Do you remember the days of the Class Monitor? A single student who was chosen each term, charged with the duty of collecting and returning the class register safely to Reception at the beginning of each lesson.
Sometimes said student would be gone for a suspiciously long time given that Reception was just a few feet from the classroom door. Sometimes the register would never be collected and the teacher would have to jot down names on the back of an old envelope to hand in. Then there were the occasions when that single sheet of A4 vanished from the face of the Earth, as random bits of paper tend to do every now and again.
Fast forward to today and schools have been forced to adapt to online learning, with an estimated 1.5 billion students having experienced home-schooling at some point during the pandemic. As schools reopen, many students are being sent home to self-isolate to ensure the health of the wider school community.
Now class registration, alongside many of your other important school processes, has been moved online, you’ve got a great opportunity to make the most of a digital platform to help you streamline and improve this essential, daily element of school life.
In the following post, we’re going to examine what classroom registration looks like today and in the future, and explore how technology can support this ever changing landscape.
- Automate Data Collection
- Self-Registration and Multi-Period Registration
- Reduce Human Error
- Do Registration Anywhere
Automate Data Collection
Registering student attendance is critical to every school, whether classroom learning is taking place in person or online. Not only does it help you keep track of who is present on each school day, but it also enables you to monitor attendance over time and identify any trends. If necessary, you can then go on to raise your findings with relevant members of staff and/or parents and legal guardians.
However, finding this data can quickly become a logistical nightmare, not to mention a time-consuming process, particularly if you’re using Excel spreadsheets or similar platforms to collate a wealth of registration data every day. By automating this process using digital software, schools such as New English School Kuwait have found that “500 staff hours have been saved each year on registration alone”. That’s close to 2 hours per day spent on data management, which can include anything from inputting registration data to searching for historic records and pulling this data from your system.
Introduce Self-Registration and Multi-Period Registration
The recent movement towards remote learning has seen classroom registration take on different digital forms, which are likely to continue as schools look to reopen. Students have been forced to quickly adapt to new ways of learning and navigating an online school environment which, in some instances, has included taking their own lesson registration.
In these cases, the stress of the administrative tasks accompanying online learning is being reduced whilst simultaneously helping students engage with their digital timetable; all through marking their own attendance for individual or multiple classes directly from their mobile devices – and in the safety of their own homes.
By providing your students with this level of flexibility and accountability, you’re ensuring that registers are taken immediately instead of teachers having to commit attendance to memory or make notes to input into the system at a later date. In doing so, this not only ensures that key school stakeholders have instant access to up-to-date information, but it increases the chance that the data uploaded to the system is accurate. This accuracy can be further determined by setting clear permissions around how many days in the past a student can register and if they’re allowed to register for past lessons.
In addition to this, some digital registration platforms include inbuilt multi-period registration features. This provides students, who have consecutive lessons in the same subject and with the same teacher, with the ability to register once at the beginning of the first lesson to then automatically be registered for the following lessons.
“Since introducing iSAMS, data management has been far easier for all our staff members, including lesson by lesson registration. The ease of use has been appreciated by teachers and the iStudent app is used by most of our students.”
Aylesbury Grammar School
Reduce Human Error
By having a centralised digital registration system, which is accessible for your staff members remotely, you can make sure attendance data can continue to be accurately and safely logged regardless of where your teachers and students are based. Furthermore, it reduces the paper waste of offline registration, preserves storage space with cloud-hosted options, and saves your School Office huge amounts of time in paperwork and/or data processing.
Not having to manually input data into your Management Information System (MIS) once it’s already been collected by teachers across the school, means that the capacity for human error is reduced and your Administration Team can focus their time on other fundamental areas of their roles.
But more than this, tools such as our Registration Module affords every relevant member of the school community much better access to key registration details, which seamlessly link to multiple areas of your MIS system. In doing so, you can empower your staff members to retain better control over important school data – wherever they are in the world and whenever they need it.
“As something we struggled with in our previous MIS, and as a core part of our daily operations, getting registration right was essential – and iSAMS has yet to fail us. The Registration module just works and the wealth of reports available means that, whether it’s missing pupils or incomplete class registers, you’ll always be able to find the information you need.”
Imran Gulma, Forest School
Do Registration Anywhere
With classroom registrations moving online, tracking attendance on the move and wherever you are is the new normal. As schools start to reopen and timetables are adjusted to support your social distancing measures, taking the register will no longer be a simple exercise with so many different students and teachers on the move.
“The Registration module has proved extremely popular with teachers. Not only does it mean no more paper-based registrations, but teachers can teach and take the register using an iPad anywhere on site, as well as on school trips.”
Moulsford Prep School
We’re continuously looking at ways to help save teachers time when they’re completing their daily tasks. As part of this, we launched our iTeacher App in 2015 and released our second version in 2019, so teachers can complete 70% of their daily tasks on the go via their mobile device/s, including registration. Now they don’t have to be logged onto a computer at school or at home to complete the classroom register, but they can do it on the sports field, on a school trip, or on the move wherever they are.
Because taking the register is often deemed a mundane everyday part of school life it’s often easily overlooked – but when we take some time to remember just how vital this information is, not just in the short-term but in the long-term too, it’s worth considering how we can make the collection and analyses of these details as effective and efficient as possible.
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- How to Prepare your School’s Timetables May 23, 2019
- How to Prepare Your School for the New Normal May 21, 2020