Sunday, September 5, 2010

Leveraging your Student Information System

Four years ago, St. Christopher's School had over 10 databases that held every imaginable piece of information. To make matters worse, none of the DBs spoke to each other and in some instances the flat nature of the DB allowed only one user to view or edit information at a time.

In an effort to reduce the number of DBs and also allow for various members of the community to share information, we moved our data onto WhippleHill's combined website and student information solution. The move to their system could not have been a better move for us. And as a heavy user, having access to so much information has made it easier for our school to leverage other systems.

So what exactly am I doing with the information stored at WhippleHill?  We're using the userid which I'm pretty sure is serving as a primary key of sorts at WhippleHill as our student's ID for a variety of other applications.  For example, student ID's are now standardized for ERBs, the Library Check Out System, and DyKnow.  But as an AlertNow  and PickaTime subscriber, I fairly confident that those IDs are being used through their respective APIs as well.  As I look to the future, my hope is that we will start to use this number for Point of Sales transactions for our dining hall and bookstore..

Is this anything new?  Hardly! But there are still plenty of schools that miss out on how to leverage one of the most powerful DBs at their school.

Getting Back in the Saddle

My blog has been neglected for too many months.  It's not due to a lack of things to write about but more a time issue.  Fortunately, my PLN but more specifically @raventech wrote a piece on For Startes; Neglect is not an Option which for all intensive purposes has gotten me back in the saddle.

I have lots to share in the coming posts and I look forward to everyone's feedback and constructive criticisms.

Let's hear it for the 2010-2011 school year to prompt a fresh start.