The author discusses four ways that enterprise computing can help schools manage and analyze information, just as it is doing in the business world:
1. Improving teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of enterprise computing is to better student achievement. As standards-based education has grown in popularity, so, too, have systems that are able to match applicable instruction to the specific needs of students. Enterprise computing can also aid schools in the following ways:
• Coordinating resources for teachers and students.
• Simplifying the access to data on transplanted and transferring students.
• Allowing for on-site and remote access to online resources.
• Reducing management tasks for teachers.
• Staff development.
2. Streamlining administrative functions. Several processes can be streamlined under an enterprise computing model, including:
• Access to student records, as well as secure access to emergency and health information.
• Links between departments.
• Control of heating and air conditioning systems.
• Coordination of cafeteria services.
• Compliance with state and federal regulations.
3. Assessing programs. Enterprise computing can help school districts uncover and resolve shortfalls associated with school programs. By “mining” and analyzing data on students, administrators can begin to see potential solutions to specific problems.
4. Connecting schools and homes. The distribution capabilities that come with an enterprise computing model can greatly expand opportunities for students to learn from home or community centers. Online learning assignments can be completed off-site, and parents will have a more direct communications link with their children’s school.