For a majority of the past 50 years learning models at the primary and secondary levels of education barely changed. A teacher or lecturer would stand at the front of the classroom explaining ideas while students would sit and listen. This model of education is often referred to as “the sage on the stage.” In the last 10 years teachers began to empower students to accept more responsibility for their own learning, a pedagogy referenced as “the guide on the side”. Technology then transformed the K-12 classroom as the Blended Learning model of education was introduced. Today, students at the earliest age of education are using computers and tablets, and teachers are utilizing screens to illustrate aspects of their lessons. Physical textbooks have been replaced by online interactive services that are up to date and in depth, allowing scholars to explore and learn at their own pace. The digital age has enabled teachers to utilize formative assessment tools and get real time data to individualize and drive improved instruction.
The Evolution of K-12 Instruction
It is extraordinary to think about how much change these past weeks have brought to the ongoing evolution of K-12 instruction. When we look back on the last two months the words “necessity is the mother of invention” have never been truer. Teachers were challenged to change the way they teach out of necessity. Parents, out of necessity, found ways to work from home, parent, and collaborate with teachers to instruct their children. One cannot help but be impressed with the many stories of compassion, bravery and unfailing dedication of our human family while navigating the ecosystem of this new normal. And yet as we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we recognize there is more to be done to re-imagine the post Covid-19 American educational system. If social distancing is still a reality in the Fall, and we expect it might be, the flipped classroom pedagogy might become a popular method of instruction. Such a model would be a hybrid in which students would experience both remote learning and time in the classroom interacting with peers and their teacher.
Parents of students enrolled in K-12 classrooms today are millennials born with digital DNA. They are quick to evaluate schools on the level of technology which has been integrated into the teaching and learning process. Over the past few years these parents have been laser focused on evaluating the technology utilized in the classroom and over the past few weeks have been carefully examining the effectiveness of the synchronous and asynchronous distance learning schools were challenged to introduce. Yet for many of these parents integrating technology into the teaching and learning process is just the tip of the iceberg. K-12 schools need to cater to the digital expectations of the parents they serve – people who are constantly exposed to digital technologies in their professional and personal world who have come to expect the same digital capabilities from the schools their children attend. If we are honest with ourselves the new normal of distance learning has taught us that many schools have some work to do to catch up to both the 21st century pedagogies and the tools of managing the business side of education.
In schools there are always collections for field trips, extracurricular activities and the like. Parents normally send cash to school and perhaps a hard copy of a permission slip. The classroom teacher collects the cash and checks along with permission slips and does the appropriate record keeping. All this distracts the teacher from focusing on student instruction. This process is a headache for both the parents and the teachers and it leaves many millennial parents asking the question – why can’t school transactions mirror life and be done digitally with a click and a swipe, from anywhere, at any time and from any device?
As if the expectations of millennial parents were not reason enough to integrate more technology into the business side of education, in light of the current pandemic and the new normal, school leaders must ask themselves – how comfortable will parents and school staff be handling cash, checks or envelopes in the future?
Bursari – The Next Generation Transaction Processing System
To meet the expectations of millennial parents and ensure the health and safety of all members of the community, schools are going to have to begin to embrace and market electronic giving. Marketing e-giving means more than posting on the website and sending a reminder home to parents. It means a concerted effort that is addressed in a coordinated way. It means using a transaction processing platform with bank level security. It means using a transaction platform system that is intuitive, simple, easy to use and powerful. It means using a transaction processing system which provides parents, alumni and friends with a familiar “Amazon” like experience which mimics the digital world in which they reside. Bursari, powered by Fiserv, was designed to be all of that and more. Process transactions today and continue processing when we return to the new normal waiting for all of us.
For those of you that have not yet already joined the many satisfied Bursari users, we strongly urge you to visit Bursari.com for more information and to sign up today. There are no sign-up fees, no maintenance costs, nor any long-term contracts. Find out for yourself why Bursari is the preferred next-generation transaction processing system for schools, churches, sports organizations, and numerous other community enterprises.