edtech purchasing

5 signs of a tech-friendly district

The tech-friendly district is almost always the more attractive option for prospective students, families, and employees alike--here are the signs for identification.

The efficiencies afforded us by technology can play a central role in a district’s mission. That’s not to say we need to overwhelm our parents, students, and employees with apps and devices, but there are plenty of things district leaders can do behind the scenes to improve the experience of those stakeholders.

How can you tell whether your district is ahead of the curve in technology adoption? Take a look at these five evolving processes:

1. Student Registration

If you’re curious about how a district manages its registration process, look no further than its public website. Whether parents are new to the district or sending kids back for another year, the last thing they want to do is stare down a pile of paperwork while worrying about when they’ll have time to drop it off at the registrar’s office. The task is equally daunting for registrars, who are holed up for days sorting, reviewing, and rerouting various documents.

Online registration and enrollment aren’t novel ideas in 2017; they are a convenience parents expect and a tool any registrar will appreciate. Barbara Benzala, manager of student information systems at Fort Bend ISD in Texas, recalled her district’s first year with an online process; “[Online enrollment] allowed our campus administrative and registration staff to spend quality time with parents and students – answering questions they felt important or giving a tour of the school – by not having to focus on registration paperwork.”

Tech-friendly districts put people over paperwork, and student registration is one area where the status is easy to check for yourself.

2. Employee Onboarding

The same concepts at play in student registration can just as easily be applied to new hires in their first days with a district. Is that experience marred by release forms, HR paperwork, voided checks, and other mandatory items that need to go to a bunch of different places? Not anymore. Tech-friendly districts understand the impact of a positive first impression on job satisfaction, advocacy, and retention.

Online forms and self-paced acclimation activities are the perfect complement to a traditional onboarding. Technology doesn’t take the place of a warm department and a welcoming mentor, but it can go a long way toward reducing the anxiety of a new (and sometimes first) career destination. Can forms be completed online, or do your new people need to familiarize themselves with your interoffice envelopes? Are training resources available in one easy-to-access portal, or scattered across your intranet? Do you feel the need to brace new hires for an unpleasant experience, or does your onboarding match your culture?

Tech-friendly districts use software to keep onboarding organized, accessible, and consistent across buildings and departments. Show your new hires why they made the right decision.

(Next page: 3 more signs of a tech-friendly district)

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