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MIS Systems Thread, TASC vs. Go4Schools vs. SLG in Technical; Hi all, I dont suppose anyone has used either TASC Software, Go4Schools or SLG at all? from what I can ...
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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    TASC vs. Go4Schools vs. SLG

    Hi all,

    I dont suppose anyone has used either TASC Software, Go4Schools or SLG at all? from what I can see they are almost the same software in terms of features, my school is looking to adopt one of the above as our parent portal to replace Bromcom.

    The technical requirements vary between the three, however the school is deadset on using Go4Schools, which happens to be the easiest of setups compared to the other two.

    Any feedback is grateful!

    Thanks

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    Seb1780's Avatar
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    We've tried all three and are currently using Go4Schools.

    The difficulty in managing the SLG / Sharepoint interface meant that died a death before I got here, although of the three options it is the most powerful and most customisable.

    Go had just been introduced when I started a couple of years ago and we are (very) slowly opening it up to parents and pupils; we currently use it for reports but we still send out paper ones too.

    I've just go hold of TASC Insight and I am looking into its capabilities - my project for the summer.

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Would you say that Go4Schools has been slow to get to a point to open up to parents and pupils for any particular reason at all?

    Would you say Go4Schools has been used much by staff?

    I honestly think SLG is out of the question, its way to overcomplicated and way to expensive. It would be nice to keep everything in SIMS as we pay for the support for it, however it just seems a bit bloated and over involved when there is only a couple of staff to maintain it.

    Personally I would like to get TASC but what with the need for a web server its a little harder to setup and get working than Go4Schools.

    Apologies for so many questions, just want to make sure we are getting the best product!

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    Seb1780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olliesaurus View Post
    Would you say that Go4Schools has been slow to get to a point to open up to parents and pupils for any particular reason at all?
    The delay in getting the parental engagement part online has nothing to do with the capabilities of Go and everything to do with the ultra-cautious attitude some people here have. There is a reluctance to allow parents access to "real" data and we lock down Go to prevent access to markbooks, progress charts etc. etc. etc.

    Fortunately, Go is very flexible in its handling of access and we have been able to get the restrictions we want without too much pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olliesaurus View Post
    Would you say Go4Schools has been used much by staff?
    All staff use Go for all reports; the management of the reports has changed dramatically as a result because I can see, in real time, who has completed and who hasn't.

    Some staff / departments use Go in place of their own markbooks; most do not but this is again due to lack of leadership desire rather than any limitation of Go.

    I now use Go as my first port of call whenever I want lists / data / pictures etc, I only resort to SIMS for "deeper" information.

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    I have been looking recently at a parental reporting system but I am also keen on Students being able to see their own data every time they log on. This was my project to look for when I went down to BETT. I still don't think there is the ideal solution out there that covers all the bases, but I think Tasc Insight have got closest.

    I must admit I hadn't heard of Go4schools and must have missed them at BETT. Looking at their website it will take data from the MIS but not put it back? Is all the data entry into Go4schools kept isolated? What about Attendance and Behaviour? Is this recorded back into the MIS? If not then that would rule it out for me. You want your Data entry if at all possible to be in one place for teachers. It is ok to have other bits or modules which add value, but the core data should be central to the MIS.

    PARS Insight reads data from the MIS on all the usual stuff (Attendance, Behaviour, assessment etc) and there are some other interesting features that stay within PARS but essentially, it is a reporting system that pulls data from the MIS and presents it in a readable format.

    I agree with the issue of having to set up a web server - why don't they offer a hosted solution? I am concerned that a server which has to perform many requests such as every time a student logs on and Parent access it from home would need to be quite beefy.

    The other issues for me are that the interface looks outdated and a little unkempt - scaling to mobile devices is not brilliant and there is no android / apple App. A large percentage of parents will access this off their phone or tablet - this is were the focus should be for parental engagement.

    Another thing I wanted to do is to provide not just MIS data but also live info from other systems such as Cashless catering (PARS will do this with some systems), Library system etc for students and parents so they get a real one-stop shop. PARS Insight have been the most willing to help in developing their system to cater for this. We already use the core PARS system at one of our Academies and they are hot on providing feature requests as has been testified to before on Edugeek.

    So we haven't really gone for anything yet. Perhaps we are being too picky with our requirements?

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    I looked at SLG a couple of times but didn't really feel it was the best solution was also expensive and looked complicated user end but did give staff access to SIM's to an extent remotely, haven't really looked at Go4schools

    Went for Tasc Software and Insight was very easy to set up and maintain support is excellent and second to none, this has been a great success here and students and parents have really come on board with this. It has reduced printing costs for reports as most only on Insight now. Also like that it is internally hosted so we can resolve issues on site but to be honest don't really have any but Parents and SLT are happier data stays on site in school. Two other schools in the borough have moved to Tasc and Insight once they had a look but a few schools in the borough are using Tasc and Insight.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    We use TASC Insight with PARS. Anything you want to know in particular?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    We use TASC Insight with PARS. Anything you want to know in particular?
    We are using Google Apps for our email here, do you know whether it allows custom SMTP details? specifically that support TLS ports?

    If you don't mind me asking, whats the spec of the web server you are running on?

    Thanks

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    We used to use TASC and I must admit they were very good and since then they have developed a product that I feel cannot be matched in terms of cost and application.

    Just my penny's worth

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    We used to use TASC and I must admit they were very good and since then they have developed a product that I feel cannot be matched in terms of cost and application.

    Just my penny's worth
    Have to agree with this. We use PARS for registration and behaviour management, INSIGHT for reporting to parents, INSIGHT for students so that they can see their behaviour points and homework etc and to make option choices. You can also do parents evening booking and probably a lot more but as yet we do not. It does not do access to assessment or reports for teachers as SLG does but we do all of that in SIMS in school and it does not give us any problems.

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    I know its super SUPER cheeky, but would you say that TASC is capable of achieving the results that Go4Schools claim to be able to achieve in this PDF?

    All of the feedback is greatly appreciated!

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    I'd say. I can't remember our exact web server spec, I'll check for you. Have you seen the Insight demo online? Should be fine with Google Apps.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    There's a good guide here that a school has produced. http://www.chewvalleyschool.co.uk/do...User_Guide.pdf

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    I'd say. I can't remember our exact web server spec, I'll check for you. Have you seen the Insight demo online? Should be fine with Google Apps.
    I did have a demo early last year, however we werent really left alone with it to have a play around, this is something that isn't really anything to do with me however im just trying to ensure we get the right product and we dont buy something on a knee jerk Ofstead related reaction!

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    They all do much of a muchness. For us it came down to how cost effective it was, how easily it is to manage and how good the support is. On all three points Insight is positive.

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