Whether you’re an administrator in a private school or a public school system, and whether your focus is on K-12 or post-secondary education, there is no question that the education industry has historically been heavily reliant on paper. As technology has evolved in recent years, so too has the way school offices and district administrators work. Electronic document management solutions have fundamentally changed education, creating cost efficiencies, eliminating redundancies and unnecessary delays and streamlining processes.
Here are the top five ways document management technology is changing education:
1. Replacing Paper Forms with Electronic Versions
The biggest change is arguably the digitization of the reams of paper records schools must keep. However, document management is more than simply scanning and saving records in a digital format. Schools also use document management to create electronic, fillable forms for everything from admissions forms and permission slips for parents and students to travel and expense reimbursement forms for administrators, teachers and staff. When combined with automated workflows, electronic forms cut down processing time, create transparency for users and significantly reduce the risk of forms becoming lost or delayed in processing.
2. Improved Security and Privacy
With the paper-based approach to record keeping for schools, information was only as secure as the locks on the file cabinets where records were stored. With document management technology for education, administrators have control over provisioning access rights. That means records access can be controlled and limited, so only authorized personnel can view student and staff information. Access can be turned on or off, and expanded or tightened, with just a few mouse clicks, so school administrators can have greater peace of mind knowing they’re in compliance with data security and privacy laws.
3. Cost Savings
With tightened budgets in most school systems, administrators are being tasked to do more with less these days. Electronic document management makes that less of a struggle by markedly reducing paper and printing/copying costs, not to mention the costs associated with maintaining paper files. Without the need to print, file or retrieve paper records, the burden on staff is also reduced which allows employees to focus on more involved tasks than filing.
4. Customized Automated Workflows
With the ability to create and customize workflows, it’s easier and faster for schools and district offices to manage multi-step processes such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, admissions application processing and more. Electronic document management solutions with automation facilitate the movement of forms and documents from one user or approver to the next, using built-in logic to direct information to the appropriate person or department. This speeds up processing time and improves accuracy and consistency, meaning enhanced service for parents, students and employees.
5. FERPA Compliance
Last but not least, electronic document management also makes it simpler for educational institutions to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA.) Schools can create and use electronic forms to manage and track requests to review student records, change those records, and capture the necessary parental permission required before sharing student information. Treeno’s document management solution includes a detailed, built-in audit trail, so it’s easy to demonstrate compliance if audited.
These are just some of the ways document management has changed the education industry. If your school office or district administrative office is not leveraging the power of electronic document management, it’s time to explore how you could benefit from making the move to digital records and automated workflows. Contact Treeno Software today to find out how to revolutionize your school or district office!