Document management for schools or otherwise, is the creation, control, and conservation of pieces of information. Schools tend to develop an amazing array of documents, ranging from student papers and records of grades, attendance and behavior up through overall curriculum alignment and financial management.
Document management for schools, when done manually, can consume valuable time that could be better spent with the students, contacting parents, developing new avenues of instruction or even applying for grants to feed the continual need for improvement of supplies, equipment, buildings and grounds.
What are Document Management Systems and How Can They Be Used in the School Setting?
Document management systems can help free teachers and secretaries from the continuous process of filing documents, keeping track of them, and finding ways to communicate essential information to all members of the staff. Moreover, many school operations overlap. For example, attendance will not only affect events in the classroom, it also impacts lunchroom management and supply allocation. It will also influence state and federal money allocated to the school – as do grades and yearly exam scores.
The problem with many sorts of document management for schools is that they are complicated or difficult to use. Teachers, whose time is already stretched thin, are less likely to make full use of a system that is complex.
This is where a cloud document management system, such as Folderit can help. Not only can all relevant information be readily available to the people who need it, but by storing the database offsite, overburdened school computer systems are relieved of the necessity of storing the information generated daily in a busy school district. Not only is it readily accessible, it is safer from fire, flood or vandalization than data stored onsite.
Key Components of a Document Management System
While document management for schools might seem to be different from a business, they still require the same key components of data storage and document management as a large department store, hospital or any other organization. These components include metadata, document capture, security, retrieval, and versioning.
Metadata could be defined as information about the information. For a school, that might include the department that generated it, the name of the individual who recorded it, date, and cross-referencing to other departments that might need that information.
Folderit can be used to set up an easy form into which everyone can quickly enter the pertinent data, such as class, teacher, department or student. The metadata will match pre-existing tags to sort the data, making it appropriately available. You can even design your forms to meet local requirements.
It is not always convenient to record information directly into a computer, even with modern handheld devices. Document capture allows scanning of paper documents and enabling electronic format storage. Optical character recognition can convert digital images into readable or even editable text, making it easy to mix and match with computer-generated files that are being added to the system.
Schools, like hospitals, handle many confidential documents. In fact, all student records are considered confidential. Folderit uses 256 bit AES Encryption Security, which is literally military grade security encryption.
All Folderit files are triple backed up and are securely encrypted. If you feel the need for your own peace of mind, you can download a copy of your files to a local device as often as you like. This can meet local requirements for having a backup file of the school business stored redundantly to prevent data loss.
Folderit also includes audit trail for administrators to check every action of any collaborator, including file previews and downloads.
Document Retrieval and Accessibility
Yet, while being held securely, your files are easily accessible. A data system is only useful if it is possible to obtain necessary information in a convenient and timely fashion. The use of the metadata that assists with security also makes the appropriate information available to those who need it.
Versioning allows the system to hold more than one version of a document while helping you track the editing process. This is of immense benefit when dealing with documents that will have input from multiple users. The Folderit DMS system allows the system to check-in and check-out documents, and to even lock a document when you are editing it.
The Best Cloud Document Management for Schools
Document management is time consuming, complex, and essential to efficient and effective school operations. Folderit is the easiest to use, very cost-effective, efficient, and offers excellent security for the many confidential documents handled within a school system. It is easy to use, yet offers sufficient complexity to handle the interweaving dance of school information.