10 Ways You Might be Underutilizing Your School CMS

School website administrators have to know more about and understand the offerings of their school content management system so that they can maximize its benefits. If you are a faculty member, school official, or school website administrator, here are some of the top features of a CMS that your schoolmight be underutilizing:

Single Sign-On

SSO refers to a single authentication process where you can use your existing username and password for Google, Microsoft 360, or other online platforms to sign in to the CMS platform. A CMS that offers this process allows its users to leverage the features and services of such platforms, which are mostly integrated within the content management system itself. This feature is not only convenient, but it can also prevent users from getting phished or falling for other cyber scams.

Personalized Calendar

A good school CMS has a personalized calendar feature that enables teachers to come up with a list and schedule of activities tailored to each class, club, or department. Such a feature helps avoid missed assignments, homework, or tasks. The calendar feature can send alerts to remind students and parent about these items. This is a great way to ensure an individualized learning experience for each student and to update parents of their child’s progress.

Class Pages

A class page, meanwhile, is a place where collective assignments, group work, or announcements can be disseminated for the entire class. You can even post photos and videos of events and activities in these pages. Think of a class page as a virtual bulletin board where all happenings are posted and seen by all. This is a great way to foster camaraderie among classmates and to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to group activities such as field trips, prom, etc.

ADA-Friendly Features

A school website is subject to the Department of Justice’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design, as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These statutes basically require websites to be accessible to differently abled individuals such as those with hearing or sight impairments. To achieve this, a school website must have features such as text-to-speech, high visual contrast text and images, and the like. School content management systems have implementable ADA features and guidelines that enable schools to comply easily.

Social Media Manager

It is just as important for a school to be present in social media platforms as it is to have a website. But sometimes, maintaining various social media accounts can be a tedious job. A CMS that has a social media manager allows you to juggle all these accounts with ease.

With this feature, you can post content such as videos and photos to your accounts straight from the CMS platform. Plus, you can make sure that the messaging across various social media channels is consistent.

Cloud Office Suite Integration

A CMS that provides Internet or cloud-based office suite integration enables you to store and access files from any computer or device at any time, anywhere. This is a very useful feature for schools that have multiple locations and campuses as it allows teachers and school website administrators to access information and data whenever and wherever needed. You can update your school website even while traveling or on the go. Most cloud solutions also provide generous storage space so that documentation, backup, and data archiving are also made faster, easier, and more convenient.

School Newsletter

A school newsletter is a great way to share information with students and their families. However, producing a school newsletter can betime-consuming. Just like putting together a newspaper, or any other traditional publication, you would need articles, photos, and other materials from contributors.

If you are still building newsletters the old-fashioned way, then you might have missed your school CMS’s integrated newsletter builder. Using files and photos from your computer or cloud storage, the newsletter can be patterned after existing templates, put out in electronic format, and distributed to the entire school community.

Automated Form Creation and Collation

Back in the day, parent slips, sign-up sheets, and the like were printed on paper and passed around manually. Nowadays, your school CMS allows you to save significant resources through online form generation, dissemination, and collection. You can quickly create templates and forms for parent approvals, field trip participation, and other events. Once they’ve filled these forms out, students and parents can send back their response electronically as well. These can then be routed to relevant school departments and archived properly for future reference.

Online Store and Donation Collection

If you are wondering about a more efficient and safer way to collect money from students for fees, donations, and the like, then check out your school website CMS for a neat online store feature.

The Stores feature acts like a virtual marketplace where you can safely transact, do sales, or run a fundraising drive without actual money changing hands. Students and parents can send money electronically, and everything is accounted for. This is a great way to sell tickets to prom and other school events, and for the school to sell merchandise such as jackets and shirts.

Parent-Teacher Communication Apps

A comprehensive school CMS provider may offer a dedicated parent-teacher communication app that can help ensure an open line of exchange between the school and parents. While there are many methods of communication available today, a dedicated communication app is more private and secure. It also ensures that school-related information and discussion is given a proper channel. Whenever a parent or student receives a message through the app, they know it is important and has something to do with school matters.

Choosing the Right School CMS

If you haven’t taken the time to go over your school CMS, make sure to do so and find out the various features and functionalities it offers so that you can make the most out of your investment in such technology. A good website provider should be able to work with you and tailor fit a CMS that has features that are of best help to your school staff and student population.

 

Author: Robin Gupta