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Home » Education » How management information systems are enhancing student outcomes and wellbeing

Owen McGowan

Manager, Compass Education Ireland

Management information systems in schools can be a powerful tool — one that provides a rich analysis of individual students and helps to improve their wellbeing and educational attainment.

Technology has long been deployed in businesses to streamline processes and make employees more productive. Now, it’s making teachers’ jobs easier, driving parental engagement, fostering the wellbeing of pupils — and saving everyone time.

Management information system capabilities

“Teaching and learning is the core business of a school,” reasons Owen McGowan, Manager of Compass Education Ireland, a school management solutions provider. “Technology that can give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn should be welcomed.”

At the heart of this transformation is a school’s management information system (MIS). Once, this was just a simple database that held a range of information about individual students — although different, disconnected apps and programmes could often complicate data management and make data retrieval clunky.

However, today’s MIS technology can consolidate disparate systems into a single, interconnected platform. Having all data in one place is a big step forward because it streamlines data management and enhances data security and GDPR compliance.

It can help ease the logistical burden on teaching staff. For instance, some MIS technology can allow teachers to unlock classroom doors with their phones so that they can quickly get on with what they do best: teaching.

Providing continuous feedback and performance analysis

Yet, it’s how the data is used that really makes a difference to student wellbeing and attainment. That’s because modern systems allow student information to be turned into actionable insights at the touch of a button. “Take our system, which gives teachers a comprehensive view of each student,” says McGowan. “It shows how factors such as attendance, behaviour, wellbeing and cognitive ability contribute to a student’s progression in school, both academically and socially.”

As well as providing continuous feedback and performance analysis (which is vital with formative assessment requirements growing), today’s management information systems can automatically alert staff to students who need extra support. This can help everyone reach their full potential and ensure that no one is left behind.

It’s also a tool for students, who can open an app to see all their subject results, see where they are losing marks and understand exactly where improvement may be needed.

Wellbeing studies show that positive
reinforcement really does work
because it helps students feel engaged.

Messages of positive reinforcement for student wellbeing

Parents aren’t left out of the equation either. Many of today’s management information systems also include a parental engagement feature to strengthen home-school links. “Nowadays, most parents expect to be digitally connected with their child’s school,” notes McGowan. “This can be done via an app, interactive portals on a PC or with direct SMS messaging or email. Timely updates on attendance, behaviour and progress keep parents engaged and informed, fostering a supportive home environment.”

This isn’t just about highlighting potential challenges, he stresses. Parents should be informed when their child does well, too. “When a positive notification pops up on a parent’s phone, it puts a skip in everyone’s step,” says McGowan. “Wellbeing studies show that positive reinforcement really does work because it helps students feel engaged.”

Sophisticated, personalised education for the future

Thanks to advancements in machine learning and AI, technology will be able to suggest appropriate support to improve student outcomes. “For example, if a student with a strong spatial bias experiences a drop off in recent maths tests, the system will be able to predict the intervention that will have the best possible outcome for them,” explains McGowan.

In the here and now, however, it’s making a transformative difference because schools that embrace this type of tech won’t just be improving efficiency. They’ll be inspiring students, empowering teachers and engaging parents in meaningful ways. “Ultimately, technology is more than a tool,” says McGowan. “It’s a catalyst for positive change, unlocking the potential of every student and paving the way for a brighter educational future.”

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