February 15, 2022
Manage Your Classroom Safely and Efficiently with Little SIS
We know Google and we know education. We also know how important classroom management is which is why we developed Little SIS to implement a safe and effective learning environment for your teachers and students.
We Know Google and We Know Education
We also know how important classroom management is. Ill-equipped and outdated systems often can’t handle your large amount of data, or don’t have the necessary functions allowing you to implement a safe and effective learning environment for your teachers and students. This is why we developed Little SIS.
CDW has engaged with one of the largest east coast school districts in North America as a Google consultant and as a custom service provider for independent Google Workspace domains since 2015. In March of 2020, the Google Workspace Admin (GWA) was in the process of initiating content accessibility across the district’s websites when COVID-19 shifted their schools like many others into a virtual learning environment.
One Google Workspace for All Domains
While the district has a series of other tenants (Canvas, Microsoft, Schoology, etc.), they had a Google Workspace percolating in the background. In order to better serve their students and ensure the continuity of learning, they initiated it with student and teacher accounts and then worked in tandem with us and Google to begin building a centralized Google Workspace domain. While reflecting on the progression since the height of the pandemic, the GWA shared, “I am grateful to CDW for being at the table as we got the system up and running. It was the deep knowledge that they have, which isn’t hearsay or just a document from Google but extensively tested best practices, that made transitioning to a virtual learning environment so solid.”
Migration Brings Safety and Compliance
Still in the thick of their migration, the district currently has over 100 different Google Workspaces, many of which are inconsistently administered. The GWA discussed, “We run into daily problems, due to inconsistent management, that create enormous risk for our students.” Unfortunately, they have encountered situations that students should have never been in because of poorly managed consoles. “This is why we need a centralized Google Workspace,” he added.
Not only is the centralization providing stronger security with disseminated settings across the district, but the integration of Little SIS is also helping them meet compliance requirements. The GWA requested that a teacher be alerted every time a user is added to the Google Classroom, and, with Little SIS, we delivered. The GWA said, “Now there is an automated email that is sent.” This has allowed them to provide a safe academic experience for students, and a transparent working environment for teachers.
Distributed Access with Little SIS
With hundreds of thousands of classrooms in the Google Workspace, Little SIS has played a major role in the transition and in the transformation of their classroom management processes. On a centralized Google Workspace, settings are regulated at the district level, but Little SIS allows for distributed access control.
The GWA stated, “Everyone wants to be the master of their own domain, and Little SIS has been a Godsend because it distributes access to the schools.” When he introduced it to principals across the district for the first time, they sat up and paid attention. “One was near tears of excitement,” he said. With Little SIS, principals found that they could manage who has access to their classrooms and who the primary teachers are. This also correlated to the assignment of substitutes. Little SIS provided them a “set it and forget it” approach to adding a substitute into a Google Classroom for a specified date, knowing the system would automatically remove their access at the end of the day.
It also resolved an even greater pain point. As classroom observations continued in the virtual learning environment, the district saw that principals were joining thousands of classrooms. The GWA explained, “They were blown away by the fact that they could temporarily enroll themselves in a single class for an hour, a day, a week, instead of being a permanent user.” It allows school administrators to take action and ownership over their domain.
Little SIS’s Student Explorer Tool Makes Data Collection Easy
As much as Little SIS contributes to the administrative role in schools, its benefits also trickle down to the teacher level.
Little SIS’ capacity for data reporting has been a proven staple for the district. The GWA shared, “We just had a transition in leadership. My immediate response was to go to Little SIS and pull data to report analytics for the classes. Just to be able to export that level of data to show the activity and engagement in our Google Classrooms, into a Google Sheet no less, was really helpful.”
Recently, the district has been receiving questions surrounding student achievement and support. When we optimized Little SIS with the Student Explorer tool, the district finally had answers to give based on quantitative and qualitative data. The GWA showed the tool to leadership and reported, “They said, ‘I’d like every teacher to have access to this.’” The tool gives school leadership, administrators, and teachers the ability to view student work and dig into it for both the quantity and quality. “I’m looking forward to seeing how that expands,” said the GWA.
To reiterate, classroom management, especially in the virtual learning environment is a beast, but we at CDW built Little SIS to help school leaders, administrators, and teachers like you tame it.
Before signing off, the Google Workspace Admin (GWA) has this to add, “The best part of Little SIS is that you don’t have to do much training on it. It is one of the most intuitive UI’s that have just been fantastic. People just automatically know what to do with it. Rarely do I get questions about what the system can do. Our teachers and administrators just log-in and "get it done.”