Cheatsheet: How to make your ed-tech work for you

Cheatsheet: How to make your ed-tech work for you

By John de la Motte

Like AI, machine learning, and educational software aren’t just changing the way students are educated, they’re transforming the way schools and classrooms are run. Almost every element of a school can benefit from implementing technology to speed up or automate existing workflows. With so much administration now expected of our educators - from reporting to student wellbeing, it can seem like teachers are no longer able to focus on what they’re passionate about - educating the next generation. So after a long summer break, it’s time to take a fresh look at how your school runs and try to take some of the pain out of your week so you can get back to doing what you do best: helping kids thrive.

Here are 5 workflows that can be automated so you can get out from under a growing pile of paperwork:

Roll Call

Let’s be real here - teachers didn’t go to uni to mark the roll. While the roll is extremely important from a student welfare perspective, keeping up with attendance can be time-consuming, no matter how necessary it is. But marking the roll doesn’t have to take hours from a teacher’s already crammed week to maintain. There are plenty of solutions that can not only digitise the process of roll marking but also use the data to inform parents or teachers if worrying patterns around lateness or absenteeism are starting to arise. School management systems can even be set up so a parent gets an automated text message if a child is absent without explanation so skipping school never goes unnoticed.

Excursions and events

So much admin work goes into organising school events and excursions and while they’re a critical part of establishing a school community and broadening the learning environment, they can be cumbersome and tricky to organise. Technology can help coordinate parent communications, approvals and payments, it can also help communicate with stakeholders in real-time so everyone knows what’s happening and where they need to be.


Cashless canteens are the future. With some simple tech you can make canteen queues a thing of the past. By integrating online ordering processes, adding a simple point-of-sale device and timesaving order-tracking, you can create a canteen of the future. You can get rid of the student squabbles that happen when they’re hangry waiting in line for food, there’s no handling of cash by volunteers or students and you can even reduce waste by understanding inventory and ordering.


Oh the pain of sickbay! Technology can help ease those woes. With simplified check-in and check-out systems and report generation which helps you document symptoms in seconds, note severity and treatments. You can even use school management systems to keep parents, carers and teachers informed so you can minimise concerns by automatically informing them when their child has checked in (and out of) sickbay.

School fee payments

Whatever the size of your school community, there are always challenges to address when it comes to managing school fees. With school management systems you can set the cost of subjects, establish flexible payment options (like setting instalment dates), and track the payment status of each student so you spend less time chasing fees and more time on building a stronger school community. With an influx of purpose-built technology for the education sector, learning models will continue to evolve, become more personalised and streamline how schools are run. However, one thing is certain - the role of teachers in the classroom has never been more important. We want technology to help educators focus on teaching and not get weighed down by admin.

John de la Motte is co-founder and CEO of Compass Education.