Are K–12 schools fully prepared for today’s digital and physical emergencies? According to a recent federal report, schools are becoming safer, partially through the proactive use of technology. Skyward, an administrative software provider committed to a better experience for every user, is helping lead improvements by encouraging school leaders to leverage an existing tool, their student information systems, to amp up security and ensure protection of their sensitive data.
Although statistics suggest schools are becoming safer, a recent poll indicates parents feel schools are less safe today than they were 20 years ago. Skyward’s SIS aims to alleviate those concerns by giving parents the ability to provide student information such as protection orders against unwanted visitors and reunification instructions to ensure students are paired with the correct guardian in the event of an emergency. Parents can also enter vital health information regarding student allergies and medications, which school staff can view and act on during medical emergencies.
“Skyward continues to help us keep students safe with speed and accuracy—the two most important factors during an emergency,” said Jacque Deckard, data management coordinator at Mooresville School Corporation in Indiana.
Skyward’s SIS also provides a real-time notification system, which can send important messages to students, parents, and staff during an emergency. Additionally, school leaders can set up an anonymous tip line within the notification system, offering individuals the opportunity to report incidents such as bullying, self-harm, and possible threats to the school.
“It’s important for our students, parents, and faculty to be heard and feel comfortable. Thanks to Skyward, this is possible because they can remain anonymous and still voice safety concerns,” said Lora Lovelace, data management coordinator at Center Grove Community Schools in Indiana.
While physical threats are at the forefront of security concerns, Skyward is continuing to protect districts against data breaches as well. In 2019, dozens of cybersecurity incidents have affected K-12 schools, and 122 similar breaches occurred at schools in 2018. By partnering with ISCorp, a hosting solution, Skyward offers districts the opportunity to host their sensitive information on a secure cloud service, which provides 24/7 monitoring and fail-safe backups.
“When students and faculty walk through school doors, they deserve to feel safe and confident their information is protected,” said Scott Glinski, CEO of Skyward. “As a system that many districts use, we recognize our role as part of the solution, which is why we will continue evolving our software to defend against all threats, both digital and physical.”
Educators, technology experts and industry leaders from around the world will gather in Austin, Texas, on July 22 though 25 for BbWorld and DevCon 2019. With more than 150 sessions, the four-day event will provide an unparalleled opportunity for attendees to share knowledge, promote best practices and network with peers.
During BbWorld, K-12, higher education, business and government clients will hear the latest on Blackboard’s unique EdTech platform approach and learn how the company is driving the next wave of innovation in EdTech. In addition to the main sessions, the conference will feature DevCon, a day-and-a-half meeting aimed at developers and system administrators.
BbWorld will also feature the Executive Leadership Summit, an invitation-only event specifically designed for university leaders. Driven by leaders in education and technology, the summit will give participants unique insights and perspectives on how to prepare their institutions to be more responsive in a constantly changing world.
Key highlights include:
More than 150 sessions focused on enhancing the teaching and learning experience; fostering inclusive education; supporting the learner beyond the classroom; preparing and leading institutional change; engaging professional development and using analytics to drive learner success.
Keynotes delivered byRobert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at The University of California at Berkeleyand former U.S. Labor Secretary; Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director of Black Girls CODE and Aspen Institute Fellow; and Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President at Blackboard.
Executive Leadership Summit, a unique gathering for university leaders to explore the evolving education landscape and how its changes affect institutions, students and policy.
DevCon meeting, with more than 30 sessions focused on Blackboard Data, REST APIs, integrations with SaaS and Ultra, SIS Framework, and dedicated keynotes delivered by Angie Jones, Senior Developer Advocate and Master Inventor, and Tim Tomlinson, Chief Product Officer at Blackboard.
A new Hackboard:Data to provide developers with technical insights and hands-on experience of Blackboard Data.
The Community LIVE, an area for clients to engage with Blackboard, get their questions answered, and network with colleagues. The Community LIVE will offer eight thematic stations, including Knowledge Bar, Ally Lounge, Community Program and Lightning Talks.
The Ultra Lounge, where clients will be able to see Learn Ultra demos, speak with Ultra product experts and discuss their path to Learn Ultra.
Attendees from over 25 countries across Europe, Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
“I am thrilled about this year’s BbWorld as we will showcase how we are accelerating innovation and laying the foundation for the next wave of innovation in education technology,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO, and President at Blackboard. “BbWorld is also a unique opportunity for our client community from around the world to come together, share knowledge and discuss opportunities.”
Avaap, an advisory services and IT management consulting firm, announced its acquisition of Navigator Management Partners, a management and technology consulting firm specializing in ERP systems, business intelligence (BI) and change management.
The acquisition expands Avaap’s capabilities from an Infor-only consulting organization to a best-in-class cross-platform technology advisory and management consulting firm for organizations in healthcare, retail, higher education, nonprofit, government, manufacturing and other commercial industries.
Navigator is based in Columbus, OH. Since its founding nearly two decades ago Navigator has realized success in client realization of return on investment and business benefit when implementing large IT projects, process improvements, or organizational change management support.
Avaap has more than 200 customers in 35 countries. Among the major market drivers, including ongoing pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs, increased merger and acquisition activity, and lack of skilled IT professionals, especially with BI and change management capabilities, Avaap is able to provide highly specialized industry expertise across the major enterprise applications to help customers optimize IT ecosystems, cut costs, and improve workflows.
Avaap’s mission of building deep industry expertise is further strengthened with this acquisition, the firm said.
“The acquisition of Navigator is a landmark step in Avaap’s strategic development,” said Dhiraj Shah, president and CEO, Avaap. “Digital transformation, migration to the cloud, and other industry disruptors are increasing the need for customers to seek an experienced partner that understands their business, not just the technology. Our focus is to have the leading market share in the industries we serve by providing superior end-to-end capabilities.
“This acquisition, along with the continued support from our capital partner NMS Capital, and the new partnerships we inherit, allow us to support our growth goals and extend that commitment to our largest assets; our customers and employee citizens.”
Navigator CEO David Schoettmer added, “We are two growing and profitable companies, both passionate about our shared vision and values. Joining together puts us in a stronger position to build for the future faster and better than before, combining a massive breadth of experienced resources across multiple ERP platforms, as well as BI and change management expertise.
The acquisition will allow our existing and new customers to have access to some of the best people and technologies available to address their critical missions and our employees will benefit from greatly expanded growth opportunities as part of the new company. We see strong opportunities for growth and the combined organization will enable us to have the team and resources to do so.”