The education sector has incorporated technology in dribs and drabs, but true digital transformation requires a new mindset.
From stacks of student applications to endless inventory sheets, paper-based processes frequently prevent school staff from focusing on their core responsibilities, which ultimately affects students. Automation technology has the potential to absorb the time-consuming tasks that bog down administrative staff in educational institutions.
With limited budgets, decision-makers regularly face tough decisions, and digital transformation often falls to the bottom of the priority list. As a result, educational institutions are generally slower to adopt transformation initiatives. However, when they do, the results can be meaningful and long-lasting.
In Singapore, which is pursuing a “smart nation” strategy, the government recently announced plans to introduce Al technologies into five sectors.
Education is one of the targeted sectors. In the meantime, start-ups in Singapore have begun to leverage emerging technologies to enhance processes such as applying for college, finding a tutor, or getting an answer to a math question.
Overall, for schools to modernize in line with the smart nation vision, everyday processes also need to be automated.
The effects of automated processes in education
From enrollment to parent communications, many schools rely too heavily on paper-based methods.
When you consider that 616,505 students in Singapore enrolled in school in 2018, it is clear that considerable time is wasted on inefficient processes.
Whether a school system administers 100 students or 100,000 students, there are better ways to manage paper-based processes such as annual enrollment, applications for niche programs and parent permission forms for extracurriculars and field trips. These workflows often yield hundreds or thousands of paper forms that come across administrators’ desks each year.
Positions like enrollment coordinators, academic directors and vice-principals—roles that traditionally wear many hats on a school’s administrative team—often manually handle the entire process for any given form. And it is easy to fall behind.
Digitizing such processes allows administrators to focus on better serving students.
For example, in a school system that may receive over 1,000 miscellaneous email requests from parents each month, staff can handle them through a well-designed, form-based automated process instead. The saved tame can then go toward mission-critical work rather than basic administration.
So how can education leaders start to digitally transform how schools operate?
Open your mind to improvement
By pointing out inefficient or paper-based processes to relevant decision-makers, you encourage them to see how the team could function better. From there, another way to get everyone on board is to help them understand what other schools are doing to eliminate their pain points. Once you have obtained buy-in, share the benefits of using a low-code solution that enables everyone on the team to participate in digital transformation.=
Empower staff with tech
You cannot solve other teams’ pain points until you know what they are. By providing employees tools to visually map their processes, see how well they work, and uncover any bottlenecks or breakdowns, you empower them to find lasting solutions. Giving employees a role in the transformation process will also encourage broader adoption of the tools you deploy.
Standardize new processes
Standardize your automated processes by providing school and district-wide training. To ensure new employees learn and carry the forward the processes, build the teachings into their onboarding. By creating a center of excellence — or a digital process repository — you can prevent new processes from being set aside.
Digital transformation applies to the education world too, and processes that make up the student experience are ripe tor automation. While school administrators may not be in the classroom with students each day, they can utilize automation and digital processes to create systems that better serve students.
Click here to read how other schools and educational businesses have concerted digital transform into their future.
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