The quality of a nation’s educational system is predicated on the success of its schools. Ensuring success is a responsibility that belongs not only to teachers, but also to the leadership of school organisations, such as its Board of Directors or Board of Governors.
For such an enormous task, the role of technology cannot be underplayed. It supports the ability of school boards to focus on their responsibilities, work towards school goals, and govern in an effective, impactful manner.
The use of a board portal, such as Praxonomy, is one of the ways in which technology can empower and transform the way school boards lead.
These are some of the benefits that school boards can derive from using a board portal:
1. EFFICIENCY: Cost-savings and better allocation of resources.
“Is it worthwhile to invest in a board portal?”
Given budgetary constraints, this might be the initial question school board members might have.
Interestingly, a board portal solution is an investment that just might pay for itself.
Board portals allow for paperless meetings. The ability to build and store digital board packs eliminates the need for prepping, binding, and delivering traditional paper board packs to members in geographically dispersed locations. The cumulative amount of time and money spent on administrative tasks associated with school board meetings can be significant for schools.
This Paperless Savings Calculator computes how much your school can save.
Shifting to a “paperless board” enables school organisations to allocate resources to initiatives or activities that generate greater organisational impact.
2. SECURITY: Mitigate financial and reputational risk.
School boards sometimes deal with highly confidential information, whether it be identifiable student data, sensitive campus and student issues, and/or financial information. Schools can become desirable targets for hackers.
In fact, Verizon’s 2020 Business Data Breach Investigations Report states that the education industry had over 800 security incidents, twenty-five percent (25%) of which involved confirmed data disclosure. The motives for the breaches run the gamut: from financial, to fun, to convenience, and espionage. Like many other industries, phishing was a primary method used for attack.
The use of email to disseminate information to the Board places the institution at risk, both from a financial and reputational viewpoint.
Board portals are an effective, viable alternative to emails for school board communications.
Board portals are limited to authenticated members, and typically have built-in messaging functionalities for members to utilise. This limits the need for email, and minimises the risk of school board governors falling prey to phishing or other cybersecurity attacks.
3. ENGAGEMENT: Easily collaborate with fellow directors or governors.
It’s not often that school board directors all find themselves in one location, except perhaps for official school board meetings. But with board portals, this need not be a challenge.
A premium board portal will not only have messaging functionalities, but also annotation features for uploaded files, discussion areas, task tracking, and centralised document access. Discussions can take place with the click of a mouse.
By utilising these capabilities, school board members can proactively and remotely engage with each other before, during, or after school board meetings.
4. TRANSPARENCY: Ensure that processes are traceable and auditable.
Schools have a wide and varied set of stakeholders. There are the students, parents, teachers, alumni, administrators, employees, and the community at large.
If any one of these stakeholders require appropriate information from the school board, board portals ensure availability and retrievability of data. Information stored on board portals are traceable, version-controlled, secure, and tamper-proof. In addition, they can be exported and shared as necessary.
5. GOOD GOVERNANCE: Focus on the important work.
The concept of good governance for school organisations matters just as much as it does for corporate entities. School boards are confronted with a milieu of concerns at any given point in time. A board portal solution minimises or eliminates issues (e.g. from administrative to security concerns) that hinder them from doing the work they need to do. Adopting a board portal solution enables the school board to focus on better decision making - which inevitably impacts the welfare of educators and students as a whole.
In conclusion, the benefits of utilising a board portal for educational organisations allows school boards to do their job – and to do it well.
The impact of technological solutions that enable school boards to work effectively and efficiently is far-reaching, not only from a financial angle but also from a societal standpoint. Success can be critical. When schools succeed, communities thrive.
Carissa DuenasCarissa Duenas is a marketing consultant and content contributor for Praxonomy. She began her management consulting career at Accenture and has since worked in a consultant capacity for leading organisations in the technology sector and communications space. She is a contributor to The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national daily.