Features and updates
Using automated rostering to reduce interruptions and maximize instruction time
December 7, 2023
Today’s teachers know the value of limiting distractions and maximizing instruction time.
On average, they spend more than half their working time on non-instructional, administrative tasks. During their valuable instruction time, they also have the challenge of keeping students on task while fielding an average of more than 15 interruptions per day from tardy students, teachers and administrators dropping by, school announcements, and other external factors.
So, when it comes to using edtech, teachers need everything to work seamlessly — limiting even small interruptions can add up to more hands-on teaching time.
Automated rostering solutions enable teachers to reduce downtime caused by out-of-date student information. By using common exchange standards, rostering solutions automatically pull up-to-date student roster data from the school system’s Student Information System (SIS) and feed that data into the connected applications and platforms being used by those schools.
How automated rostering benefits school systems, teachers, and students
Student data frequently changes as students transfer schools, drop or add classes, switch teachers, or make any other changes that affect their course schedules. When a school system is not using automated rostering, teachers must maintain and import updated CSV lists for every class into each application they’re using.
If a student’s information has not been added to an application, they may not have access to it. The teacher must then take time away from instruction to add the student, often causing several minutes or more of downtime for the entire class. On the other hand, if a student is no longer in the class but still has access to the application, that student may be costing the school system unnecessary licensing fees.
Automated rostering ensures these updates happen consistently without requiring manual teacher or IT administrator intervention. When students come to class, they are automatically set up with access to the appropriate applications, reducing the risk of downtime and distraction.
There are also security upsides to using automated rostering. CSV files pulled from a school system’s SIS often contain personal student information that can make students’ identities more vulnerable to cyber thieves and prying eyes.
By contrast, reputable automated rostering systems offer the ability to customize which student data points are shared with vendors. The process of transferring that data is also more secure, typically leveraging multi-factor authentication and encryption to protect students’ information.
Best practices for choosing a rostering platform
With several competitive rostering platforms to choose from, there are a few factors school systems can consider when choosing a rostering provider:
- Reputation and user base
There are a number of reputable rostering platforms available for the education space, so it makes sense to partner with a company that works with similar school systems.
LanSchool Air is compatible with both Classlink and Clever. These providers have a well-established track record in edtech and serve thousands of school systems across the country.
- Support for open standards
Both ClassLink and Clever support the OneRoster® standard, which simplifies and streamlines data transfer from schools’ SIS. OneRoster® was designed to securely and reliably exchange roster information, course materials, and grades between systems.
Using open standards like OneRoster® maximizes a rostering platform’s compatibility with the widest range of edtech applications, giving your school system access to automated rostering across more applications.
- Ability to customize the data being shared
ClassLink and Clever also give school systems control over which data they choose to share.
ClassLink enables schools to modify SIS data to meet the OneRoster® standard, add metadata, merge files, and more. It also offers an upgrade option called DataGuard that allows schools to mask Personally Identifiable Information (PII) when sharing data with third-party vendors.
Clever provides an easy-to-use interface that enables schools to specify the data they want to share with each application, be it for an entire school or specific individuals or classes.
Options for your unique LanSchool environment
LanSchool Air just recently added Classlink as an automated rostering integration option. Along with Clever, ClassLink provides ready solutions that sync with any SIS rostering changes upon login so students can remain focused and ready to learn.
In environments combining LanSchool Air and Chromebooks, importing rosters from Google Classroom is simple. For the schools that do not currently use an automated rostering provider, LanSchool offers the option to manually upload CSV files in either version of the software.
LanSchool knows that teaching time is valuable and every moment counts. Having options when it comes to automated rostering eliminates the need for a recurring manual process, reducing the chances of human error and giving educators more time to focus on their most important work: inspiring better student outcomes.