There was much celebrating in Anseo.net’s house (at least from me) when the Department of Education finally allowed schools to stop using paper-based roll books and go completely digital. My school has been wasting time doing the roll books twice – once online and once in the books – and it will be a fantastic timesaver for everyone.
I know some people will miss the nostalgic notion of physical roll books. However, the DES have made the new system optional so I’m sure some schools will continue on with them. Our school is only 7 years old and we’ve been using the electronic roll for 4 years so we don’t have decades of records to glean over so perhaps that’s why it isn’t as hard for us to change.
There are rules for keeping electronic records and it’s probably best to use an already existing system rather than creating your own one as this can lead to errors, which could backfire, particular if there are ever court cases in the future. My school uses Aladdin and they have updated their systems to be in line with all the rules.
The main one that will probably affect teachers is that a school now has to set a time for when the roll call is going to be taken. Anyone who takes the roll after this time, will have to type a reason as to why and the electronic rollbook will show the records in a different colour. In Aladdin’s case, any roll call taken after the time will be highlighted orange. I guess it will discipline us more as teachers to take the roll on time. We’ll see how it works out in our school.
All in all, I’m very excited that after several years of moaning and campaigning to get rid of paper-based roll books, it’s finally happened. Is your school going digital this year and what are your thoughts on it?