There has been much discussion on the benefits of student information systems and how they have given educators the opportunity to receive and communicate targeted and comprehensive information in real- time, allowing the focus to be placed on student achievement. And while today's educators can customize their student information system with tools that enable data analysis and enhance student assessment, they also have the potential to build a collaborative environment for another critical stakeholder in the education process: parents.
The classroom landscape is changing and the increased communication between parents, students and teachers is impacting student achievement in new ways. Whether inside or outside the classroom, online access to schedules, grades, homework, and attendance information makes it easy for parents and teachers to stay in close contact with student progress. In turn, this holds students more accountable for their own academic performance. With the appropriate performance infrastructure in place - ideally one that encourages and enables parental involvement - it becomes easier to ensure that students meet challenging standards, teachers target instruction, and school districts allocate resources effectively.
Student information systems serve as the technology infrastructure for many K-12 schools. Today, a growing number of these schools are integrating web-based teacher grade books and parent portals - an intricate mix of technology solutions that have a prescribed action and outcome - to their infrastructure. Both solutions provide quick and easy access to student performance data, which is critical in making timely strategic decisions. These technologies enable districts to analyze this data from various perspectives, find patterns, and see the "big picture" allowing teachers a better way to identify potential problems and take the appropriate prescriptive or preventative actions to ensure each student is performing to the best of his or her abilities. Combined with parental involvement and increased student accountability, this is a recipe for success in the world of individualized learning.
At Pearson, we believe that the right technology solution can ignite parental involvement in the educational community and build collaboration among all constituents from students and parents to teachers and administrators. Secure, user-based, online information access enables and encourages parent participation, which has been shown to have a positive impact on student achievement. We know that when we can engage parents to be part of the learning process, everyone benefits.