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Online Tools Every School Should be Using (Hint: They’re All in Your School CMS!)

Graphics of tools besides a laptop promoting online tools for school CMS.
Maintaining your school website shouldn’t feel like an additional responsibility if you’re using a CMS that’s specifically designed for schools. Instead, this task should help you free up time and energy for other activities and engagements. If your CMS isn’t helping you save time and effort, then you may not be making the best use out of it. Here are some of the CMS tools that teachers and school staff often overlook:
 

Single Sign-On

Single sign-on or SSO refers to an authentication process where you only need to use one set of login credentials to access multiple applications. Think how you can access Youtube, Google Drive, and Blogger by signing onto your Gmail account. In the same way, you can access your CMS by using your credentials for Google, Microsoft 360, and Canvas. This feature allows you to switch between these services without needing to log in all the time. It also improves security by minimizing the possibility of phishing.
 

Social Media Manager

It’s a must for any organization -- private schools, public offices, IT conglomerates, and everything in between -- to maintain and update official social media accounts. In addition to representing your brand online, these accounts help build and engage your existing online communities and attract new community members. A school’s social media account can also be used as a tool for education where you can post and link videos and entertaining learning supplements. However, the existence of multiple major social media platforms can make maintaining these accounts a confusing and time-consuming task.

A CMS with a built-in social media manager is the perfect solution to such an issue. This integrated social media publishing environment allows you to create and schedule social media posts while creating and publishing original content on the school website. This means you don’t have to switch between platforms, sign in and out multiple times, or risk posting in the wrong social media account just to do your job. Another perk of this feature is that you can link or post entries from your school website to your social media platform without any effort.

Cloud Office Suite Integration

A CMS that has internet- and cloud-based office suite integration allows you to access your files from online drives anytime and anywhere. Through this feature, you can easily add media and data from Google or Microsoft 360 to blogs and news articles on the school website. Are you creating a page to showcase the school’s most recent field trip or fair? Add videos and create albums of the event without transferring files from one gadget to another. Use this feature alongside SSO and social media integration and you won’t have any trouble posting links, files, galleries, or images in any of the official school social media platforms that you maintain.
 

Form Creation and Automated Collection

Distributing and collecting forms can be a challenge for some school administrators, but it won’t be a problem if you’re utilizing the built-in form builder in your CMS. A form builder lets you create the form in the CMS, which you can then post on the school website. From here, the parents and students can download and fill out the form and submit it using the school website. Form builders are especially useful for sending notices, obtaining parental consent for events and activities, or conducting surveys.

There are plenty of practical advantages that come with having this feature. First of all, you can create the form in the CMS itself within minutes. Next, every person who needs a form can download it from your website; there’s no need to print and distribute the form manually. Also, since the filled out forms are submitted electronically, there’s no risk of losing papers during the collection process. Finally, the forms can be directed to the proper departments and officials without any need for additional manpower.
 

Newsletter Creation and Subscription

Aside from a built-in form builder, your school CMS also comes with its own newsletter builder, which you can use just as easily. Newsletters are essential in keeping parents updated of the school’s events and activities. Building and distributing newsletters is a time-consuming task, but it can be done quickly in Edlio’s CMS. The cloud suite integration allows you to pull files from your online drives whenever needed. Once the newsletter is finished, you can use email lists to distribute it. At the same time, because you’re already in the CMS, you can make a blog article about the newsletter and alert your followers on social media to check their emails.
 

Stores and Donation

If you’re not utilizing the donation and store functions of your CMS, then you’re probably missing out. The online donation module lets you hold multiple fundraisers online and collect donations. The store module, on the other hand, is designed to collect fees and process payments, making it an ideal option for selling yearbooks and prom tickets. Both modules allow you to print receipts, issue refunds, and export detailed spreadsheets with just a few clicks.
 

Communication Apps

Many schools and districts want to improve parental involvement through the use of communication tools such as emails, news alerts, text messages and voice mail, and newsletters. Edlio offers all these plus Sangha, an app that’s designed to keep parents highly engaged and involved in their children’s school life. Sangha comes with integrated forms, automated reminders, meeting schedulers, actionable calendars, and a 2-way messaging system, plus it’s designed to complement Edlio’s CMS. This app makes it easy for parents to organize and attend events and get in touch with teachers whenever needed.

There are plenty of online resources that can help you discover the most effective features and modules in your CMS. Look for these guides, and don’t be afraid to ask your website provider for tips on how to maximize these functionalities.