An All-in-One Student Information System Leads to Better Outcomes

At Lumen Touch, we don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake. We believe that the tools and solutions a school chooses should enhance learning, empower educators, and provide districts with insight that enables informed decision making. Determining the right edtech solutions for your school can be difficult, but if you begin with an all-in-one student information system, the entire process can be so much easier.

Why an All-in-One Student Information System?

An all-in-one student information system gives your district broad visibility across every aspect of education, from attendance and health to academic progress and special education management. An all-in-one student management platform not only allows a district to save money, but it also creates a secure and connected school district. Real-time data lets educators make the best decisions for all students, with a two-way flow of information that allows Lumen Touch and the district to have an integrated partnership.

Benefits of an All-in-One Student Information System

All-In-One Solution

A single database to support all aspects of a school district’s needs not only allows for integrated data dashboards and applications but also lifts the burden from the IT department from managing 20 different systems.  

Saves Money and Creates Efficiencies

The average school district will save tens of thousands of dollars annually by creating new efficiencies for inventory management, attendance processing, and data reporting.

Increase Student Engagement

An all-in-one student information system allows schools to deliver better, more personalized education to all students, thereby enhancing learning. Immediate feedback on learning, process automation, and interactive assessment tools allow teachers to dedicate more time to helping students one-on-one. The time savings alone afforded to teachers is almost immeasurable.

Real-Time Data to Make Informed Decisions

One of the biggest benefits of an all-in-one student information system is the visibility provided to districts; with a single complete database, districts can see in real time all aspects of student achievement. This data transparency allows educators and district leaders to make better, faster, more informed decisions about curriculum, policies, and other factors that impact student success.

Lumen Touch was established in 2000 and has been diligently listening to its customers and building an all-in-one solution that is unparalleled in the education arena. You can experience a seamless technological solution that will save you time and money and allow your students and teachers to focus on improving their wellbeing. We focus on improving the learning opportunities for children with measurable outcomes. Request more information by emailing us at sales@lumentouch.com.

Affording Technology in Education

We know that technology in education enhances learning and can be beneficial for both students and educators. The right technology can also provide district leaders with insights that help them to achieve better outcomes – both with students’ quality of education and with teacher hiring and retention. The biggest barrier? The perception that the cost of technology is too expensive to be worth the investment.

Lumen™ Touch’s Bright SUITE™ Makes Technology in Education Affordable

There are multiple ways in which Lumen Touch’s all-in-one school system, Bright SUITE, can help a district afford the cost of technology in education.

Measurable Financial Savings

In a recent case study that we conducted with a mid-size school district implementing Bright SUITE, the district realized actual savings of $32,000 annually. While every district’s budget is different, the average savings for a district implementing Bright SUITE is 30%, in addition to reduced attrition.

Happier Teachers

Attracting and retaining educators is a costly and time-consuming process for districts. Bright SUITE has a measurable impact in terms of reducing attrition. The all-in-one school system creates efficiencies that help teachers with routine tasks and allow them to focus on the one task that attracted them to the field in the first place: teaching. School districts experience improved loyalty and lower turnover when the right technology is in place to support teachers and make their jobs more efficient.

Increased Administrative Efficiency

Inventory management, attendance processing, and data reporting are all managed within the system, offering administrative efficiencies that save time and money. With better access to real-time data, district leaders are able to make quicker, more strategic decisions that improve the way their schools operate.

Improved Education Experience

Interactive assessment tools allow teachers to dedicate more time to helping students one-on-one. With the ability to automate processes and provide immediate feedback, teachers can improve the quality of education for students. The time savings afforded to teachers is almost immeasurable.

Accessible Anywhere

Lumen Touch prides itself on providing school districts with an all-in-one solution that can be accessed anywhere, any time, on any device. We strive to connect all students to opportunities, and this means that our system has to be accommodating of the latest technological advances. As a result, our system is web-based in order to serve as many students as possible on a number of devices, and our team is readily available for training, implementation, and customizations that make the system work the way in which each individual district needs.

Don’t just take our word for it:

Lumen Touch has been a lifesaver for the Fair Grove District. We switched to Lumen Touch from another vendor at the end of the first semester several years ago due to issues with that vendor. I believe Lumen Touch is the best student information system available. They do not accept status quo; they listen to school district needs and desires and are always looking for ways to provide enhancements they believe will benefit school districts. When you need help immediately, there is always a voice on the other end to assist you. Once, when I had an urgent need, I watched three programmers log into our system to solve the issue; all I can say is WOW. That personal and professional touch won me over as a lifetime user of Lumen Touch. I guess you could say I am one of their biggest cheerleaders. Thanks Lumen Touch for an awesome system and service.

– Julie Swadley, Instructional Technology Specialist, Fair Grove R-X school District

Technology in education is the future of learning, but there’s no reason it has to break the budget.

Learn more: https://www.lumentouch.com/

EdTech Is the Future of Education

Educational technology – edtech – really came into its own during the pandemic. A concept that was experiencing slow adoption rates and some resistance in classrooms suddenly became an immediate solution when schools were closed, and students were forced into distance learning. The necessity of online education forced districts and teachers to acknowledge the power of edtech in managing curriculum – and it forced communities to find ways to bridge inequities and ensure that every student had internet access. While inequity remains an ongoing challenge, much progress has been made during the past few years.

EdTech Levels the Playing Field for Students

One of the ways in which edtech enriches the educational experience is by giving students access to more information and more opportunities than they would have had otherwise. Not only does edtech open up possibilities for students to individualize their learning and pursue diverse interests, but it also brings the whole world closer to them. It empowers students while fueling their curiosity; learning becomes more fun.

EdTech Provides Districts Solutions for Complex Challenges

Edtech solutions – from health and safety to security to communication – help districts manage their schools more effectively. Do you even remember the days of paper attendance sheets and manual grading systems? What about trying to keep track of student vaccinations and allergies? All-in-one school systems have removed the burden of administration from the districts while providing them with more comprehensive data so that they can make informed decisions about how to best serve students, parents, and their communities.

EdTech Empowers Educators

Edtech empowers educators by freeing them from the daily minutia involved with teaching, so that they can focus on that which motivated them to join the profession in the first place: impacting young minds. With tools that help grade homework, manage student information, and conduct basic testing, as well as provide solutions for SPED and the cumbersome reporting required, teachers can spend less time doing paperwork and more time with students. This allows teachers to devote more time to individualized educational goals for every student without feeling overwhelmed.

EdTech Is the Future

While there are challenges that must be continually addressed – cybersecurity, student data privacy, data management – edtech offers the ability for schools to deliver a better educational experience that is more efficient and more cost-effective. Edtech is the future of learning. It enables districts to be better partners in their communities, improve engagement with parents and guardians, and fuel student motivation by having the ability to offer new and innovative opportunities in learning.

How to Solve the Data Management Problem in Your District

Managing student and district data can be extremely time consuming and complex. It is a challenge for most school districts, regardless of size. In addition to security concerns, managing servers and integrating student data from multiple applications can be a huge burden to small district IT teams. When you pile compliance and reporting requirements on top of that, the commitment can be more than a district can manage.

If your district IT department is overwhelmed with basic day-to-day data management, hindering their ability to focus on creating a modern digital community that would benefit your entire district, it might be time to consider a different way forward.

All-in-One School Systems Manage Data More Efficiently

An all-in-one enterprise management system not only saves money but also helps create a connected and secure school district. Teachers and administrators gain access to real-time data, which allows them to make better decisions in support of their students. Communications are secure and allow for improved engagement with students and parents. With improved resource efficiency, schools can spend less time focusing on data management and reporting and are able to focus instead on delivering the best learning opportunities. Districts are able to save money while meeting the increased need for administrative tracking, performance analysis, and detailed local and state reporting requirements.

All-in-One School Systems Ensure Safe Rostering of Student Data

One of the biggest data management challenges that districts face is the risk involved in sharing roster data with edtech vendors. Protecting personally identifiable information (PII) is not just the ethical thing to do; in many cases, such safeguards are legislated by federal and state governments. Schools must remain in compliance with student privacy laws and ensure that the vendors with whom they share data are also using strenuous measures to protect that information. By employing an all-in-one school management system, rostering student data can be governed using a centralized, secure process that governs how schools share PII.

Lumen™ Touch Bright SUITE™ All-in-One System Is More than Just Software

Lumen Touch offers to districts an all-in-one solution that is more than just programming and software. Bright SUITE also offers a dedicated partnership with Lumen Touch experts who are part of ensuring your school’s success. Don’t take it from us; hear from one of our Midwestern school district clients:

Not many companies can boast about having a single-platform solution like Lumen Touch that responds to the customer and market demands, that decreases the cost of a comprehensive digital platform in a time of financial crisis and provides the security in a world of cyber insecurity.

– Director of Technology

To learn more about how Lumen Touch empowers the future of learning, get in touch. Email us at mailto:sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

Don’t Be Scared to Embrace the Future of Learning

The spooky season might have left us all feeling a little frightened, but when it comes to preparing students for the future workforce, we can’t be scared to embrace the future of learning. The future of learning is not going to be anything like our current schools. The future of learning is exciting, innovative, active, and continually evolving. Here’s what we’re excited about:

More Individualized Learning

Right now, a student must be on an IEP or a 504 to be guaranteed individualized learning. Educational accommodations are often too labor-intensive, and if they are not required, they are typically not provided. However, technology is making it easier for educators to deliver the basic curriculum using digital content, edtech solutions, and automated grading and testing. This leaves time for teachers to engage more personally with each individual student, fostering their interests and allowing a more individualized experience across the board for all students.

Smarter Classrooms, Smarter Tech

We need to move away from education that is based on 100-year-old ideas. As we learn more about how technology can be used to enhance education and prepare students for the future workforce, we’ll see refinements in the way it is incorporated in the classroom. There will be more hands-on education – think robotics, programming, AI and VR – as well as better means of understanding and assessing which tools are actually impacting overall student achievement. Data will be the key to understanding what’s next, but technology will give us the information we need in a clear and easy-to-understand dashboard.

A New Generation of Digital-Savvy Educators

New graduates entering the teaching profession are digital natives who have spent their entire lives using technology. They will bring unique perspectives about how to teach the students of the future and provide insights on what those students will need to become more engaged. These digital-savvy educators will help revolutionize the classroom – if they are given the opportunity and freedom to lead us all into the future we need. Experienced teachers who are given the opportunity to improve their tech skills will bring the best of both worlds – in-depth pedagogical experience and modern tech savviness.

Buy-In from the Top

Administrators will begin to see the numbers and make connections between the programs they provide in the K-12 setting and the increased graduation rates, increased college attendance rates, and higher wages. It will create enthusiasm and excitement for the potential that every student has and how the K-12 school’s role will become integral in their lifetime success.

The future of education is bright, and Lumen™ Touch is excited to be a part of the education evolution with you. To learn more about how Lumen Touch empowers the future of learning, get in touch. Email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

Looking Forward: Top Challenges for School Administrators

As we approach the end of another year, the top challenges for school administrators remain largely unchanged. While challenges related to the pandemic are subsiding, other challenges as a result of the pandemic, namely extreme teacher shortages, continue to be a growing problem. Protecting student data and enacting the right policies and procedures to address student data privacy are also a huge challenge for school administrators, as well as IT leaders. And finding ways to evolve school curriculums to reflect the changing demands of the workforce requires innovative and creative approaches.

Addressing Teacher Shortages

Addressing teacher shortages is one of the top challenges administrators will face in the next few years. The two-pronged approach required to address this issue – increasing retention and attracting new teachers – is only partially in the control of the administration. Right now, there are fewer students choosing to go into the teaching profession, so there are systemic issues that can only be addressed through community and congressional action that ensure higher teacher pay and improved teacher support systems. At the district level, however, administrators can retain and attract educators by offering four things:

  1. A seat at the table when decisions are being made about curriculum
  2. A pathway to career development
  3. Support in and out of the classroom
  4. Tools that make managing education easier

Protecting Student Data

Data security in schools will be an ongoing discussion. Cyber criminals continue to find new ways to attack critical infrastructures; schools and other organizations must continue to find ways to thwart them. But there are specific actions schools can take to better protect their data:

  1. Enact policies that require every person who works in or with your school to complete regular and ongoing cybersecurity training.
  2. Insist on multi-factor authentication to access your network.
  3. Employ the use of an all-in-one school system.

Evolving School Curriculums

CTE programs can be a great way to instill the technical knowledge K-12 students will need. But the future of education is not just about technology; it’s also about teaching the soft skills that students will need to navigate the future workforce. There are several edtech solutions that can help in that regard.

Being a school administrator demands a lot of responsibility, and these upcoming and ongoing challenges for administrators will require the partnership of vendors, the community, the government, parents, and students. Lumen Touch is here to help. Our goal is to connect every student to opportunity.

To learn more about how Lumen™ Touch empowers the future of learning, get in touch. Email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.

What All-in-One EdTech Systems Deliver to K-12 Schools

K-12 schools are compelled to deliver not only quality instruction but also manage social-emotional learning, health mandates, special needs, and education standards that meet state curriculum criteria. Managing all of these demands while also providing a safe learning environment that promotes student engagement and teacher retention is a complex juggling act. All-in-one edtech systems like Lumen™ Touch, that address all of the various demands with which districts are charged, can make a significant and measurable difference in student outcomes, teacher attrition rates, and costs.

All-in-One EdTech Systems Save Time

Instead of being forced to evaluate different solutions for every need your district has, an all-in-one system can provide an entire suite of solutions to meet all your district’s needs with one contract, one implementation, and one support team. When that system is also capable of being customized to meet your specific needs and comes with a library of pre-vetted edtech offerings to enhance student learning, it becomes something more than just a timesaver. Bright SUITE™ frees teachers from the burden of laborious data entry and reporting, giving them time for professional development and closer engagement with students.

All-in-One EdTech Systems Save Money

License fees, rostering, multiple vetting processes, and IT compatibility: When you are piecing together solutions from a variety of sources, not only does your school face increased cybersecurity risks but you also incur increased labor costs. Districts making a switch to Lumen Touch report annual savings in the tens of thousands. They are able to create new efficiencies with inventory management, attendance processing, and data reporting, while simultaneously simplifying compliance.

All-in-One EdTech Systems Give Peace of Mind

Working closely with a single solution provider offers K-12 schools, students, parents, IT leaders, and administrators peace of mind. Lumen Touch has been providing an all-in-one option for 20 years. An all-in-one enterprise management solution not only allows districts to save money, but it also creates a secure and connected school district. Real-time data lets educators make the best decisions for all students.

Why Lumen Touch Bright SUITE?

Lumen Touch not only customizes Bright SUITE for each school, but we build a long and trusting relationship with each district, creating the best environment for success. We provide dedicated support to every district, school, and teacher, including on-site and virtual training. We listen to, and incorporate into future iterations, suggestions from the people using our solutions, often creating custom solutions to make Bright SUITE more effective for an individual school’s needs. Don’t take our word for it, though; here’s what some of our clients have had to say:

“We switched to Lumen from another vendor at the end of the first semester several years ago due to issues with that vendor. I believe Lumen Touch is the best student information system available. They do not accept status quo; they listen to school district needs and desires and are always looking for ways to provide enhancements they believe will benefit school districts. When you need help immediately, there is always a voice on the other end to assist you. Once, when I had an urgent need, I watched three programmers log into our system to solve the issue; all I can say is WOW. That personal and professional touch won me over as a lifetime user of Lumen Touch. I guess you could say I am one of their biggest cheerleaders. Thanks, Lumen Touch, for an awesome system and service.”

“I have been very pleased with my experience with Lumen Touch’s Student Information System. The customer support is very good. I often have questions, and I can just make a quick phone call and get them immediately answered.”

“Lumen Touch has awesome tech support and will help immediately when needed.”

Lumen Touch Bright SUITE is a single-platform solution, providing a team of experts to help schools meet the specific needs of their districts, decrease the cost of having a comprehensive digital platform, and provide security in a world of cyber insecurity.

Education Is Headed for the Metaverse

You can’t avoid hearing about the metaverse these days – this relatively new conception is impacting how we envision the future of retail, travel, social media, and of course, education. Still in its infancy, when and how the metaverse will revolutionize education is difficult to predict. But the vision is there.

How Will the Metaverse Impact Education?

There is no question that the metaverse will impact education. What we experienced during the height of the pandemic, with students and teachers being forced into virtual spaces for learning, has only highlighted how important it is to embrace technology. And as jobs of the future require more technical knowledge, we must ensure that students have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology, to better prepare them to be part of the modern workforce. But because the metaverse is still under construction, so to speak, an opportunity exists for education leaders to help ensure the metaverse serves schools and students properly.

Educators Can Lead the Way

In an exciting look at education in the metaverse from Brookings, the authors point out, “Today, as the metaverse infrastructure is still under construction, researchers, educators, policymakers, and digital designers have a chance to lead the way rather than get caught in the undertow.” They paint a picture of interactive, multidisciplinary, cross-curricular education that immerses students directly into the environment about which they are learning. The authors of the Brookings research note that, “the interaction is inherently social with live people and live moment to moment, emotionally laden interactions. And notice that the teachers are still crucial to this experience.”

Experiences in the Metaverse Affect Our Brains Differently

Why is the metaverse such an important consideration for education? Because the learning is active, rather than passive. The learning creates memories for the students of actually being in a place. The Brookings research used ancient Greece as an example, but any historical location could have just as easily been used, or an astronomical phenomenon, or a field trip somewhere that a school could never afford to budget (The Louvre, for example). Stephen Fromkin writes in a Fast Company article, “Interactions in the metaverse give us the impression that we are having real experiences and creating real memories – because we are.”

But What About Measurable Outcomes?

We will hopefully move well beyond standardized testing and measure student success in more practical ways. One form of measurement is engagement. Imagine students being excited about education, being able to interact with figures from history, and being able to step into places from a distance – to touch, feel, and look around while there. A good example of rudimentary AI that is paving the way for education in the metaverse is the Digital Einstein Experience. Try it out. With a simple permission to use your microphone, you can have a conversation with Einstein, and he will respond to your questions.

The metaverse is coming. It is an inevitability. How it will impact education is still up in the air, but we have a huge opportunity to help guide the process to ensure we are meeting the needs of students, teachers, and districts as it becomes more commonplace.

Is Education Focused on the Wrong Skills?

Most students don’t like school. And it’s not the fault of teachers but rather of the insistence that we teach the same old tired things to students who already have access to vast and immediate information on a variety of subjects. What students do need to learn are critical thinking skills that will prepare them for opportunities that lie ahead.

The 2021 NACE survey on the most-needed attributes employers are looking for include the following:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Technical skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Strong work ethic

Not one of the employers surveyed listed the date or contents of the Gettysburg address, or the year in which Hawaii became a state, as critical knowledge.

We Need to Move Education from the Industrial Revolution to the Technological Revolution

Garrett Smiley, co-founder and CEO of Sora Schools, a network of future-focused schools, wrote in a recent Forbes article,

There is cognitive dissonance of obsessing over the knowledge of facts during a child’s school years while simultaneously dismissing their importance shortly thereafter. As a result, students are left to believe they’re not made for school when, in reality, schools were not made for them. An educational system built for the Industrial Revolution no longer fits our modern-day needs.

Smiley offers some basic, common-sense ways we can improve education, suggesting we focus on the needs of the students, encourage them to “chase [their] wild dreams,” and scrap our grading system and our obsessive focus on teaching to tests and measuring worth (of teachers and students) through standardized test results.

We couldn’t agree more.

Connecting All Students to Opportunity through Technology and Leadership

Our mission, connecting all students to opportunity through technology and leadership, is more than just words. In fact, everything we do and every decision we make, from the solutions we develop to the strategic partnerships we form to the community support we provide, is in line with our mission. We firmly believe that connecting students to opportunity is a fundamentally important goal. We believe that these pillars of technology and leadership are what will help guide us through the education revolution that is so desperately needed.

We need more voices like Garrett Smiley’s who recognize the undue burden placed on teachers, often put there by legislators who have never spent a day in a classroom outside their own time as students back in the days of chalkboards.

The Future of Education Is Now

The students now in school will grow up in a world unlike that which any of us have ever known. What we do now to prepare them is essential. It’s time to upend education and focus on what students need to know to survive and thrive in a fast-paced, tech-driven world.

Redefining Education in the K-12 Setting

The ongoing pandemic has forced a reckoning in education on three fronts: equity, teacher retention, and technology. We must address all three of these areas as we redefine education – and we must redefine education if we want to continue meeting student, teacher, and community needs. We’ve discussed equity and retention in previous blogs, so we’ll focus mostly on using technology to redefine K-12 education here.

Why Equity Is Necessary for Redefining Education

In order for education to serve our communities, the issue of equity must be addressed. Not only should broadband be accessible to every home, and devices be made available to every student, but we must also address digital competency. Improving digital competency may seem like an odd thing to worry about within this digital native generation, but when more than 10 million US students are still without adequate internet at home, their ability to achieve digitally competency is compromised. This often extends to their parents as well, which gives local schools a perfect opportunity to provide adult education programs.

Teacher Retention Is Crucial to Student Academic Success

Teachers are more stressed than ever. But they’re not quitting in droves – yet. The Great Resignation that has impacted most other industries has yet to materialize in education, likely because the very people who choose to become educators tend to lean in and try to do more, until they burn out completely.  But you can still retain top educators and prevent them from not just leaving your school, but from leaving the profession as well.

To prevent the Great Resignation from affecting schools, districts need to recognize that teachers want what everyone else is looking for: professional support and development, a voice in the direction of their careers, and flexibility. These expectations will likely vary from one school district to another, but things like job sharing and matching the right teachers to in-class and online teaching opportunities will be critical. And using technology to empower teachers will be essential.

Technology Is the Future of Education

Technology will be a part of the future of education in ways we can’t even predict yet. While edtech and other technologies might have been temporary stopgap measures in the beginning of the pandemic, they are now the new norm for many schools, whether education is being delivered in-person, online, or in hybrid environments.

Lumen Touch All-in-One Management Solution

Our approach moves away from legacy systems such as SISs and towards the new world of student and enterprise management, with a strong focus on individual plans of study, project-based learning, and predictive analytics on a single secure platform.

We are one of the few companies that offer an all-in-one solution, which includes:

  • a comprehensive SIS (Bright STUDENT)
  • a special education product (Bright SPED)
  • full library and inventory management (Bright RESOURCE)
  • a student college and career management system (Bright SUCCESS)
  • an early education system (Bright STEPS)
  • a full health management system (Bright CARE)
  • a professional development management system (Bright PATH)
  • a full data management and dashboarding product (Bright INSIGHT)
  • Medicaid billing (Bright MEDICAID)
  • a full communication and learning system that incorporates social media and the ability to translate dialogue in over 70 languages (Bright SPACE)

More recently, we added a cybersecurity and auditing service module, and COVID-19 tracking and contact tracing modules.

Infrastructure Is Part of the Tech Solution

From cloud hosting to comprehensive learning management systems, the IT infrastructure of every school needs to be modernized. Infrastructure in K-12 schools should support learning, professional development, classroom management, health and safety, SEL and SPED, and communication and engagement. It should be developed to accommodate a wide variety of learning modes – online, in person, and hybrid. Robust and comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure in the K-12 education environment ensures that students, teachers, parents, and administrators have the ability to improve engagement, enhance communication, foster collaboration, and open worlds of opportunity in learning.

Lumen Touch is at the innovative forefront of developing the kind of technology that truly benefits teachers, students, and school districts. We have been providing our integrated all-in-one management technology to school districts for 18 years. To learn more about our solution, get in touch.