Reselling school management software

Is reselling a school management software is a good business model?

With the millions of schools all across the globe, the business opportunities associated with selling products and services to schools are endless. As the term school can signify all kinds of an organization where the process of learning happens, it can include kindergarten, primary, secondary, higher secondary, colleges, universities, coaching schools, etc. School management software is used to digitize and optimize the daily operations of these different schools starting from student admission to timetabling to assignments to examinations to student placement. The software takes care of the entire life cycle of a student within the school. As this software saves a lot of precious time of school teachers and administrators, there is a high demand for the software. Let us explore the trends and business opportunities of school management software in this article.

Global Trends Leading to Massive Business Opportunities

  1. The fast growth in the number of schools

More and more new schools are being started every year by the government, education enthusiasts and foundations. In India lone in the last 10 years, government schools grew at a CAGR of 1.2% and private schools at a CAGR of 4%+ [source]. That is more than 10,000+ new private schools started in India alone. Similar trends are happening in other developing nations where population growth is high. The new private schools started either come under the category of affordable school or premium school. There are a lot of non-profit foundations helping affordable schools to optimize the educational experience of students from rural areas. School management systems help these foundations to digitize the data to understand the impact of their interventions.

  1. Global digital transformation trend 

There is a global digital transformation wave sweeping all industries. All kinds of businesses from large scale manufacturing to small scale businesses are getting online and digitizing their daily operations. Another important player in this trend is the government. Globally all government is pushing for more digitization to pursue transparency and speed in servicing the citizen. Because of this trend, no business can stand-alone without connecting to the digital mesh connecting all digitized businesses and services. As a result, schools are also buying school management software to keep up with the trend. Since school operations are equally or more complicated than a for-profit business, it demands software in different functionalities. See also – https://fedena.com/blog/2019/10/top-18-school-administration-software.html

  1. Digital-first millennial parents, teachers, administrators, and school owners

Millennials(those who are born after the 1980s) and digital natives(those who are born in the 1990s) are taking up jobs in school. The millennial parents have started sending their kids to school and looking for digital tools to communicate with the school and keep in touch with updates about their kids. Similarly, the teachers and administrators joining the school with good computer skills can easily participate in the digital transformation. These factors are creating trends in more demand from schools for school management software initiated by parents and teachers.

  1. Internet of things & AI

Along with digitization, smart hardware on the internet of things network is reaching schools. These hardware are producing enormous data that are meaningless without connecting to a school management software and communicating to the different stakeholders like parents, teachers and school owners. This along with the increasing capability of artificial intelligence(AI) creates demand for high-quality school management software to function as the base layer of all communication.

  1. Global changes in the economy

This is the time of major shift happening in the global economy and more focus is being given on the previously ignored quality factor of the education sector. There is a shift from the oil economy to the education economy happening in major oil-producing nations. All similar global trends with the changing economy bring attention and budget to improving education and starting more quality schools.

Why Resell school management software instead of developing a fresh solution?

Schools don’t follow a simple operational procedure as we assume it to be. This wrong assumption is coming from our experience as students where everything was managed well by teachers and administrators. The only major processes and tools we were aware of was the timetables and examination coordination. For a school to operate properly it requires hundreds of functionalities starting from admission management of students to human resource management of teachers to online fee collection to inventory management. All these complex activities have to be designed and configured under a single software for the school management software to work properly. This complexity can not be understood unless you work with different schools for couple of years before coming up with the first piece of software which will also be an incomplete one. And it will require multiple developers, tester and product managers to work relentlessly for many years to produce good software finally. This is true for all advanced software. 

As a result, it is good to go ahead with reselling the rebranded version of a proven school management software. It will save lot of cost and time. Above all, you do not need all the schools as your customers. Ten premium schools or a good government project will be enough to get you to ROI and profit.

How to resell school management software?

Most of the school management software will have a reseller program which includes training and marketing support. Fedena has a unique reseller program named as Fedena OEM Partner program, where the school management system can be completely rebranded and sold to thousands of schools. The different packages give different privileges like full access to source code, marketing training etc. Fedena has been onboarding and helping OEM partners to succeed for the last one decade. So contact our experts today!

Fedena 3.8

Fedena 3.8 with 2 New Features & 14 Enhancements

Analytics Dashboard? Enquiry Module? Sound something which you have been waiting for a very long time.

But finally the wait is over, we are here with our new release Fedena 3.8 in which we are not just introducing 2 new features but also bringing 14 feature enhancements and 50+ issues fixed. This time we have named our release Prometheus, a significant perturber of Atlas.

With this release, you can view and keep track of all the applications regarding new admission, enquiries of parents/students about courses, collect fees amount in advance and later use it for the future fee’s payment and much more.

But before we jump to the exciting part, we would like you to know that this time we have dedicated this release to an educator “Who Promoted Storytelling”, Vivian Gussin Paley, a pioneering teacher and widely acclaimed author who emphasized the importance of storytelling in early childhood development.

She wrote 13 books about their social and intellectual development, including how they learn from telling stories, and received a MacArthur “genius” grant in recognition of her work. Her best-known works include “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play” (1993), the title referring to a rule she laid down in her classroom to teach children about rejection.

What is New in Fedena 3.8?

New Features:

1. Enquiry Module With Analytic Dashboard

The Enquiry module with the Analytic dashboard, where admin can view all the applications regarding new admission, enquiries of parents/students about courses, also linked the academic year to get a complete admission flow for the year.

2. Advance Fees Payment:

This feature allows to collect the fees amount in advance and use it later for the future fee’s payment such as transport fees, academic fees and more. 

  • First enable this feature from the Finance settings >> General settingsAdvance Fees
  • Next, in Fees>>Advance Payment for Students create Advance Fee Categories and collect advance payment from students/parents.

Advance fees

  • This advance fee will then be available on the payment page in Pay All Fees.

Feature Enhancement:

1. SMS Revamp:

  • Editable Templates

System generated automated messages can be customized as per your requirement and messages that are sent repeatedly can now be saved as templates. Create templates for students, employees and guardians.

Message template

  • New SMS Actions

New SMS actions for Gradebook schedule exams and publish results, transport send notifications route wise (Transport>Send Notification), and Birthday notifications for students and employees (SMS>Birthday SMS).

  • Send SMS to Groups

The new groups feature (under collaboration) allows you to create groups of users (students, employees and parents). Create custom user groups for events like activities, special events, etc. Notify these users from the SMS module.

  • UI Improvements

A new SMS log filters Automated and Custom messages and groups messages based on the content for better readability. Trace message sending failures faster. 

One single Send SMS link for students, employees, guardians and groups.

2. Leave year and Automatic leave reset in HR

With this feature, you can automate the leave addition process through a year and complete the year-end leave transfer process effortlessly. The leaves will be automatically processed within a leave year. However, you will have to conduct an end-year process to calculate the leaves that can be carried forward to the upcoming leave year. Learn how to step up the automatic leave reset.

3. Email Alert Revamp

You can now make use of the Multiselect users within a user type and ‘Send to all’ options to ease the process of sending emails. Format the email content as required using the Rich Text Editor. Also, you can add 5 attachments up to a total of 10Mb with each email.

Email alert Revamp

4. Session-based Save and lock, and related changes in Attendance

You can now lock the attendance after a day or week. Enable the lock option in attendance settings and set the duration as to when you wish to lock the attendance. The attendance will be locked automatically based on the set duration. 

Or you can directly lock the attendance by clicking on the Submit button on the attendance register page. Attendance for that date will be locked irrespective of the duration that is set. Also, now you can generate the PDF/CSV report of the Attendance register.

Check out the issues fixed in Fedena 3.8 release: Release Note

Fedena 3.8 Release note

Prometheus: Fedena 3.8 Release Note

About this document

This document contains information about the new and enhanced features in the latest release of Fedena. We strongly recommend that you read the entire document.

Fedena 3.8 Release

What’s New in Fedena?

Here is the list of new features included with this release of Fedena 3.8

Feature

Description

User Role

Module

Enquiry and Registration

Enquiry

  • A new graphical dashboard for the combined enquiry and registration module.  Navigate to the module from Menu > Applicants
  • Parents/students can enquire about a course with the new Enquiry module before filling out a detailed Registration form
  • Linked to academic year to get a complete admission flow for the year. Open and close enquiries for a year.
  • Create and manage different stages of an enquiry. Assign enquiries to counselors to manage the process
  • For successful enquiries, convert to registration with the click of a button. The unique URL generated allows the user to fill up the registration form easily
  • Enquiry forms can be easily embedded in your institution website also
  • Other features include reporting, configurable form fields like office fields, source of information, etc.

Registration

  • All registration related configurations need an academic year. Your existing data will remain under a default year called ‘No Academic Year’
  • Registrations are also grouped under the academic year. Course level form customization has been moved to Applicant > Applicant Registration Settings > Registration Form Settings 
  • Receive notifications for every new application or as a daily digest via email.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Applicant

Advance Fee Payment

This feature allows collecting fees in advance and using them in scheduled fee collections. Create Advance Fee Categories and collect advance payment from students. This advance fee will then be available on the payment page in Pay All fees.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Finance

What’s Enhanced in Fedena?

Here is the list of enhanced features included with this release of Fedena 3.8

Feature

Description

User Role

Module

SMS Revamp

Editable Templates

System generated automated messages can be customized as per your requirement and messages that are sent repeatedly can now be saved as templates. Create templates for students, employees and guardians.

New SMS Actions

New SMS actions for Gradebook schedule exams and publish results, transport send notifications route wise (Transport>Send Notification), and Birthday notifications for students and employees (SMS>Birthday SMS).

Send SMS to Groups

The new groups feature (under collaboration) allows you to create groups of users (students, employees and parents). Create custom user groups for events like activities, special events, etc. Notify these users from the SMS module.

UI Improvements

A new SMS log filters Automated and Custom messages and groups messages based on the content for better readability. Trace message sending failures faster. 

One single Send SMS link for students, employees, guardians and groups.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

SMS

Email Alert Revamp

You can now make use of the Multiselect users within a user type and ‘Send to all’ options to ease the process of sending emails. Format the email content as required using the Rich Text Editor. Also, you can add 5 attachments up to a total of 10Mb with each email.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Email

Gradebook changes

You can now create Term Exam with only activity exams

Maximum marks of each attribute will appear on the report card within the brackets when the attribute profile is used in Gradebook.

You can use the rounding off option in the gradebook planner settings  page to obtain the marks as required.

Gradebook report now has an option to upload students’ photo at the place of the secondary logo.

New CBSE Gradebook Template is added to the custom templates.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Gradebook

Finance changes

You can give privilege for no discount during fee collection. Front office executives who collect fees will not be allowed to give discounts. Only the finance department with approval by the principal/school owner can do it.

Settings

You can use the ‘Suspend Fine calculation after fee payment’ option to stop fine calculation after core fees is paid and you can remove computed fine for a student. 

With the invoice settings, you can control due and paid amounts in Invoice PDF

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Finance

Leave year and Automatic leave reset with changes in settings

With this feature, you can automate the leave addition process through a year and complete the year-end leave transfer process effortlessly. The leaves will be automatically processed within a leave year. However, you will have to conduct an end-year process to calculate the leaves that can be carried forward to the upcoming leave year.

Important:

  • Once this mode is activated, you will have to follow certain steps to use it. Firstly, create credit frequency and credit type for each existing leave type.
  • To manage the leaves, create a new leave year and activate it. Then, select the date on which the last leave reset was carried out (reference for the upcoming leave credit).
  • With this update, you no longer have to manually do the entire process. By using the Leave Credit Setting, switch to the automatic mode of crediting the leaves. The manual method will be selected by default if this setting is not configured.
  • Decide when the leaves will be credited. To enable user-defined mode, we have custom based. To credit the leaves according to the calendar, that is on the 1st of any set duration, we have Calendar based.
  • After the configuration is completed, the leaves will be automatically processed within a leave year. However, you will have to conduct an end year process to calculate the leaves that can be carried forward to the upcoming leave year.

HR Settings

You can define the Number of Working days (NWD) for each month. LOPD and NWD are added under default categories in the LOP settings

Rounding off is possible in each of the payroll categories as well as in the net pay in payroll settings.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Human Resource

Session-based Save and lock, and related changes

You can now lock the attendance after a day or week. Enable the lock option in attendance settings and set the duration as to when you wish to lock the attendance. The attendance will be locked automatically based on the set duration. 

Or you can directly lock the attendance by clicking on the Submit button on the attendance register page. Attendance for that date will be locked irrespective of the duration that is set. Also, now you can generate the PDF/CSV report of the Attendance register.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Attendance

Search books by additional details

It is now possible to search for books in the library using the additional fields that were recorded at the time of adding each book. Instead of scrolling down through the dropdown to filter the required additional detail, just enter the search criteria.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Library

Payment Gateway Account Split

Payment Gateway account split framework has been done and the same is implemented with Razor Pay. You can use this feature to direct the cash flow to different accounts.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Online Payment

Show grade and total marks in percentage in GPA transcripts

With this feature, you can show the grade and total marks in percentage in GPA transcript. Select the Final Marks Calculation mode as Weighted Marks mode and use the Settings link in this mode to configure additional information in the report card and transcript.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Examination

New Push notifications and Message attachment

Receive push notification on collecting fees, publishing album and exam reports, approval/denial of leaves, attendance marking and news (announcements)

You can send attachments via Message

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Multiple Modules

Report Modifications

Additional column option added for transport fee, student-wise fee defaulters and student-wise transaction report.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Multiple modules

Direct login to schools by client admin users from the accounts panel

Client admin users (school owners) can now directly login to their schools from their accounts panel by clicking on the domain name near the URL.

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Date in words field and A4 landscape option

Using this feature you can have all the dates in words  and you can now use the A4 Landscape option in Certificate Generator and Add additional details

Administrator, Privileged Employee

Certificate and ID card generator

Issues Fixed

Here is the list of issues fixed in this release of Fedena 3.8: 

Finance

  • Fees are not showing under the batch after the fee collection update
  • Expense for a day will not reflect in the finance dashlet if there is no income recorded for the same day.
  • Pay all fees: Advance fee amount showing double in the payment history
  • Cannot edit/delete fine after deleting associated collection

Human Resource

  • Number of days present showing wrong in the payslip
  • Leave types that are common are getting updated on resetting leaves by leave group even if the leave type is not selected.
  • Joining date of an employee is not being considered in the “Number of days present” in view payslip.
  • Wrong LOP Calculation when LOP is deducted from each payroll category
  • “Save as a Report Template” button is not working in Payslip Management

Gradebook

  • Grades are not getting displayed in ‘CSV Report’ of consolidated Gradebook Reports
  • Change in total marks calculation for the subject groups of Gradebook
  • Not able to import the marks in Gradebook
  • Gradebook Report generation fails when second custom template is chosen with graph enabled
  • Maximum marks of each attribute should be hidden when we enable ‘hide marks’ in gradebook
  • Consolidated report throwing 500 error in the gradebook
  • Not able to unlock the exam and the students are marked as absent when we select any past date for ‘Mark Entry Last Date’ in Gradebook
  • Maximum exam mark displayed in the Gradebook report when Hide Mark is enabled
  • Marks are not getting displayed in Gradebook reports when Scoring is ‘Marks and grades’ , enable ‘Hide marks’ and then Scoring is changed to ‘Marks’
  • Total percentage for consolidated report with type as planner exceeds 100
  • Grades are not reflecting on the report card even though if it is successfully submitted.
  • Derived exam score is wrong when Decimal marks are considered for the totaling

ID Card Generator

  • The students name are showing in both the batches if a particular student was transferred within the same course
  • Issue with the background image of ID card during bulk generation
  • In ID Card generator field codes of Father’s name and Mother’s name is taking the “Other” relation’s name if “father” or “mother” text is given along with any text in the “other” relation’s textbox
  • Missing immediate contact in ID card templates

Applicant Registration

  • Not able to Submit Applicant registration Form

Attendance

  • Attendance is not locked
  • My attendance percentage is showing wrong in both daily and subject-wise attendance
  • Guardians are not receiving notifications when the attendance is marked via web application
  • Day-wise attendance register should show non working days and holidays as such
  • Attendance report: Overall mode throwing error if we select all subjects
  • Subject classes count showing wrong in the attendance report

SMS

  • SMS is not being triggered when a payment is made from particular wise fee payment page
  • Guardian doesn’t receive the sms when the sms is sent by checking ‘select all’ checkbox
  • Need to prevent multiple submission in send sms pages
  • Missing translation in sms module

Timetable

  • Elective subject name is not displaying in teachers timetable

Subject Center

  • Not able to delete elective group

Settings

  • Able to delete a subject after assigning to any Employee and able to delete an Elective subject After assigning to any Student

Examination

  • Unable to see the grade and percentage of old batch transferred student transcript report

Transport

  • Report generation failed status is showing while exporting csv in the transport fee report
  • Transport Fee academic year assigning issues

Assignment

  • Assignments missing when teacher who created assignment is changed in the subject
  • Batch transferred students are also listing while creating assignments for elective subjects

student's engagement during holiday season

How to Keep Students Up-To-Date During Holiday Season?

The end of the year is the festive season with many schools, colleges and educational institutions slowing down and going into a vacation mode. During holiday season, students too tend to get distracted more easily as the focus shifts to spending time with their family and friends rather than the books before the students. This can prove to be a challenge for teachers and educator as they struggle with ensuring that the students stay focussed on their studies. Another challenge that teachers face is to ensure that the students complete and submit all the work on time, ensuring their productivity is on an upward trend.

In traditional schools and colleges, this can be seen to be a major task for the teachers. But with technology to their aid and with the help of school management software, it is easier than ever to ensure that the students stay motivated and remain excited about their academic achievements.

Here are a few strategies and school management software features that keep student’s updated during the holiday season:

1. News

The news feature of the school management software allows the administrator or the privileged employee to publish the latest school related news and academic updates for the day. These can be access by the staff and the students and helps to keep them abreast of all the latest campus happenings during the holidays, which will be visible for all the users on their dashboard.

news feature in school erp

This campus news which is easy to create and publish can not only be textual but can also include videos and images to make it more interesting. Additionally, the administrator can allow for comments to be added to the news to make this feature more interactive for the students. 

2. Discussion

Another strategic way for schools and colleges to keep students engaged through the discussion feature in the school management software. Through online discussion, students, teachers, and staff can interact with each other despite the holidays. This module helps the students and teachers to interact with each other through discussions and comments. This is a moderated discussion and unwelcome comments can always be deleted by the school administrator. They can interact and exchange ideas, discuss grievances and build a stronger and more engaged student and teacher community.

3. Poll

With the help of the Poll feature, the school can seek and collect the opinions on a particular subject from a group of selected members. This poll can be done anonymously without revealing the identity of the person and can be extended to a pre-selected audience for the purpose of analysis.

Polling feature in school erp

4. Gallery

The institute can share important screenshots and pictures with the students or employees by creating an album in the gallery module of the school management software. Public albums that update the students with the various events and activities of the institute can be shared so that even when the students are on a vacation, they are updated on the school happenings. By sharing these images, the students also get excited and motivated to resume classes when the holidays end. 

gallery feature in school erp

5. eMails

One of the most common methods to send regular updates to the students and the parents is through the use of emails. These mails help the schools keep the parents and students updated on a regular basis. Emails also enable to school to send essential communication to the teachers, parents and students such as fee reminders, exam schedules, meeting updates etc.

Emails can also be sent to the alumni to engage them for career guidance and training activities for mutual knowledge exchange.

Additionally, to reduce the burden on the administration, the school automatic emails can be set up for a particular set of recipients on specific events

6. Task

The Task module of the school management is used by the school administration team to assign tasks to the staff or the students by their teachers or management team. Once the students or the staff receive the task, they can then upload documents and put up periodic updates related to the task assigned to them. They can also receive feedback, comments and further instructions related to the task for further follow ups.

task feature in school erp

During the holiday season, this task module can be used to not only remind the students about the assignments that they may have but they can also post their progress updates related to the holiday assignment and receive feedback on the same. This helps the students to stay focused and on track with relation to holiday studies and home assignments. 

7. Google Docs

Another essential tool that teachers can use to engage with students during the holiday season is the use of Google Docs. Google Docs are available to view and upload in the Fedena school management software for the logged in employee or student. This integration allows the user to login with google credentials and upload/download the google docs with ease, thus making it easy for the students to upload or download their holiday assignments.

google document feature in school erp

The holiday season, while it is a time for rest and relaxation for the students, does not necessarily mean being cut-off and isolated from school work. With the help of the various technological tools given above, the students can continue to stay connected with their school, peers and teachers. The period of time, when used well can also be used by the students to give themselves the extra boost that will help them ace their exams with ease.

Open Source School Management Software

Pros & Cons of Open Source School Management Software

Opensource projects and products are the results of the wonderful collaboration between great minds all across the globe. The majority of our internet and business runs on top of opensource software without our awareness. And there are opensource software available for any kind of organization to manage their day to day operations. The school management software industry is also not different. But is it a good idea to choose an open-source school management software for your school? Considering the unique nature of users in a school like teachers, admins, etc. and their technical expertise, we need to check in-depth the pros and cons of opensource school management software:

Pros- Why Is It So Good?

  1. Free to download & setup which makes the initial cost almost zero. You don’t have to pay anything to get the software
  2. Free to modify the software according to the unique requirement of your school. You are not limited to what the software has already.
  3. Free to reuse in other branches of the same school or you can share the modified sofware to other schools. Also no limit on number of users.
  4. Free to work with any development team. You can hire a developer from your locality.
  5. Free to host the software anywhere. You can host it online or in computer within the school campus.
  6. Opportunity to learn same coding and develop computer science skill for interested teachers.
  7. IKEA effect. Your users will use the system more efficiently because they also participated in building it.
  8. Very reliability as the software is developed by multiple independent developers and code reviewed by hundreds
  9. High security factor. Since the source code is open, it will be audited by experts in the field.
  10. It is fun ultimately using a self customised open source school management software improve collaboration between users.

Cons- Why It Is Not So Good?

  1. Problem with support. You can’t expect developer community of the software to prioritize your needs.
  2. Require technical knowledge in customising and debbuging the software for optimum use.
  3. Need technical skill in hosting the software and optimizing for scale so that it can be used by hundreds of users at th same time.
  4. Since most of the open source software are designed keeping the developer in mind, therefor the user experience is not friendly for non-developers.
  5. Long term cost of open source software can go more than proprietory software if you don’t hire the right resources.
  6. You won’t be able to use an off the shell open source software as it may not fit well for specific requirement of your school.
  7. There is a higher probability of open source project to be orphaned by developers leading it.
  8. Training video or documentation  for end users may not be user friendly for school teachers.

The following infographic presents clearly the advantages and disadvantages of choosing opensource software in your school:

open source school management software

payment gateway for educational institute

How Payment Gateway is the key to success for your Educational Institution?

Digital payments are everywhere nowadays. From booking tickets at the movies to paying school fees. Schools were one of the last sectors to adopt payment gateways for fee payments. Now it has grown to a level where schools can’t imagine operating fee transactions without digital payments from parents. The global payment gateway market is expected to cross $50billion by 2025. By that time schools and education markets will be one of the major contributors to this valuation.

So what is a payment gateway? When you do any money transaction online, the transaction is coordinated by a payment gateway company. For example, when you pay for a taxi booking app, the payment doesn’t go directly to the bank of the taxi booking app. It will be processed by an intermediary company that accepts the payment from your card or bank and informs the taxi booking app that the payment is received successfully. The payment gateway company transfers the money to the company only after some hours. Because of the presence of payment gateway, you experience the transaction as instant.

So how can a payment gateway help in the success of your educational institution? Following is a list of benefits with brief descriptions:

  1. Create a Quick and Steady Cashflow

Using payment gateways for your institution, you can ensure the cashflow availability far better than how it was earlier using demand drafts and cheques. Payment gateways transfer the collections of a day usually in the next few days and there are some payment gateways who transfer within a day. You can check with your payment gateway partner to understand more. So with the steady flow of incoming cash to the institution’s bank account, other activities can be planned & executed better using the resources usually allocated for fee collection and daily accounting.

  1. Forget the Usual Troubles of the Traditionary Payment Process

When you are collecting fees as cash, cheques or demand drafts, there is a lot of human intervention and long queues required. This wastes the precious time of both administrators and parents. Also, the risks associated with cheques like non-clearance are nullified by moving to digital payment solutions.

  1. Collect any Payments from Students and Parents Online

The application of payment gateway in your institution is not only limited to school fees, but also to any kind of payment from students and parents. It can be the sale of brochure and application form or collection of the admission fees. Once a payment gateway is dedicated to your institution, you can use it in various ways creatively.

  1. Quick & Detailed Reports at Fingertips to Help with Decision Making

With the integration of digital payment gateway in your institution, all the reports regarding fee transactions will be available in a single dashboard. You can see the total fee collected today, last day, last week, etc. and can generate graphical reports also. You can also see any failed transactions or fee payments where the transaction is successful but fee receipts not generated. All these reports will be instantaneous and based on last-second transactions. The flexibility and richness of reports will vary from payment gateways to payment gateways.

  1. Accept Payments from anywhere all Across the Globe

With the implementation of an online payment gateway, there are no boundaries for locations where parents can make payments. They can pay from any locations across the globe where internet connection is available. They just need a card or bank account that is compatible with the payment gateway, which will be clearly mentioned on the payment page. This is not only helpful for international parents but also for everyone who doesn’t have to travel to the school location and stand in a queue to make payments.

  1. Your Payment Collections work 24/7 without any breaks

The traditional payment collections worked only during office hours. With the payment gateway, there is no limit on the working hours. Parents can pay early in the morning before leaving for their day jobs or late in the evening after returning from work.

  1. No limits to the Payment Modes

Accept the payments from parents through multiple modes like Credit cards, Debit cards, Netbanking, UPI, different types of online wallets, etc. 

  1. Instant Communication and updates to Parents

The fee receipts for online transactions are generated instantly and the communication sent to parents in the form of SMS, emails or mobile app alerts. This helps the parents to understand whether the transaction was successful or not. There is no need to contact school separately to collect the receipt. The ERP software integrated with the payment gateway will generate the receipts which can be downloaded and kept for further purposes.

Payment Gateway Integration features in Fedena

Fedena – The award-winning ERP software for educational institutions contains all the required payment gateway integration features for your needs. The payment gateway integration can be enabled for transactions in student fee collection, applicant registration fee collection, etc. The parents have the option to pay from their account even by using the mobile app.

Payment gateway integrations available with Fedena

Fedena presently comes up readily integrated with the following payment gateways:

Fedena also allows custom integration with most payment gateways of your choice without demanding major customization works. If you are looking for a school or college management software with a payment gateway of your choice, contact our experts today!

myths of school software

Mythbuster: Small Institutes Do Not Need School Software? Think Again!!

Some owners and faculty of small institutes believe that school management software to automate the operations of their institution is not required. This belief is due to the fact that the number of students in those institutions will less than a couple of hundred or sometimes even less than fifty. Most of these small institutes are new schools that were started recently or training institutes that teach specialized skills like martial arts, dance, arts, etc. Some of the religion-based schools also fall into this category. There are many schools in this category creatively and efficiently using our Fedena School Software. So let us see what are the myths that prevent other small institutes from improving their overall operations with the help of school software. 

Myth 1: Paper-based records are enough for small institutes

This is a common myth that record-keeping on the paper-based system will be enough to operate the small institutes. This may stand true for the first couple of years. As soon as the institute operates in full scale, you will start noticing that the faculty are spending more time on paper-based administration and record-keeping activities than actually teaching or coaching the students. Another advantage is that with the school software, all the data across multiple years will be available in digital format to access in the future. Other than saving time and physical space, this will also help in smart decision making by the institute owner. 

Myth 2: School software is costly

Not all high-quality school software is costly. There will be different layers of pricing to choose from the provider. Since the small institute does not require advanced features, you can start with starters pack which will contain fewer features for a reduced price. After using it for a while, you can upgrade to an advanced package once the software starts producing ROI. There are also free and opensource school software available which you can download and start using for free but will require a technical expert to install and set up the software for your institution.

Myth 3: Small institutes need only spreadsheet software to digitize the daily operations

This should be the most popular myth as we have seen it in many institutes across the globe. Nowadays everyone is trained in basic spreadsheet operations and this motivates the faculty and owner to try using spreadsheets software to digitize their operations. Popular spreadsheet software used in institutes are LibreOffice and Microsoft Excel. Some faculty go a step beyond and try simple database management software that comes bundled with the office software. Even though it will improve the technology skills of faculty, this experimentation wastes lot of precious time and distracts from the purpose of improving the operations of the institute. As an institute operates in complicated algorithms, using a spreadsheet software alone will not help. Just think about timetable management or fee collection management using spreadsheets alone.

Myth 4: Dedicated faculty required to manage school software

You can come under the false belief of the need to recruit a dedicated faculty to manage the school software after going through the hundreds of functionality in it. But a good school software will be designed with users in mind. If you are a small institute, your existing faculty can be trained to use the school software along with their other daily tasks. Maybe in the future when the institute grows, you can recruit a dedicated expert.

Myth 5: Require high-quality computers to run school software

Some institute owners believe that school software requires high-end machines to operate. The price of high-performance laptops and computers are relatively high to purchase within the budget of a small institute. This is a big myth and on the contrary, the opposite is true. It requires a high-end machine with good RAM to operate a spreadsheet software compared to the school software that runs in your browser. And school software like Fedena can also be operated even from a low priced Android phone. So you a school software has the potential to bring down your IT purchase budget by even buying and refurbishing used laptops and computers.

Myth 6: Will start using when the institute grows big

Sometimes even the owner or faculty of the small institute who understands the true benefits of school software delays the decision to purchase the software only when the institute grows big. This will not be helpful as by the time the institute grows big, there will be a lot of past data to be digitized and many systems and the process will pose resistance to accept digitization change. So it is always a good idea to buy the school software as soon as possible.

Myth 7: Indirect or hidden costs

Those who are new to digital tool purchase fear indirect or hidden costs associated with the school software. Sometimes this will be true. So always look for good school software with transparent pricing and check with the sales team of the software to understand all costs associated with the software purchase and usage for the next three years. Also understand how the price changes according to the different variables like the number of students, number of users, mobile app, extra features, etc. A good school software will not have any indirect or hidden costs other than the pricing clearly mentioned in their website and brochure.

If you are the owner or faculty in a small institute, we believe all your myths are now busted. If you still have further doubts contact our experts for a free consultancy to guide you further.

School ERP Polling Feature

7 ways to use School ERP Polling Feature in your Institute

Nowadays most of the school ERP contains a polling module that connects the students, teachers, and management by sharing their feedback through different types of polls. The polls may be descriptive, numeric or multiple-choice questions that can be shared for polling to a single classroom or multiple classrooms at the same time. You can also run polls specific a department or all the teachers. The user will log in to the school ERP from their laptop or mobile phone and can submit the answers to the pool from a user-friendly interface. The results of the poll can be hidden or shared with everyone who participated in the poll according to the privacy settings. The results are displayed graphically in the form of bar charts or any other graphical formats available within the school ERP module.

The following are some of the uses of the School ERP Polling Feature within a single classroom led by a class tutor:

1. Lesson Progress Review

Teachers can use the poll module to conduct a survey after each lesson or an important section in a lesson. This survey can be done creatively to understand whether the students followed and understood the concepts properly. Instead of asking direct questions, you can ask indirect questions that connect to the core concepts of the lessons just finished. Do not see this as an examination to measure the grade of students. Use it as a smart feedback tool to measure the impact of your teaching. The results of this type of poll conducted frequently can generate in-depth reports on the learning ability and speed of the students in your classroom which might surprise you. Also, some students will share their answers more objectively in the polls than if asked directly in a face to face conversation.

2. Feedback on Teaching Style

This is another good poll to share with your students. You can gather information on what kind of teaching style is the best fit for the majority of students in a particular classroom. Then you can adjust the teaching style to fit to the majority’s requirement and give special focus to outliers. Multiple concepts on teaching style can be gathered like teaching speed, voice level, teaching aids, homework, classroom break, etc.. Then make required changes that you find acceptable and run the survey after a month to see the new feedback. Also, keep a note on the changes in academic performance with the changes in teaching style.

3. Self-Assessment for Students

This is a technique that you can use to show your students their own self-assessment without making it obvious. Since most of the survey or poll requires you to choose an answer from multiple questions, the students who are choosing the survey answers have to read through the different options. More than the result of the survey, the attention given by the students during the survey can be used to communicate and teach. By giving multiple-choice questions instead of asking poll questions that require descriptive nature, the students become aware of what else is possible or available from their studies. This will help your classroom to be more engaging and close the huge gap between students in their academic performance.

These are only three of the use-cases from all the possible ways you can use the school ERP polling feature. You can come up with more creative ways to use the poll feature within the classroom.

Now, let us look at some of the use-cases of the school ERP Polling feature across the school without limiting the poll to a single classroom:

1. Choosing the Location and other details for the School Trip

This is one of the most commonly applied functionalities of the poll module. You can run a survey across the entire institution or the specific classes included in the trip. More than receiving the location suggestions and the preference of the majority of kids, you can build enthusiasm and energy within the institution by making all students participate in the decision making. You can also leave the option to add extra suggestions that are not available in the multiple-choice to gather ideas on locations that you may not have thought before. Some of the students might have traveled to very good locations with their parents and enjoyed the trip. Now it is an opportunity for their friends and school mates to enjoy the same location.

2. Feedback about the School Facilities

This gives you a wonderful opportunity to collect feedback on the various facilities provided by the school. You can ask questions about the quality of bus transportation, canteen, library, etc. Also about the infrastructure like the classrooms, playing ground, sports facilities, etc. The feedback can be checked regularly to gather important information for decision making. This level of detail about the functioning of different facilities will be impossible without the poll feature in your school ERP.

3. Choosing Books for the School Library

Your students will love this poll. Asking the students about the books they want to see in the school library will improve student engagement in your school. Also, it will be an inspiration to the students who haven’t picked up regular reading habits yet. You will also be surprised to see the suggestions and choices of the students as the reading trends change with each generation.

4. Feedback on Teacher Performance

This use-case should be applied carefully as the students will not be measure teacher performance properly. So if this survey is used, use it as only one of the many data available to measure teacher performance. Students can rate the teacher on various factors like understandability, likeability, etc. Even though this information will not give the right information for you if you are smart enough to notice patterns and trends you will get many insights to help your decision making.

The above seven uses are only our limited suggestions for your school. You and your teachers can come up with more creative use-cases for the poll feature in school ERP.

digital marketing tools

Top Digital Marketing Tools To Accelerate Your Institution Growth

For schools and educational institutes looking to accelerate their growth in 2020, one of the best tools available to them is digital marketing tools. Not only are digital marking tools effective but they also offer great benefits to smaller organization especially educational institutions who may be short on the manpower resources and with a limited marketing budget. 

The use of digital marketing tools helps institutions with the perfect set of digital tools that give with a competitive edge while ensuring a high ROI – irrespective of whether you are investing your finances or your time.

There are numerous digital marketing tools that are available to the new age marketer that will help them reach their growth goals with ease and minimum investment. 

  • Engaging And Relevant Content

Marketing gurus often say that “Content Is King” and this is especially true in the digital marketing realm. Today, it is essential for institutional marketers to realize that as compared to advertisements, people are more likely to put their trust in reputable content. This calls for creating engaging and informative content that is appreciated by your target audience. The use of blogs as a medium of creating and sharing content not only serves as a platform for knowledge sharing but it also helps create a leadership position for the institution.

  • The Use Of Keyword Search

Today, for all of us Google is the foremost source of information for any answer that we are looking for. Therefore, it is essential that an institution or school develop a robust Keyword Search Strategy or Search Engine Optimisation strategy to attract the right audiences. This essentially means understanding the keywords or phrases that an individual would put into the search bar when looking for information and then strategically integrating the same words and phrases into the website content and blogs.

  • Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free-to-use tool that websites can use to track and analyze data about their traffic. It allows the institution to understand the number of visitors visiting the site, the source of the visitors (referrals or organic search, etc.), the keywords used by these visitors and the time spent on the pages of your website.

This equips your digital marketing team with the right information to customize the website to attract more visitors and ensure that they spend a longer time on the site.

  • Integrating Chatbots 

Chatbots are best described as software applications that mimic written or spoken human speech for the purposes of simulating interaction with a real person. These chatbots are an effective digital marketing tool that ensures that customers get the right information that they are looking for at the earliest. According to forecasts by Gartner, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human by 2020.

  • AI-Powered Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the newest tools from the future that digital marketers are using to promote their institutions. Artificial Intelligence helps by analyzing the data and predicting the behaviors of the target audience. AI eliminates guesswork from the marketing efforts and uses algorithms to increase productivity, ROI and create a better experience for the audience. AI helps to create digital marketing strategies will help brands market your brand more effectively and stand out from the clutter of other brands.

  • Virtual Tours Of The Institution

Very often it is impossible for parents or students to visit the school or the educational institution for a school tour. For times like this schools and colleges can incorporate virtual tours into their website. This allows the parents and students an opportunity to view their schools from any geographical location and feel connected to the school and the faculty. Besides virtual tours, schools also have the option of incorporating 3D images of their classrooms on the website so that parents can familiarise themselves with the school facilities and amenities.

  • Establishing A Social Media Presence 

Social media plays an important tool in helps educational institutions reach out to their target audience. Social media sites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram can prove to be very advantageous in helping schools to reach to potential students and their parents with the right engaging content that is friendly and informative. These platforms are very photo and video-friendly over time and can easily be updated with minimum effort. 

  • Regular Social Media Monitoring

While it is easy to create and build a social media presence, it is also important for institutions to invest some time and effort in monitoring these platforms. Regular monitoring of social media sites ensures that schools can proactively address inquiries and well as grievances. While this can be done manually, larger institutions can invest in tools such as Hootsuite, SocialMention, and Tweetdeck that help the school look for ‘mentions’ across social media platforms.

  • Increasing Parental Engagement with the School

Parental engagement is critical for the growth of the educational institution. Today, parents want to be involved in the academic life of their children and it is imperative for schools to understand this and look for digital tools that can optimize this communication. School management systems that have a communication module integrated into the software make it easy for the teachers to keep parents updated about the progress of the students. It also allows parents to communicate with the teachers when concerns or any doubts arise. This transparency in engagement and communication helps augment the trust that parents have in the schools and accelerates growth over time.

The use of digital marketing tools provides numerous benefits to the institutions. They help build an online presence for the school, build brand awareness, enhance productivity and engage the audience. This is all done with an aim to accelerate growth for the organization and achieve success for the coming years ahead. 

Advantages of Student Database Management System

Top 10 Advantages of Student Database Management System

Managing an educational system requires careful planning and time management. Today, a school has evolved into a complex institution with multiple campuses, manifold departments, several sections and a very large number of students.

For schools moving from a traditional paper-based data management system to a digital, automated system is a critical need of the hour. A student database management system in its simplest form uses a digital tracking system to maintain a record of all the students. However, in practicality, the system has much more complex functions. It maintains a record of every student-related data ranging from fees and financial records, examination records, transport facilities being provided by the school and availed by the students along with the usage of libraries, laboratory, computer lab and other school facilities used regularly by the students.

A student database management system allows schools to save and access these records as needed by them, thus simplifying the work of the school administration team.

There are multiple advantages to schools using a student database management system but let’s have a look at some top benefits of student database management system:

  • Streamlined Activities

The student database management system allows for reminders to set up for the various events and activities that need to be performed by the school administration team. It gives a comprehensive look at all the data on a single screen and ensures that all essential data is highlighted. This results in better productivity and growth with minimum effort.

  • Better Communication

A student database management system allows for easier communication between students, parents-teachers, students-teachers and even allows for the school alumni to stay connected with each other.

Instead of only relying on the school diary, the teacher can send instant updates to the parents related to school events, attendance, and even disciplinary issues over email or SMS. Students can connect with each other and with their teachers over on the discussion boards to clear their doubts and collaborate over assignments. 

  • Easier Management Of Transport

It allows schools to stay updated in real-time on the number of students using the school transport system along with their address. This makes route planning a lot easier. The system also helps the school and parents to keep track of the bus along the route and sends the parents regular updates in case of breakdowns, route changes or any delays. 

  • Simplified Admission Process 

The admission season can be a chaotic time of the year for every school, but with the aid of the student database management system, the process gets simplified for everyone involved. From managing applicant database online to accepting registrations etc. the prospective students can use the cloud-based system to submit the forms, upload essential documents, apply for scholarships, etc. The online system also makes it easy for the school to send students updates on admission tests, interview dates, reminders as well as the final admission status. This makes the admission process faster, error-free and more secure.

  • Faster Attendance Management

The attendance management system uses a biometric system or an access card to maintain a quick and accurate record of the student and school staff attendance. The system saves class teachers tedious minutes every morning calling out the class attendance and provides with the administration team on timely summaries and records of regular latecomers, absentees etc. when needed.

The system also allows for attendance updates to be sent to parents. It enables schools to track the attendance of the teachers and the various staff and calculate leaves and working days with ease and accuracy.

  • Report Management

The report center in the school database management software combines data from all different school modules such as attendance reports, transport reports, student performance reports, the fee due to reports, etc. The software allows for these reports to be customized and presented in a manner that aids the decision-making process of the school administration and management team.

  • Automatic Timetable Generator 

At the start of every academic year, the timetable is usually created manually and can be a frustrating and highly time-consuming task for the teachers. The use of a student database software automatically creates an efficient and effective timetable for schools. This automatic timetable is error-free and ensures the optimum use of all resources and school infrastructure such as laboratory, computer labs, and library, etc.

  • School Event Calendar 

The school event calendar which can be viewed and updated by the school on the school student database software helps parents to stay updated about the various events and activities organized by the school. It also helps the parents prepare their students for the various events and competitions mentioned in the calendar. In the case of any changes in the event calendar, the software makes it easy to notify the parents via SMS or email.

  • Effortless Assignment Management 

The assignment management plugin in the student database management software is designed to help teachers distribute homework and assignments to students, collect completed work, review it and provide feedback to students. Instead of manually managing these tasks the online software also makes provisions for the due date to be allotted to each assignment which makes managing the assignment effortless and simpler.

  • Increased Data Security

One of the best features of using technology to manage the student database is that it is very secure and ensures that all the secure school data is kept safe. The system grants access to only those with prior authorization, thus ensuring that all the confidential student-related data is kept secure.

These are some of the best features of using a student database management system. Besides these other notable features that are appreciated by users include the system being user-friendly, creating a paperless environment, easy customization and many more.

phishing attacks in k12

How K12 can safeguard against Phishing Attacks?

With the widespread usage of technology in K12 schools, the threats are also on the rise. As with any innovation, technology is also a double-edged sword that is misused by malicious systems and people to gain unauthorized access and privileges. Most of these technology threats are spread through networks connected to the internet. There are more and more advanced types of threats being revealed each day and the CIOs are finding it very difficult to catch up to the momentum of the threats in different forms. 

The schools are more vulnerable to cyberattacks like phishing attacks because the faculties are not trained to handle cybersecurity process effectively. There have been 712 publicly disclosed cybersecurity-related incidents involving U.S. public schools since 2016. Recently The Ava School District in the USA is struck by a ransomware attack. The teachers noticed the printers in the district printing mysterious ransom notes demanding money to get the stolen information back. Similarly, California’s San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) has discovered that cybercriminals recently used ransomware to lock access to district files. These are not random or rare incidents. There will be more unreported and unrecognized phishing attacks in K12 schools all across the globe. Even though there are many cybersecurity threat types, we will focus on the most common and easily deployable threat of phishing.

What is Phishing Attack?

Phishing is a homophone of fishing. Even though both the words have different meanings even while sounding similar, phishing can be visualized as technological fishing where bait is used to lure the vulnerable targets in sharing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. The attacker uses emails or instant messaging services like WhatsApp, SMS, etc. to disguise oneself as a trustworthy entity. Then the user is directed towards a duplicate webpage that is similar in look and feel to the original webpage. Most of the novice targets won’t be able to recognize the duplicate from the original and will give away the sensitive information in the forms present on the website.

Common Types of Phishing Attacks

1. Bulk Phishing

Here the attacker sends malicious communication to a bulk of people globally or to a specific organization or to specific geography. This way the attacker ensures some people will fall for the attack as the attacker is sending it to thousands of people at the same time.

2. Spear Phishing

This phishing attack is aimed at specific individuals or a company. The attacker spends more time in researching about the target to present the bait in a credible way. This increases the probability of success of the phishing attack.

3. Whaling

Whaling is a spear-phishing attack but targeted only at the senior management of an organization like CEO, CFO or CIO. 

4. Clone Phishing

In this, a previously delivered credible email with its content is taken and converted to malicious form and resent as an update to the earlier communication. This is done by hacking either the sender or recipient of the email before sending the phishing mail.

There are many other forms of phishing attacks categorized according to the type of medium(email, voice, text), the volume of impact, etc.

How K12 Schools can protect from Phishing Attacks?

K12 schools are very vulnerable to phishing attacks as school’s manages a lot of sensitive data and all the faculty will not be computer savvy enough to detect and defect a phishing attack. We propose the following tips to be followed to improve the resistance to phishing attacks in schools.

Tips for Users (Faculty)

  1. Always check the URL(website address) even if you clicked the link from a trustable source or person. Do not get fooled by the design of the webpage. The attacker might have created a similar-looking page.
  2. When you receive an email and the content feels to be suspicious, always contact the sender if you know the sender. Verify the authenticity before clicking on links or downloading the documents.
  3. Do not share personal data on the web in social media sites. The attacker might collect the information from these places to present trustworthy content for an attack.
  4. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible. In two factor authentication, you provide the OTP received through your phone number along with the usual username and password.

Tips for Admins (IT head)

  1. Promote usage of antivirus and other possible tools to detect phishing attacks. If budget is a problem, try free and opensource tools.
  2. Train the faculty through phishing simulations. Collect information on recent phishing attacks to K12 schools and simulate the scenario in front of the faculty audience.
  3. Frequently analyze incoming and outgoing web traffic to understand usual patterns and notice any strange patterns.
  4. Do a penetration testing to understand the weak spots and vulnerable users. Then correct the weak spots and educate the vulnerable users.
  5. Make it a practice to reward the users who successfully detect a phishing attack and then share the information with everyone.

Tips for School Owners

As a school owner, you have more responsibility in improving the cybersecurity of the school and training the faculty to navigate through unknown phishing attacks in the future.

  1. Hire an IT head for the school. If not a CIO, it is good to have a dedicated IT head for the school to take care of cybersecurity efforts.
  2. Educate the faculty, students, and parents on cybersecurity and how to detect phishing attacks. It is a good practice to conduct frequent seminars on the topic and invite experts in the industry. Most probably some of the parents of the school will be cybersecurity experts and will happily volunteer to train the faculty.
  3. Install only original and licenses operating systems and applications for usage of faculty. And always keep the OS, software and anti-virus applications up to date. If budget is a problem, choose opensource tools.
  4. It will be a good idea to have a defense strategy to handle future attacks. A defense strategy will contain what to do in case a phishing attack happens and sensitive information is leaked. If the faculty is trained on this, it will prevent the usual chaos after a phishing or ransomware attack.
  5. And finally, if you have many thousands of students and a lot of digitization effort happening in the school, go for a full-time cybersecurity expert like CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)

There are many other models of cybersecurity threats other than phishing. It is a good practice to read more about them and be prepared with a defense strategy in place.

tips for school management software

20 Best Tips For School Management Software

School Management Software is a program or application that helps schools manage their processes – like admissions, registration, class scheduling, financial management etc. – electronically. Think of every process-driven task in your school and it is likely that there is a school management system feature that will take over this task for you.

Largely, the school management software automates and digitizes multiple school processes in order to reduce the burden on the school while also increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Efficiency is increased because the school management software takes over multiple tasks that would other be performed by personnel, that are prone to human error and take time to complete these tasks that school managements finish much more efficiently and quickly. Cost-effective because they reduce the labor hours and man-hours for every school across the board. School management software is thus a necessary technology in this modern-day and age to ensure the efficient and effective running of a school.

Below we have highlighted some best tips which you can use while selecting school management software: