Oh. My. Word. Data management is a big deal. I mean, I always knew it was, but suddenly, being on the inside, as it were, I’ve been given a new perspective on just how big a deal it is. While data management isn’t exactly what I was appointed to look at, I’ve fallen into it because it does have implications for teachers’ time.
At the moment, we use EduAdmin because it is an incredibly powerful reporting structure and because it has the ability to cope with the complexity of our timetable. The down side to it is that it is modularised, which means that it’s a pain to get information out of. To see one child’s address, telephone number, email, timetable, etc, etc, etc you have to go into a new section or module for each and every piece of data you want to view. It doesn’t have a dashboard approach that many of the newer systems have. It also doesn’t talk to other programs very well, which is another problem.
However, a while back we took the decision to stick with it because EduAdmin have promised that they were working on fixing that. They have come up with another module that is their first attempt at a dashboard approach. It’s still not perfect (e.g. when you look up a child’s email, you can’t just click on the email and have a new message open up in Outlook), far from it, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
As a result, one of the first projects I’ve been involved with is trying to move our DT system and intervention register (register of all intervention strategies employed for individual students) into the EduAdmin database. We’re also looking at moving one of our other systems – late for class – into it as well. If it all works, which I think it will, it will mean that (using the new “dashboard”) it becomes easier for teachers to see all the information they need for students with only a few clicks. Let’s hope so, because I’d like to get an early ‘win’ on the job.
Other things I’ve achieved have been to help one of the departments with their spreadsheets. I’ve also been able to help one of the new teachers get her head around EduAdmin, and I’ve helped another teacher learn how to create shortcuts on her desktop and to install Dropbox, so that she’s now confident and is teaching others how to do the same!