It’s alarming that apart from what can be gleaned at the dinner table or in casual conversation; parents often remain fairly unaware of their children’s school activities and learning environment. More often than not, information is still only shared a couple of times a year during parent-teacher nights. Thankfully, little by little, this is starting to change. Today’s parents, more than any generation before, are increasingly demanding regular communication with teachers and school administrators to discuss the school curriculum, their child’s progress, or to ask rudimentary questions. For the most part, parents must rely on email to be more involved.
But email comes with great limitations.
Hectic schedules are a reality in today’s world, and they pose challenges to even the most flexible parents and teachers. Even setting up appointments or arranging for a quick check-in call via email can be difficult. Replying to multiple parents asking the same questions via email can take away from a teacher’s time better suited to developing engaging lesson plans. Unfortunately, many school boards don’t have efficient processes in place to foster meaningful communication between parents and teachers. The result: parents and teachers become frustrated, and, ultimately, students’ progress may suffer. Everyone agrees that communication is essential to the betterment of a child’s education – not to mention that it helps improve a parent’s perceptions of the school and the school board. Ricoh can construct solutions which address this communication gap head-on.
Ricoh is Ahead of the Game
Communication is essential to the betterment of a child’s education. Communication also improves a parent’s perceptions of the school and the school boards that operate educational facilities in their municipality. Offering meaningful, effective methods of communication is a win-win for parents, students, teachers, and school administrators. Ricoh constructs solutions which foster valuable parent-teacher communications.
Track Student Progress
A secure enterprise content management (ECM) system allows teachers to post student grades, and an automatic notification system can alert parents to grade postings. It’s also highly customisable: school boards can tailor notifications and send alerts to parents and students at different time intervals.
Access Information on Multiple Devices
Ricoh’s ECM system links to mobile-friendly web portals, so teachers, parents, and students can view information from whatever device they choose.
Schedule One-on-One Appointments
Teachers can post their schedule on the portal, so parents can view availabilities and book appointments. Teachers may even choose to list their email and phone number, so parents can communicate by any means teachers are willing to use.
Get Answers Quickly
School boards can upload FAQ’s to the portal, so common questions (e.g., When will report cards come out?) can be answered instantly – a valuable time savings for parents, teachers, and school administrators.
Streamlined Parental Consent
Teachers and school boards can create electronic forms to help get the right information to parents at just the right time. Because electronic forms can be signed instantly, it can greatly reduce the risk of a student being unable to go on a much-anticipated field trip due to a missing or improperly signed form. Automatic notifications can alert parents if forms haven’t been signed on time or signed improperly (e.g., An email address entered without the @ symbol). With instant validation, mistakes are a thing of the past – reducing costs as well as ensuring all students have the ability to enjoy an educational experience outside the classroom.
School Solutions Above the Grade
Providing parents with direct access to their children’s educational experiences and progress is at the heart of Ricoh’s ECM solution. But it can also save school boards money, provide valuable data to teachers, and boost a school’s reputation.
Ricoh’s ECM solutions have significant educational benefits:
Substantial Cost Savings
With content (grades, reports, forms) handled digitally, schools can avoid costly print expenditures. This can result in significant cost savings in the purchase of paper and ink as well as storage space needed to house paper documents.
Breaking Down Language Barriers
With our digital systems, translating information into multiple languages is an easy, seamless process. It provides parents with important information about their child that they may have had difficulty accessing previously. This can be extremely beneficial at higher levels of education for parents whose first language isn’t English.
Improved Learning Environments
A digital system creates easily accessible data on test scores and attendance. Patterns arising from these data can inform future teaching decisions and help teachers decide if they should shift their marking rubric (e.g., If all of the students answered a test question wrong, perhaps the question was too hard to understand and should be altered). This results in a better learning environment for students.
Adjusting to Students’ Needs
Students can be shy about explaining their difficulties to teachers; parents, however, may not have these reservations. Using the portal, parents can contact teachers when their child is having trouble with a particular concept. Teachers can use this information to explain the concept further to the student. Additionally, if teachers see that parents have problems with certain parts of the curriculum, they are able to present this information to the board and, aided with data, recommend changes to the curriculum.
Boosting a School’s Reputation
In today’s workforce, the majority of students will need to be technologically adept. Parents may have a better view of the school and school board – and the technological training of their children – if they see that the institution, itself, is embracing advanced technologies. They may speak positively to others about the school, which, in turn, creates a better overall reputation.
Ricoh, like teachers and parents all across Canada, never rests when it comes to improving the educational environment for our students. After all, we’re hoping to bring in the next generation of innovators as they complete their degrees. What better way to show them what the future holds than to integrate it directly into their learning environment?
Talk to a Ricoh representative about how you can connect parents and teachers in your school. Contact us at email@example.com