When managing school photos, make digital media your servant, not your taskmaster
Recently, in #EdChat, the popular Twitter feed for educators, there was a quote that summed up why our software for easily managing school photos and other digital assets, SchoolBench, is important for teachers’ career paths.
Anyone who aspires to be a school leader should aim to be a digital leader too. It’s just the world we live in.
That was tweeted by high school principal, David Geurin, and was accompanied by yet another quote that raised the stakes and underlined the importance of principals embracing improvements in “tech” in their schools, too.
— David Geurin (@DavidGeurin) March 6, 2018
In this article, we are just going to focus on one aspect of tech in schools by looking at it through the lens of managing school photos and videos.
Why managing school photos is a litmus test for tech-savvy
Through our work with schools in implementing SchoolBench software, we have noticed how the headlong rush to embrace the ease of taking photos and videos in schools has not been matched by adopting smart ways of managing the influx of digital assets.
In fact, as we’ve mentioned previously, not only do many schools have to resort to manually sorting images by hard copy, to identify students before publication, but many photos and videos are NOT being stored because the process of capturing them from teachers and staff is too cumbersome and time-consuming.
There is a big difference between being tech-savvy and being able to shoot photos and videos with phones or cameras.
For the teacher aspiring to leadership, as David Geurin alluded to earlier, the pursuit of greater tech literacy would extend to finding ways to speed up the process of transferring and saving digital files into school systems.
However, as we have found, many schools do not have the IT infrastructure to cope with either the volume or the indexing of hundreds of new files every day.
Meet SchoolBench: The bulk media updater for schools
When a school integrates SchoolBench into its existing network, it achieves three outcomes.
- It makes the capturing of digital assets lightning fast
- It makes the indexing of digital assets easy, accurate, and fast
- It gives teachers, principals, and staff, the ability to embrace state-of-the-art technology to save time in their daily responsibilities
For now, let’s look at the transfer of photos from a phone or camera, into a school network with SchoolBench.
Instead of having to work through images individually, groups or folders of them can be dragged and dropped into the SchoolBench interface via Wifi, a wired connection, or directly from media like SD cards.
But just “dumping” a pile of images, even if it is faster than manual methods, does not help the school unless they are indexed.
This is where SchoolBench excels, in three, simple steps.
Firstly, the teacher or staff member with the collection of images being transferred, simply selects those images for updating.
Next, data properties can be assigned to them from available fields. For example, users can choose from a list of school classes or home groups because SchoolBench cross-references the date/time embedded in the files with the school calendar to narrow down the options of what context most likely applies to the images. Alternatively, SchoolBench offers some open fields for users to create a meaningful title, such as 2018 Old Scholars Annual Dinner.
Finally, once these labelling decisions have been made, every single file has those properties assigned to it, en masse, so that they can be easily sorted and found when it is time to publish newsletters, class updates, or produce school marketing material. As an aside, SchoolBench uses facial recognition to automatically append student names to files, and it also cross-references parental permissions so that when a user does search for images, they only get files that match the search criteria with the relevant permissions for use.
And this brings us to a closing quote from David Geurin, who said, “digital leadership isn’t just about using digital tools. It’s about creating a culture that leverages the power of digital resources to support overall learning.”
We believe SchoolBench is precisely situated in that zone, removing friction from digital asset creation so that teaching and communication outcomes can be strived for with technology as a servant, not a taskmaster.
If you’d like a SchoolBench demonstration for your school, please contact Parashift on 1300 769 809 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.