Despite incredible advancements in technology in recent years, most K-12 schools still use massive amounts of paper.
It’s estimated that the average school uses 2,000 pages per day, which quickly adds up to 360,000 pieces of paper over the course of 180 school days.
Between the classroom (handouts, worksheets, tests, homework, report cards, permission slips, etc.) and administration (application forms, student records, newsletters, HR and accounting, etc.), there’s a lot of paperwork to manage and track for administrators, teachers, and students–on top of an already-packed list of responsibilities.
Higher education institutes have an immense workload when it comes to ensuring that students – and staff – have access to all the resources they need for an outstanding education.
Yet, despite incredible advances in technology in recent years, much of academia still resort to manual workflows to get much of this administrative work done. This leads to piles of paperwork and disjointed processes in which it’s easy for errors to occur and documents to go missing or students to slip between the cracks – which can have dire consequences in the case of processes such as financial aid applications. Not only that, but talented staff end up wasting countless hours on menial tasks like data entry and emails, which is bad news for job satisfaction.
The solution: business process management. In a nutshell, business process management refers to the practice of digitizing, proactively monitoring, and optimizing the sequence of tasks that need to be performed to achieve a particular business goal. Luckily for businesses – and higher education institutions – everywhere, business process automation software can make this much easier.
Technology has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years and no one can deny the incredible potential it has to impact education. With the promise of advances like e-learning and classes taught using virtual reality headsets, the possibilities seem endless.
Technology, it seemed, could make learning easier and address different learning methods, for instance by making learning more visual or collaborative.
Not only that, technology could significantly streamline the way teachers and education administrators communicate with parents about everything from reminding them of homework or tests to getting field trip permission slips signed.
We had a suspicion that the technology used by many schools is outdated, so we decided to find out how parents feel about the state of technology used in their children’s schools.
So we surveyed parents to find out how satisfied they are with the way their children’s schools use technology for communication.
As a higher education institution, you’re likely committed to fostering an all-inclusive environment where every person has the ability to enjoy the student experience.
When we think of accessibility and ADA compliance, we often think first of physical access. Most often, we focus on making sure that buildings and structures are accessible and comfortable for students of varying abilities.
But, accessibility in the digital world is just as important – if not more so!
With this comes a responsibility to ensure that all students, regardless of ability, can enjoy the same level of access to your physical and digital properties.
Accessibility for all students is becoming increasingly important. In 2015–16, 19 percent of male students and 20 percent of female students reported having a disability.
Accessibility has also become important for the government, which sets guidelines for colleges and universities to follow to make sure a higher ed’s facilities and digital properties (website, forms, etc) are 100% accessible.
Following these guidelines and becoming digitally compliant, however, has not been easy for educational institutions as it requires technical and legal assistance and enough funds to execute.
Are you 100% compliant? In this article, we’ll cover the levels of compliance, what this means for your online properties, and how to make your forms fully accessible.
Most education is still done on co-located campuses and in classroom settings. And most institutions, even those with progressive technology adoption, remain firmly rooted in in-person instruction.
This means that most schools and universities function primarily in the traditional sense. From a business perspective, the operations of most educational institutions are driven by processes that assume the day-to-day work of the administration will be handled in person and on campus.
In other words, many schools aren’t prepared or equipped for remote work.
Higher education has made great strides in embracing digital transformation, yet, much time is still wasted due to administrative inefficiencies. Workflow automation offers the opportunity to eliminate inefficiencies and save time and money by automating tedious manual administrative processes.
What is Workflow Automation in Higher Education?
Simply put, workflow automation is the process of automating the sequence or chain of events that need to take place in order for a process to be completed. For instance, automating the admissions workflow might streamline the process by electronically routing documents to the right people at the right time without manual email or phone calls. Additionally, the process of notifying students of changes to their application status – as well as other communications – might be automated.
Workflow automation in higher education not only reduces time-consuming busywork, freeing staff up for more important tasks – it also reduces the margin of human error, which has real world consequences for both students and administrators. Critical decisions like admissions and financial aid often hinge on these central processes.
Staff may struggle to juggle admin with the rest of their workload, resulting in students becoming frustrated by long waiting periods for simple requests that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to process and provide feedback.
Moreover, when academic staff are preoccupied with administrative tasks, their research and teaching suffers. As such, workflow automation that reduces the administrative burden academics face can be an effective way to attract top talent.
Students today are more technologically savvy than ever before and school systems should be the same. Some schools still mainly keep records as paper documents in filing cabinets. Others have moved onto the stage of digitizing where physical forms are uploaded to computers and sent back and forth through emails.
The most advanced schools have started having simple tasks become fully automated. Fully automating tedious tasks is the stage you want your school to be in. This article illustrates the benefits of workflow automation for schools, which processes can be easily automated, and offers a step-by-step guide on how schools can use one platform, frevvo, to get started.
Many schools today use frevvo to decrease the costs and time spent by faculty and administrators on paperwork. By using online forms and automated workflows, we can reduce the heavy workload carried by an ever-growing amount of administrators.
Increased, and often excessive, spending on school administrators has earned the nickname “administrative bloat.” All levels of education suffer from “administrative bloat,” but perhaps none more than degree-granting postsecondary institutions. For the 2016-17 school year, these institutions spend a total of $584 billion. The more money universities spend, the more tuition prices for students rise.
But schools at the K12 level aren’t immune to education’s administration challenge. The amount of administrative bloat varies significantly depending on what part of the country you are in. Thirteen states, as well as the District of Columbia, spend over a thousand dollars per each student just on administrative costs. On the other side of the spectrum, Arizona only spends around $450 per student and Utah’s administrative costs are $463 per student. As a percentage of total spending, New Mexico spends the largest portion on administrative costs while New York and Massachusetts spend the smallest fraction.
Schools must be very careful when they plan activities for students. Whether it’s a study tour, sports activity or even simply using the student’s personal information for a media event, it is of utmost importance that the school first gets the necessary consent forms signed from the parents to avoid any confusion later.