Modern educational institutions need to be powered by modern software solutions that benefit staff and students and make administrative and learning processes easy. A platform that can act as a centralized hub for all resources that are relied on is essential. If your school doesn’t have a specialized intranet and is using outdated software, you’re missing out on many benefits and improvements.
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What is education intranet software?
Education intranet software provides a specialized intranet platform that is customized to the unique needs of schools, colleges and higher education institutions. These platforms are a place for schools to share information that is relevant to students and staff alike – and can also do much more, like organize lessons, help people collaborate and act as a document storage space.
Essentially it is a place for a school to create a private network for teachers and students.
The benefits of intranet for schools, colleges, and higher education
There are many benefits to educational institutions that choose to invest in specialized school intranet software systems.
1. Provides a centralized location for sharing information
You can share anything that’s important for students and staff such as:
- Upcoming school events
- Good news stories
- School board information
- HR information for staff
- Employee or student success stories
- Links to resources on other websites
- Professional development opportunities for staff
- Policies and procedures
- Knowledge sharing between teachers.
Access to different types of information can be restricted to people with different access levels – for example, students' intranet access, parent portals, administrator views or teachers’ access.
2. Improves productivity for staff
Having everything in a centralized location makes life easier for teachers and administration staff. This includes:
- Task simplification
- Time saved finding information and resources
- Boosts inter-departmental collaboration
- Reduces duplication
- Common daily tasks like updating records and managing curriculum can be done online
- Helps to connect employees so they can troubleshoot and brainstorm.
3. Can help achieve regulatory compliance
Depending on the jurisdiction that your educational institution operates in, there can be certain governance requirements that must be adhered to – for example, privacy and security. Many school intranet software platforms are built to adhere to these standards.
4. Can help to reduce information silos
Many education institutions are very large, with hundreds if not thousands of employees working in different faculties, different campuses and even working remotely. This can lead to a general level of interconnectedness where people are not linked to the work that their colleagues are doing in other parts of the organization. It can lead to lots of unnecessary duplication, particularly if different teams have had to solve the same problem.
One of the advantages of an intranet is that it can help to break down these silos and help different teams to get to know each other and share information and resources.
5. Can create personalized learning options for students
Personalization can help to enhance learning for many students and helps to make them responsible for their own learning journey and outcomes. Some school intranets will let teachers customize the way they deliver coursework and set deadlines for students.
Key features of school intranet software
Different school intranet software systems have different features. In general, these are some of the key features that they have that can help boost information sharing and collaboration within educational institutions:
1. They provide ways to collaborate easily
School intranet software systems often provide a secure way for people to collaborate via different project management and collaboration tools.
2. Ways to schedule meetings and events
There are lots of different types of meetings and events that your school needs: from delivering classes and lectures to parent-teacher interviews and scheduling presentations and assessments. Teachers can use these functions to manage their class schedules. These tools have been even more important since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with traditional in-person face-to-face learning situations being disrupted.
3. A content management system
Content management systems provide you with ways to communicate with your internal stakeholders. This can include all staff and students as a whole or can be tailored to custom audience segments to provide them with a unique experience on the intranet.
4. A document management system
Many intranet platforms provide schools with a way to safely manage and store documents in a secure way. They have in-built permission systems to control access to these documents.
5. Corporate social network tools
There is a range of different corporate social networking tools that can be featured on school intranets. This can include forums, blogs, news feeds, instant messaging and group chat features. These replicate the social networks that staff and students use in their everyday lives and help to build your internal culture and improve collaboration and camaraderie.
6. Learning management systems
A good school intranet system will include a learning platform that can be used by staff and students alike. For staff, it can offer onboarding, IT training, professional development training and help people understand policies and processes. For students, it can involve the delivery of coursework and help them to track their progress.
7. A good search function
Many corporate intranets can become ineffective if people can’t easily find what they need. It can be hard clicking through different menus to try to find something, but users can be further let down by built-in search functions that perform poorly and deliver irrelevant results. A good intranet will have a robust search function to ensure that people can quickly find and access the information and resources they seek.
How to choose intranet software for your school
Every school has its own needs so it’s important to select an intranet option that will fulfill those and enhance the ability of staff to deliver excellent educational outcomes for students.
In general, you should consider these factors:
1. Does it provide a good user experience?
If the intranet software is too difficult to use and adds unnecessary steps to the employee and student workflows, they’ll become frustrated with it. A great intranet will deliver an enjoyable user experience.
2. Will it integrate with other systems?
Teachers, admin staff and students use a variety of different tools, systems and apps to do their work. Many of these can be successfully integrated with different intranet platforms to provide a more holistic, seamless experience and make it easier for people to complete tasks from one interface.
3. Will it be able to change to suit evolving needs?
School intranets need to be scalable and flexible and able to respond to changing organizational needs. This can include enabling different schools, departments and faculties to have their own spaces now and into the future.
3 intranet software solutions for schools
There are lots of different intranet software solutions on the market. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve rounded up a few of the best for you to check out:
A centralized digital hub with easy-to-use digital workplace tools to connect staff and students, share knowledge and build communities.
Software for educational institutions isn’t just for higher education intranets. Schoolbox is a platform for K-12 schools specifically designed to distribute information, act as an engagement platform and create learning experiences suitable for younger learners.
A platform for schools, universities and colleges to drive communication with staff and students and build gamified courses using an integrated e-learning system.
Empower your school intranet with DeskAlerts
Many educational organizations boost the effectiveness of their school intranet systems by using them in conjunction with DeskAlerts.
DeskAlerts is an internal communication software system that provides a range of tools and features to enhance information sharing, and engagement and improves outcomes. Besides its main function as a solution for important communication, this tool can be used for rolling out a new intranet ecosystem and to drive traffic to the intranet resources.
DeskAlerts is installed on computers, phones and tablets and alerts people to important information through pop-up notifications, scrolling desktop tickers, corporate wallpapers and screensavers, SMS notifications and push notifications from a mobile app. It can also be used to create digital billboards on any screen in your organization. You can also get instant feedback from staff or students by sending surveys, polls and quizzes.
Benefits for schools using DeskAlerts include:
- Send urgent or emergency communications to everyone on campus within one second
- The ability to send people new information that is on your intranet – such as news, announcements etc.
- Get people to RSVP to events instantly.
- Set custom audiences
- Send video content explaining new systems and processes and demonstrating how to use them
- Launch new intranet features
- As a multi-channel communications approach to enhance message recall.
Any step you take to improve communication in your school is a positive one: the benefits are enormous for staff and students alike. Get in touch with our internal communications experts today to find out how DeskAlerts can enhance communications in your school.
What is an educational intranet?
An educational intranet is an internal platform used in schools to share information, documents, knowledge and other resources.
What is the most popular intranet software?
The most popular intranet software in many organizations is Microsoft SharePoint as it integrates with Office systems.
How can the intranet be used in school?
Intranets in schools have many uses. They can be used to share documents, forms, timetables, research, video content, news and more. They are also a place that can connect with other systems and apps and provide social networking opportunities for staff. Different types of schools will have different needs: for example, a university intranet gateway will have more in-depth requirements than an intranet for an elementary school.
What is social intranet software?
Social intranet software has social networking functions built in such as blogs, news feeds, comments sections, chat facilities, wikis and instant messengers.