How Can Educators Benefit from a Document Management Solution?
Many schools and seats of higher education have been expanding their online presence in recent years. This had been made possible by increased accessibility to the internet and affordable devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This has also been accelerated by the recent healthcare concerns generated from COVID.
Even so, educators and students rely on documents to conduct business activities and all the typical paperwork necessary to operate an educational institution. Associated reports and records create a challenge when teleschooling enters the equation.
Administrators, teachers, and students alike require many types of documents:
- Entrance applications
- Personnel reports, medical records, payroll information
- Student records including grades, attendance, test results, etc.
- Bus schedules, field trip records, and meeting notes
Today’s trend toward homeschooling and distance learning further complicates the management of documents from creation to distribution, storage, sharing, and security. Remote staff personnel and students attending classes online call for a new way of handling paperwork.
Document management systems provide the solutions for educators at every level.
What is Document Management?
Document management systems (DMS) provide educators with the technology to control creation and access to all types of documents, storing each item securely in the cloud where it can be viewed or edited by any individual with the proper authorization. By implementing a DMS, organizations can store, retrieve, and track every use of documents in the system.
How Document Management Solutions Benefit Educators
Electronic storage of all documents benefits educational institutions in many ways:
As homeschooling now requires the exchange of documents digitally, how can an educator know if documents are received or viewed?
- Document management can incorporate tracking of access so that teachers know precisely when a student has viewed or downloaded homework assignments, or when parents have approved participation in field trips or sports activities. Digital signatures can take the place of signing physical paper forms, providing a more reliable method of communicating and verifying legitimate approvals.
- Class assignments or handouts that were physically distributed in the classroom must now be sent electronically. By using the power of DMS technology, all school records and classwork are shared online, streamlining the process.
- Distribution lists provide an efficient method of controlling who receives information, when, and what actions are required. Homework assignments can be transmitted to all enrolled students with a single transaction – with no paper or manual effort. Grade reports can be sent to parents quickly and easily, with a required approval response and tracking for verification of receipt.
- Sharing documents across a large group can be a monumental task for a paper-based institution. Moving to document management systems provides a boost in productivity for educators and administrators. With a single click, meeting notices, schedule changes, safety alerts, and health-related notifications can be routed to dozens – or thousands – of recipients. Document management can facilitate who has the authority to read, print, edit, or respond to these documents.
- When control is critical, document management provides complete tracking of access to documents by each individual. Audit logs can monitor who creates or edits documents. If a response is required, DMS features can track when it was requested and when it was received.
How DMS Can Be Used at All Levels of Education
Document management is an enormous productivity boost for both K-12 schools and advanced institutions such as colleges and universities.
- Grade school enrollment and college admissions forms can all be managed online.
- Curriculum and class instructions are all readily available without printing, distributing, or mailing.
- Correspondence with PTA organizations, school boards, and parents are all sent digitally, with audit trails to track creation and receipt of each document.
- Administrative distributions such as research assignments, grant applications, and alumni letters can easily be sent through flexible mailing lists.
Key reasons for adopting document management systems in education include:
- Flexibility – Route assignments, grades, group correspondence, or other documents to support distance learning environments to anyone – anywhere – at any time.
- Security – All documents are stored in secure, encrypted form. There is no potential access by unauthorized parties. DMS security controls who can create, view, update, or delete documents – all with a complete audit trail to ensure compliance.
- Efficiency – With online document access, finding the item needed is greatly simplified. There is no more digging through binders or file drawers, or even searching through folders on a local computer. DMS offers powerful search capabilities that make accessing the proper information quick and easy.
- Cost savings – Elimination of printed documents and ease of distribution can result in considerable savings over purchasing and maintaining printers and handling hundreds or thousands of documents.
When students and teachers must conduct class activities remotely, especially due to health-related circumstances such as the recent pandemic, document management can offer many advantages to educators.
James Imaging Has Your Document Management Solution
James Imaging Systems can provide your educational institution with powerful document management software that will transform your handling of documents into an efficient, cost-effective process driven by role-based security and customizable workflow.
Contact the document management pros at James Imaging to find out how you can make your documents work for you efficiently and securely.