How the no-code movement is elevating educational institutions

Educators frequently need to adopt new curricula to help students make sense of their world and learn how to contribute to it in meaningful ways. Problem-solving, critical thinking, and digital citizenship are some recent additions to an already jam-packed schedule.

Teachers and administrators are often under tremendous pressure to incorporate new objectives and measure student success while managing existing programs and communities.

Trying to meet these expectations with one-size-fits-most legacy systems can be problematic. Jury-rigging existing systems to get them to perform functions they were never designed to do is inefficient. It can also be difficult to move data into and out of these systems for reporting and analysis.

Yet building one-off applications and collaboration tools with existing IT resources and limited budgets is neither scalable nor cost-effective. IT teams can be easily overwhelmed by a multitude of requests, resulting in months- or years-long delays before a solution can be conceived of, approved, built, and connected to existing systems. And then the training begins.

No-code solutions remove IT bottlenecks by enabling everyone to create their own solutions. With no coding necessary and user-friendly plug-and-play integrations, educators can log in and start building what they need in minutes.

Many schools and universities are turning to no-code solutions to save time and money, and ease administrative burdens. These solutions are flexible and scalable, empowering all staff, no matter their experience and comfort levels with technology, to build applications and create their own solutions without coding.

Robust integrations and a seamless API make it easy to plug into existing systems and move data where it’s needed with the least impact on IT resources and budget. Read on to learn how your peers are reducing administrative burdens and working smarter with no-code solutions.

Enabling data-driven decisions

According to Brookings Institution senior fellow Emily Gustafsson-Wright, “More than ever, in 2022, it will be critical to focus on strengthening the fabric of our global education system in order to achieve positive outcomes — particularly through an increased focus on data-informed decision making.”

Educators and administrators are leveraging the flexibility of Jotform Enterprise and its integrations to break free from legacy systems and leverage data for faster, more informed decisions. Moving beyond assessment metrics, data can answer many questions, including

  • Which programs need supplemental funding?
  • Do students feel safe and included at school?
  • What is the status of any given project or process?
  • What support do teachers need to do their best work?

The SAMR model, developed by education researcher Ruben Puentedura to frame thinking around classroom technology, can be applied to maximize transformational opportunities for administrative and professional development efforts.

As staff at Odyssey Charter Schools know, the applications of Jotform Enterprise are vast.

Administrators can digitize and manage the paperwork involved in funding programs with Jotform’s PDF solutions and Approvals. Admissions offices can save hours of time and reams of paper by replacing paper registration forms with online forms. Special education teams can streamline collaboration on individual education plans (IEPs) and 504 plans with student progress forms, automated email updates, and native reporting in Jotform Tables.

Improving community engagement and understanding

Recommendations from the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Guide to Building Culturally Responsive Schools include developing student interest surveys and establishing “clear methods and practices for collaborating with families and community members.”

The drag-and-drop experience of Jotform Enterprise welcomes even the most tech-averse to form building. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences saw firsthand how adoption of Jotform Enterprise spread once staff learned how easy it was to create online forms and workflows.

Webmaster Renee Hol designed a custom template with a basic enrollment form and shared it with the staff. Anyone can tailor it to their needs by simply swapping out form fields, widgets, and other elements.

Enhancing school data security

Any discussion about technology best practices should include the importance of security features. A recent report on data breaches shows that the education sector experienced more system intrusions than other industries, and the frequency increased dramatically over the last four years.

Many are raising concerns about the safety of student data. Technology researchers in the United Kingdom warn that, in the wrong hands, student data could be used to automate discrimination.

When evaluating technology solutions, first consider data protection and security standards. Look for features that minimize your risk, including encryption, dedicated servers, and single sign-on integrations.

Regular training can help staff maintain security best practices. Training will also maximize the benefits staff get from technology, especially those who may have adopted it reluctantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Replacing legacy systems and paper-based processes

No-code solutions can create a sea change in the way data is collected and managed. Jotform’s drag-and-drop form builder makes it easy for anyone to log in and build a form. For those who want a jump start, there are thousands of templates to streamline enrollment and attendance, teacher feedback and evaluation, and lesson plans and permission slips.

The multiuser structure of Jotform Enterprise makes it easy to quickly customize and share templates with colleagues for a consistent, on-brand experience. You can create templates for event registrations, parent volunteer requests, research project signups, and more. Use the form builder’s customizable email notifications and autoresponders to keep everyone informed and eliminate the need for manual emails.

Jotform Tables offers several viewing options to aid teacher collaboration, job sharing, and classroom management. Use the Calendar view to share lesson plans and planned assessments with substitutes or to schedule campus tours with staff.

Teachers can customize the Cards view to display individual student data at a glance, perfect for getting to know new students. It’s also handy for referencing professional development goals during classroom observations and professional learning community meetings.

Tracking expenses, donations, and budgets can be incredibly time-consuming. Finance teams and staff can benefit from digitizing expense reimbursement forms and automating the approvals process with Jotform Enterprise. Customize fields to track expenses by department, program, state, or federal status, or use a finance template to assess financial health.

No-code solutions provide educational institutions with opportunities to save significant time and money, mitigate stress, and make more informed decisions. If you’re ready to join the no-code movement or want to explore how it might free up a little time for staff, contact Jotform Enterprise sales. We’d love to hear about your challenges and goals and offer ideas to help your students and staff thrive.

AUTHOR
Lainie is a marketing communications manager at Jotform. With a passion for content that moves audiences and builds communities, she’s written for global firms, small independents, and nonprofits. Outside of work, Lainie enjoys live music, gardening, travel, volunteering, and the outdoors. You can reach Lainie through her contact form.

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