handle student records, HR documents, financial details, and more with a few clicks of your mouse. It’s never been easier to retrieve the exact information you need about a student in minutes or less.
Paperless Enrollment Options
Student enrollment is normally a paper-heavy and, therefore, time-consuming process. Say goodbye to those headaches with a digital enrollment solution that can handle all of the nuances associated with different program and student circumstances. Give parents the flexibility to enroll from the comfort of their homes while providing staff with the support needed to process applications, forms, and any other necessary first-day paperwork in an efficient and secure way.
Implement a Digital Transformation Strategy
Creating a powerful digital transformation strategy for schools requires a careful assessment of the digital needs of schools and staff. This involves identifying gaps and areas of improvement, prioritizing critical tools, communicating plans with key stakeholders, and identifying all of the requirements for a successful implementation. Ongoing support for staff, two-way feedback, and flexibility are also crucial for a smooth transition.
Implementing a digital records management solution helps schools save time and resources while improving their efficiency and productivity. With these tips, schools can create a successful digital transformation strategy that meets the needs of staff, students, and families alike.
Last but not least, going digital is a big undertaking for not only your staff but also for your vendors. Make sure you and your staff are properly prepared to confidently decide on an EdTech company that is right for your school or district and can handle the nuances of your staff, student, and program needs.
Download our records management technology guide to support the decision-making process.