What to look for in project management software for education
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
The days of being able to just show up to a brick and mortar school to do your thing have ended. Now, education is more fluid, with both face-to-face and distance learning options.
From virtual lessons to digital progress reports and online parent/teacher conferences, education continues to shapeshift into a technological sphere.
We’re at a point where educators are required to use project management software or risk contributing to a future without education — something the world can’t afford.
In this article, we’ll cover what to look for in an educational project management tool before giving you our best recommendation.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to do your part in making the world a more educated place for students and teachers alike.
Software for education: the rundown
Before we dive into specifics, let’s start by going broad and covering some commonly asked questions about using project management software for education.
What’s project management software for education?
Project management software for education is any kind of digital platform set up to take care of an entire school’s contact management, data management, budget management, staff management, and anything else a school needs to operate efficiently.
Before software came around, educators were managing with traditional tools like chalkboards, overhead displays, posters, charts, books, journals, logbooks, and paper attendance sheets.
Educational teams collaborated in meeting rooms and teacher lounges, and reports were sent home in crisp brown envelopes.
It was practically the Stone Age.
But times have changed. Now, educators rely on digital tools like slideshow presentations, emails, and digital records.
Teams meet on video or use collaborative tools like task management boards, chat features, and file sharing to create a more connected education team.
How software has changed and improved education
It’s no secret that software has created unlimited opportunities for educators and students.
Imagine what would have happened if the COVID-19 pandemic had struck and we didn’t have access to such advanced technology.
How long would students have gone uneducated?
Would they ever return to school again once things got better?
It’s frightening to think about.
That’s not the case, thankfully.
Since educators have access to software systems they trust, they have: organized records, an easily accessible curriculum database, streamlined student progress tracking, practical report making features, and a means of communicating and conducting classes online.
Students can save precious time by taking classes in their jammies at home, instantly uploading assignments, and receiving due date reminders to turn those assignments in on time.
Universities, colleges, and districts can see an overview of what’s happening at all of their campuses with just a few clicks. Directors also have an easy way of reviewing important records and school details.
Here are a few more incredible benefits of advanced project management technology for education:
- Easily plan and keep lesson plans in order: organize curriculum by theme, level, tool, and lesson number.
- Quickly access important information: pull up attendance databases, student progress reports, and assignment details.
- Collaborate efficiently: collaborate with other staff members, department heads, parents, teachers, and students with a few clicks.
- Easily customize your tools: enjoy the benefits of software for all educational levels from elementary school to grad school and beyond.
What features should you look for in educational project management software?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to features that support teachers, directors, and students, but the important thing is finding features that make the most sense for your specific team.
Embrace what’s useful and ignore the rest until they become useful too.
Here are some examples:
- Interactive whiteboard: ours has an extra special collaborative twist!
- Parent/student update tool: use monday.com’s ‘Updates’ section to keep everyone in the know.
- Homework reminders: our ‘Deadline Mode’ notifications will send reminders about upcoming assignments or projects.
- Good behavior awards: give your students the best gift: a free account with monday.com. You can also throw in our Student Organizer template to help students get extra organized.
- Team collaboration tools: choose from numerous options like monday.com’s file sharing tool and messaging feature to communicate with teachers, students, and parents.
What educators should look for in project management software
When deciding on a project management solution for your school, you have to determine what’s most important for your team and what they need to properly educate students.
Below, you’ll find a few examples of project management functions that will help a school thrive.
1. Managing virtual sessions
“Education is linked to progress in virtually every area of human development – from child survival to maternal health, gender equality, job creation, and inclusive economic growth.” -Gordon Brown
More than 1 billion children around the world are still out of school because of COVID-related lockdowns.
This means you have to provide virtual sessions, or you’ll remove the ability for some students to receive an education.
Make sure whatever software you choose has a built-in video feature or a video integration option. You’ll need to be able to stream live videos, record videos, access digital lessons, and slides. Any platform you choose should have screen sharing capabilities, annotation tools, and an interactive whiteboard.
Make sure that you’re not limited on meeting attendees, either.
You need to be able to provide access to all of your students at the same time. It’s also helpful to have a digital waiting room where students can wait while you finish up the class before theirs.
monday.com’s Zoom integration is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Prefer Google Classroom or another video platform instead? Use an app like Zapier to connect it to monday.com — problem solved!
2. Tools to manage communication
Managing communication is one of the biggest issues educators deal with.
If you’re a teacher, you’re probably nodding your head in agreement right now.
You have to communicate with a range of students, department chairs, academic advisors, other teachers, and parents if you teach younger students. To avoid burnout and save loads of time on pointless meetings, educational teams need communication tools.
Here are some recommended tools that will help you manage communication:
Task management tools: a solid management tool will allow you to prioritize tasks, assign tasks/responsibilities, and manage tasks from planning to completion. This can be done using checklists, Kanban boards, table views, etc.
Custom staff member roles: assign roles to teachers, teaching assistants, directors, department chairs, etc. You can also choose the level of access you want to give each user. monday.com also offers guest access, so you can invite students and parents to view necessary assignments, updates, and tasks.
Document/file management tools: manage your documents, send a task list, and attach files, lessons, and student assignments. You’ll love how quickly you can find something with our built-in Search Everything feature.
Collaboration tools: collaborate with teachers, professors, department chairs, parents, students, professors, and more. Engage in important collaborative activities like file-sharing, assigning tasks, uploading assignments, and resource allocation.
Covid update tools: stay on top of recent news, rules/restrictions, student covid absences, teacher/student quarantine alerts, and more during the ongoing crisis. Add monday.com’s News Updates’ widget to your boards to see the latest Covid news from the most reliable sources.
Feedback tools: this will give you a space for parents, teachers, and students to provide feedback, post updates, and leave questions on assignments, homework, and whatever else is needed. Make sure your software has an updates section to keep everyone up to speed.
AI tools: using artificial intelligence can speed up routine processes like sending automatic reminders and messages about exams, due dates, upcoming school events, school holidays, graduations, and official exams. We have just the right blend of integrations and automations to save you from countless hours spent performing mundane tasks.
Scheduling tools: you’ll want to use tools like calendars and timelines to manage staff member schedules, create personalized learning schedules, organize school events, schedule course dates, create a course calendar, schedule class sign-up dates, create a school calendar, schedule graduations and commencement ceremonies, and more.
3. Tools to manage student progress
Managing student progress is one of the biggest concerns educators have. Trying to find the best, most accurate way to do this hasn’t always been easy.
The main challenge educators face is having the right tools to manage progress correctly, consistently, and efficiently. Teachers are stretched thin as it is, so they need tools to make their job easier, not harder.
The best way to be successful at managing student progress is by having strategic student progress reporting features.
You’ll need tools to easily manage progress reports, semester grades, grade point averages (GPAs), exam grades, and anything else you use to measure student progress.
Some examples of tools you could use are spreadsheet views, digital columns, analytics and graphs, digital grids, custom fields, and customizable templates.
Here’s an example of monday.com’s Gradebook template (just one of our favorite student progress templates).
4. Tools to manage teacher administrative work
Part of being a teacher is dealing with a lot of admin work.
Teachers need to be able to plan lessons, manage detailed student notes, grade student work, organize grades, and manage other housekeeping duties.
Here are some features we recommend that will help teachers breeze through admin work without sacrificing quality.
Sometimes teachers have to juggle planning the school picnic, decorating for pep rallies, and managing school fundraisers, all while planning student lessons and projects. Teachers need tools to stay organized in a way that’s easy to manage.
Teacher note tracking features, commenting features, and student feedback features
Teachers take a lot of notes to consistently track how a student is performing. This could be commenting on homework assignments, noting student strengths, tracking areas that need improvement, and more.
Student data management features like attendance templates and event planners
Managing attendance, absences, tardies, permission slips, field trip info, study abroad info, and other forms of student data is another major part of teacher life made easier with the right software solution.
5. Tools to manage databases
Whether you’re running a college, university, language academy, or elementary school, chances are you’ve got loads of databases to manage on the regular.
Here’s what we recommend to make it easier:
- Plenty of storage for important things like semester grades, progress reports, official exam grades, and documents like curriculum standards, course details, and syllabuses. We’ve got loads of storage plus a Google Drive and Dropbox integration.
- Medical records management tools to store immunization records and other important medical details like food allergies and disabilities.
- Data management tools to store and manage admission applications, transcripts, enrollments, tuition, student contact info, room and board, and tool updates.
Why monday.com exceeds expectations
We currently help more than 100,000 teams manage daily workloads, employees, teachers, students, operations, budgets, plans, and anything else they need.
So what do educators love about monday.com?
We exceed every educator’s expectations with our easy-to-use lesson planning features, communication tools, updating tools, and literally anything an educator would ever need to thrive.
Teachers appreciate the work transparency that comes from using monday.com. They can jump to a collaborative board to help other teachers plan new units, access important updates in real time, refer to student gradebooks across multiple classes, and share important assignments with parents and students.
monday.com helps educators run their entire school or classroom, all in one Work OS.
That means no more bouncing around endless tools, programs, spreadsheets, and filing cabinets. We built our platform to sustain your work needs from top to bottom and save you stress and time.
More reasons to love monday.com:
1. Our student program: we have a student program that gives free accounts to students and educators. Say what???
Yep. Students, educators, and teacher assistants from accredited colleges, universities, and undergrad programs can utilize the power of monday.com to balance assignments, school events, grades, social activities, and classes.
Easily access monday.com from any device and breathe easier knowing your tasks, grades, and student progress notes are in order at all times.
2. Our educational discount: for highschool students — 16 and up — or students in educational fields outside of the student program, we have an educational discount.
To receive the discount, fill out a quick form for approval. Once you’re approved — typically within 72 hours — simply choose the yearly plan you want and apply the coupon at checkout.
Have a tax exemption? Make your purchase, send our support team an email, and we’ll let you know once our billing department processes the refund. Scroll to the bottom of this article for detailed instructions.
3. Our teachers are happy: teachers are over the moon about us. Read this touching story where we proudly quote an awesome educator saying, “monday.com has made me a better teacher.”
Teachers can finally be free from the burden of scattered stacks of paperwork, handling mountains of grades, and keeping up with admin work and other housekeeping duties. monday.com eases the stress that teachers feel from wearing many different hats and juggling countless to-dos.
How to use monday.com for your school
Put an end to micromanagement and time-sucking school meetings with our Team collaboration tools like this lovely Team Task Management template.
Use our Working status feature to see your team’s availability, office hours, out of office hours, and when they’re working from home.
Easily check the project status of assignments, reports, and other important tasks with our Status column.
Track student attendance and tardies with our Attendance Sheet template.
Keep up with important Covid school rule updates and classroom updates with our Updates section.
Use our Timeline features to track dates for exams, school holidays, and school events. You can find an example of our timeline widget below.
Stay on top of student progress every step of the way with our Progress Tracking column to track student assignments and project progress.
Share files with parents, students, teachers, and staff with our file sharing features. Check out our cool File column.
Host virtual sessions to conduct lessons, exams, and important meetings with our Zoom integration.
Stay on top of student grades and overall work quality with the Class Grade Book board (AKA every remote teacher’s dream).
Want to learn more?
Read this account of how a linguistics team uses monday.com to manage their educational courses.
Still curious? Read more stories here.
Whether you’re a teacher, director, or student, we promise you’re going to love managing your schoolwork with monday.com.
We’ve got all the gadgets you need on a reliable platform to get you wherever you need to go.
Trust us to help you provide the best possible education for your students with a reliable project management system. Get started today with a free trial.
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