A cloud-based MIS revolution in the education sector

Schools must address data gaps to embrace cloud-based solutions, says Stephen Heppell

The Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) was set up by the government in January 2014 to advise on how digital technologies might empower learners by enabling innovation across schools. One of the Group’s recommendations was that more robust competition in the management information systems (MIS) market was required to benefit schools, and learners.

A new whitepaper, commissioned by leading software provider Advanced Learning in association with education expert and former teacher, Professor Stephen Heppell, suggests that outdated MIS prevent schools, and more importantly learners from getting real insight into what drives effective teaching and learning. The report also highlights that the education sector should learn from other sectors, such as the NHS, in using technology to build more transparent learning outcomes.

Schools are often reluctant to change their existing MIS but need to realise education is entering a decade of remarkable opportunity. To avoid being left behind, schools must move away from archaic systems and address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential. Only by making better use of the information they already have, whilst finding ways to harness powerful and untapped data from emerging technologies, will they be able to adopt more effective teaching strategies.

Cloud-based MIS solutions can help schools to drive learning by providing teachers, parents and senior leaders with 24/7 access to their academic progress online from smartphone and tablet devices. Student assessments, exams and behaviour interventions can be easily compared and reported from up-to-date information to easily identify learners in need of support.

Intuitive reporting analytics can also allow schools to swiftly interrogate large volumes of complex data from multiple sources, helping them to identify areas of concern and resolve barriers to learning. Performance data can then be tracked over time to determine the success of new strategies to aid future planning.

Greg Ford, Managing Director of Advanced Learning, says: “Missing data can make it hard to track, or acknowledge, a school’s effectiveness, which can impact funding. Modern MIS systems solve the problem by providing unparalleled intelligence so that schools no longer have to rely on incomplete information.

“Advanced’s modern cloud technology ensures learner data can be collected from a variety of different sources, where teachers are able to view and understand learners as individuals.”

Cloud-based solutions provide schools with a cost effective and scalable IT infrastructure to meet their growing requirements. By providing instant access to rich, interactive teaching resources the cloud also offers increased flexibility to support the delivery of effective learning.

Read the white paper, ‘This is not scary, this is exciting!’