MIS Systems Thread, Do you LOVE your current school software? in Technical; Hello
I am trying to discover which elements of school software are really failing and whether there is space for ...
30th December 2010, 02:53 AM #1
Do you LOVE your current school software?
I am trying to discover which elements of school software are really failing and whether there is space for a new entrant?
Am thinking particularly how can school administration software tools be created to more effectively enable teaching in the UK (and globally)?
Would be great to hear of particularly good and bad examples and whether you think there is a market need for change?
30th December 2010, 10:06 AM #2
First, welcome to the forum, always nice when people introduce themselves before touting...
Second, I hope you are prepared for this thread to soon descend into argument...
What is your angle, because MIS has been done already in various guises and with varying degrees of success. The big players have spend millions and still not achieved perfection (although very close ), and there are now cheap and even free applications to choose from.
30th December 2010, 10:21 AM #3
Also welcome to Edugeek, Entrepeneur.
To answer the question you pose - Yes I do - with a capital Y and written in bold & underlined!
I am probably one of those that Greed refers to when he says be prepared for arguments!
That is because I am a SIMS User and proud of it!
One wonders at your motives and which company you represent - you have been very quick to ensure that nothing shows on your profile!
Last edited by Sivadam; 30th December 2010 at 10:28 AM.
30th December 2010, 11:00 AM #4
Good morning Mexico and welcome. This is a very sticky subject, not least as the UK (where predominently the bulk of our (although the US is catching up quick) members reside) has the highest density of computers to pupils in the world and all schools are run from one kind of MIS and systems management package or another, all of which conduct huge amounts of market research and go to great pains to ensure that their products contain all of the features that users need now and would require in the future.
If you were to jump into this game you would be up against a lot of 'big boys', and the only hope you have is to come up with a novel idea or method of working that, so far, no one else has, but given that most of the major players lurk on these forums any ideas we come up with for you would be equally acessable to them as well.
What you need to do is present us with a product, or an idea that has not (as yet) been done before.
30th December 2010, 11:12 AM #5
Hmm, by new entrant do you mean complete MIS package, or some small portion thereof?
31st December 2010, 01:23 AM #6
Thank you for your thoughts. The genesis of this came from observing the traction that US start ups such as My Gradebk and Learn Boost have won in recent months. The UK Market clearly has incumbent providers firmly in place in Capita, Pearson, RM and Serco - whether or not these provide value for money to all the stakeholders in schools remains unclear to me.
Just to be clear - I represent only myself here.
31st December 2010, 03:58 PM #7
The simple answer to that is no, they do not provide good value for money. This is not only my own personal opinion, but also one of the conclusions of the Becta survey into MIS systems. However, if you are thinking of marketing an off-the-shelf US product here I'm not sure how well suited that would be for our purposes. Plus, there is a lot of inertia w.r.t. MIS systems here; schools need a lot of convincing before changing MIS systems as it's such an integral part of school operations.
Originally Posted by Entrepreneur
31st December 2010, 07:06 PM #8
Yes, I LOVE ours!
We use iSAMS. It has revolutionised our parental communication. Our SMT love it, parents love it, pupils loved being able to log in at 6am from home to find their exam results last August & view their timetables/teaching sets before the start of the school year, teachers love features like being able to send a text to all their pupils in a set from their timetables with just a couple of clicks of a button. All very happy.
As far as value for money goes, its less than our old MIS and we are already realizing savings - ie no longer printing reports for pupils (6 per year for each pupil). We also no longer produce any printed letters/forms. All are available online to parents and pupils.
31st December 2010, 11:58 PM #9
SIMS and their insistence that I update to the latest version every 3 months
Originally Posted by Entrepreneur
1st January 2011, 03:30 PM #10
Do you realise that this inavariably has to be done? There is now a school Census 3 times a year and the data that is collected is validated via the DfE Rules which invariable change for each census. This automatically eans that the MIS Providers have to upgrade their software to enable the validation rules to be included in the Data Collection part of the software!
Originally Posted by oxide54
I wonder how many of you guys worked, or even taught, in schools in the days before there were any computers to administer pupil records .......
Originally Posted by EdWhittaker
As one who did, I regard the amount that we now spend on our MIS to be well worth what we have to pay. It is a tiny fraction of the overall school budget and is very good value for what it provides!
Last edited by Sivadam; 1st January 2011 at 03:39 PM.
Thanks to Sivadam from:
BatchFile (4th January 2011)
1st January 2011, 03:50 PM #11
Becta spent a lot of time, effort and money talking to schools, LAs and other interested parties for their review of MIS systems; and they came to an entirely different conclusion.
Originally Posted by Sivadam
1st January 2011, 04:01 PM #12
That does not mean that their opinion was a fact!
Had my opinion been canvassed then they would have had been presented with a totally opposite view.
And it isn't the only Becta opinion that I have disagreed with in the past!
It seems that the Government also did not seem to value Becta, else they would probably have retained it ........ wouldn't they?
Last edited by Sivadam; 1st January 2011 at 05:30 PM.
1st January 2011, 06:55 PM #13
Before it descends in to too much of an arguement ... For some schools the MIS (whatever they use) will be absolutely spot on and do exactly what they need. With the large number of schools using the various MISes it is bound to happen the you will find a proportion of schools who have it perfect, some who are 75% there, a large group that find most of the product does what they need but a chink can be improved, some who seriously struggle to make it useful and those who detest it.
This is completely normal of pretty much any software.
And please don't start moaning about having to do updates and patches and so on. Because no other software needs these? And this is looking at it from a support point of view not a usability and functionality point ... and that is the weakest arguement in the world.
What is an MIS? It is a system where you put data, you can interact and re-purpose it, you can put it into context and you can use it for analysis. Some will have pre-built scenarios that you can use to create a working educational function (eg lesson monitor), and others aspects give you flexibility to reshape the functions (eg Assessment Manager) ... and that is before we go onto interoperability and the sharing of data between software.
The key areas used to market MIS are UI, ease of access (usually within the MIS itself), the link with existing educational uses (best practices for Leadership & Management) and cost.
1st January 2011, 06:58 PM #14
Scrapping of Becta was a political move, nothing to do with competency. If you want to discuss that aspect ... feel free to create a new thread behind the red door and be ready to be inundated with examples of the incumbent Govt ignoring advice that was correct. If you want to argue that Becta was too bureaucratic then I don't think there are too many arguments there, but don't go down the competency or professional knowledge route, without knowing the inside stories.
Originally Posted by Sivadam
2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:
GREED (2nd January 2011), Sivadam (1st January 2011)
2nd January 2011, 03:31 PM #15
All the iSAMS updates happen automatically at night (several times a month). We dont have to do anything at all - just read the release material and see what new features we wish to explore.
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