April 2020 set unprecedented records in school closures, impacting an estimating 124,000 public and private K-12 schools. Yes, the pandemic is a healthcare crisis the likes of which we have not seen in many years, which has also caused unprecedented disruption in the field of education.
Education Week reports that these school closures have affected close to 55 million students total. In addition, institutions of higher learning have transitioned to virtual classrooms in further attempts to slow the spread of the virus. As educators struggle to finish the year with short-term solutions, other issues such as registration requirements, meeting with admissions, assessments, and financial responsibilities create an even larger, more uncertain road map. What will learning look like going forward? What measures can be put in place to better prepare for a crisis of similar nature in the future?
Education in Crisis
Many educational facilities were forced to move to exclusive online instruction quickly and without the proper support. This has resulted in doubt over the quality of education offered and a sometime lack of enthusiasm in the overall learning process. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some, many perhaps, that will question the needs for physical locations once campuses reopen. Parents may see children that have been served efficiently and successfully through the online experience. This may create another problem as these same parents will question the need for reenrolling into the traditionally more expensive, in-person experience. Regardless of the perception of online education, half-measures and band aides are not the solutions when it comes to disaster preparedness. Every institution should plan for a robust digital transformation now, regardless of what the next few months entail.
This is a unique challenge. Typically, educational institution systems must be accessible to faculty and staff, students, their parents, and even alumni, each with their own set of permissions and interface. With the right partner, however, this type of transformation is possible. A campus can achieve increased educational intelligence and identify key areas of convergence with current software solutions that track student data. For example, parents may wish to have access to raw data concerning their child’s performance. Total data integration can allow for this visibility, which will allow parents to be more strategic in assisting their children.
Integration Can Help
Data integration and reporting can also be used to create a more seamless experience. Dashboarding is becoming a popular tool. It is usually a single screen that displays many different pieces of critical information. Dashboards are valuable to the end-user because they transform data into critical information and provide a unified view. With these data reports, users can then make sense of the information quickly and act on it immediately. This type of data organization and analysis will undoubtedly allow educators to track the success of projects and workflows such as improving test scores or increasing attendance.
An additional advantage of a functioning, well-organized data flow is the insight it can provide on individual students. The ability to quickly view a snapshot of an individualized student’s education plan will allow the educator to address problem areas before they become serious. Administrative officials can look at this data independently or as part of the whole student body and determine if there are needs to create more diverse offerings outside of traditional one-size-fits all programs.
Virtual events and remote classrooms will also be a permanent part of the educational landscape. These events have the added benefit of allowing participants to experience speakers and long-range educational opportunities up close and personal. Whether offered as part of online education or in terms of offsite instruction, teleconferencing will greatly contribute to the overall educational experience.
Due to current events concerning the pandemic, improving the way the world networks and connects with each other is occurring at a rapid pace. Easy access to high quality data and the potential benefits it can provide will pay dividends for years to come. Now is the time. Grants and stimulus packages geared towards educational institutions that can assist with digital transformation are becoming increasingly available. While Covid-19 has altered virtually every aspect of our lives, the integration experts at Vorro, can help you build the data-enriched tools that will impact your institution and its students for years to come.
At Vorro, we can help generate intelligence regarding your institutional and operational needs, our services can help create better collaboration among your administrators, teachers, professors and students and their parents, which results in a more rewarding learning experience for all. Take advantage of the opportunity today and start building for the future. Contact our data integration specialist at Vorro and request a consultation or demo on our website at https://vorroconnect.com/.
Billy Waldrop is the Chief Operations Officer for Vorro, Inc. Billy has dedicated his career to managing and developing complex systems for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. He spent 10 years at the Mayo Clinic, where he supervised and directed teams responsible for the development and support of critical Patient Financial Services systems. He holds an MBA and a B.S. in Professional Management, along with many certifications from the Mayo Clinic.