a review of student information systems 

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(dup) Student Information System

Student Information System

The purpose of this site is to review available Student Information System and to make recommendations to School Administrators, Principals, School IT Professionals and Teachers on which student information system software offers the best choice under the following categories:

1.  Initial Price

2.  Training

3.  Convenience of Training

4.  Ease of Use

5.  Safety From Hackers

6.  Module Availability

 

Student Information System: Initial Price

When you talk about initial price of Student Information Systems (SIS) there is a wide variety of products and services that are available.  Sometimes it is even student information systemmindboggling to try to put together comparisons.  For this category though, the standouts are definitely all the OpenSource Software companies.   Open source student information system software is actually free…yes free.  These student information system companies will allow you to download their software just by clicking a button on their website and only make money by offering support and additional modules.  Some estimates show that a school may save up to 75% in the first year by using open source software.

 

Student Information System: Training

Student information system training plays a huge part in the decision process of which SIS is best for your needs.  The problems that I have run into before are multiple.  The first problem has to do with language.  Most of the companies that I have reviewed are companies that are based in the United States.  As with many other businesses, some of these companies have outsourced their training to foreign countries.  I definitely have no problem with the quality of the people that I have run into for training but have had major problems withlanguage barriers when trying to get support from some non native English speaking trainers.

I have also encountered problems with some student information system companies that have so many students in their system that they are constantly needing to hire new employees.  Trying to get good training from someone that may not have much experience is a pain.  It is very important to deal only with companies that have experienced, well trained and polite staff.

 

Student Information System: Convenience of Training

This is one of the areas that I have had the most problems.  Several student information system companies wanted me to come to their office for training or attend a training session that was going to be happening “in my area” somewhere in the near future.  I talked to another company that just was available at 9:00 to 11:00 only on Thursdays…….. Give me a break!   So make sure that you deal with a company that you can do online training with, at times that are convenient for you!

 

 

Student Information System: Ease Of Use

Student information system ease of use is very important.  You do not want teachers, students or parents to have difficulty finding the information they wish to access quickly and easily.  This seems to be less and less of a problem as time goes on but still be very careful as there are a few systems available that are not intuitively obvious to navigate.

 

Student Information System: Safety From Hackers

This is a concern for everyone.  Routinely we hear on the evening news that “such and such” company’s computer system was hacked and people’s personal information was lost.  One wonderful way to reduce the possibility of this from happening is to deal with companies that host your data on the cloud.  Now this does not completely rule out the possibility of information being lost but certainly reduces the likelihood of this happening.  So make sure your student information system is hosted on the cloud.

 

Student Information System: Module Availability

Most open source school management software have all the available modules needed for your school to operate.  So this is not usually a problem.  The only issue that I have run into dealt with state reporting.  I talked with many companies that reports to the state needed to be done almost manually where several of the better companies had one button click reporting to meet all the needs of your state!  Don’t be without this feature in those states that require reporting.

 

Conclusions

 When I looked carefully at all of these factors, Centre/SIS became the vendor of choice for my school’s student information system.  They have open source software that I just clicked on and downloaded.  They have a wonderful presentation that is offered three times a day, every day to help evaluate the software and how it works.  The people I talked to were very helpful  (I think I talked to Jack, Barb and Brian).  The system is hosted on the cloud so we didn’t need huge servers nor worry about hacking.  Our state’s required information can be submitted from our student information system with several  clicks of our mouse.  What impressed me most though was the incredible service that I got from this company.  They arranged training on my schedule.  The training was done over the internet so I did not need to travel nor go to a meeting miles away or three weeks from now.