It’s not easy to synchronise remote teaching platforms with school databases. Until now.

Picture of teacher working at laptop computer in front of a chalk board

30th September 2021

While schools have widely adopted remote teaching platforms during the pandemic, they have also found creating user accounts and keeping them up to date to be a real challenge. But a new service from AdEPT Education is set to change this.

Schools that have adopted remote teaching platforms over the past 18 months have found the platforms don’t easily synchronise with their existing databases, creating additional and time-consuming work for staff already facing the exceptional demands of the pandemic.

Although they are not new, two of the most popular platforms – Microsoft 365 for Education and Google Workspace for Education – have proved hugely valuable, seeing widespread adoption during 2020. But synchronising them with a school’s Management Information System (MIS) has posed some challenges.

For schools, an MIS is its central source of data. It includes everything from student and parental contact details, as well as medical records to exam grades and attainments. Much of this information is also required to keep remote teaching platforms up to date. What class is the pupil in? How old are they? Who is their form tutor? Have they just joined the school? Who has left?

This information must therefore be recorded in a remote teaching platform to ensure teachers are remotely teaching the right classes, and pupils are attending the right virtual lessons.

But schools have been manually processing these records – creating Google and Microsoft user accounts and updating them based on the data in their MIS. Not only is this time-consuming, it also carries the risk of keying errors – and means the data in the remote teaching platform is only as up to date as the last manual entry.

Consequently, AdEPT Education has built a new synchronising service – Nimbus Sync – which can save schools lots of time and work in managing this data across systems. Once set up, it can synchronise the MIS with the remote teaching platform in minutes, and continue to do so in the background.

The service draws on AdEPT Education’s close relationship with teachers and education professionals, as well as its work throughout the pandemic, which includes helping more than 500 schools to set up a remote teaching platform.

It also reflects AdEPT Education’s expertise in remote teaching technology, as one of only a handful of government-approved companies qualified in both the Google and Microsoft platforms.

AdEPT Education MD David Bealing says: “We are very proud of the software that we develop – and Nimbus Sync is our latest offering that will save schools countless hours in setting up and updating their pupil and staff details. This will, in turn, allow schools to focus on what they do best: helping our children to learn, grow and thrive.”

David adds: “It’s easy to set up Nimbus Sync – we’ve designed it with schools in mind. It doesn’t require on-site work, meaning there’s minimal disruption to timetables, can be set up at a time that suits schools, and installation costs are reduced. It also means that even the remotest schools – those in areas affected by digital inequality – can benefit from Nimbus Sync.

“Additionally, as the service is built to integrate with Microsoft and Google, it will help the huge number of schools that use these platforms – a number that is likely to grow.”

Based on a survey of 2,555 school professionals between 25 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, the government says 59 per cent of primary schools and 89 per cent of secondaries had introduced a remote teaching platform during the pandemic.

These figures reflect AdEPT Education’s own experience of working with schools – they are often at the forefront of technology adoption. But now relative normality is returning, schools may be looking to address the challenges that were less of a priority last year – and Nimbus Sync is one way to help with that recovery.

AdEPT Education CEO Phil Race says: “This is great example of our mission to deliver affordable, beneficial, scalable, deployable and dependable software and services specifically for UK schools, and we are very excited to bring this latest great solution to the market.”

To find out more about Nimbus Sync, schools can email enquiries@adept.co.uk or call 0333 4002490.

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Notes for journalists and editors

This announcement has been released by Ben Rogers, Head of Marketing, on behalf of AdEPT. For more details or to arrange an interview, contact Ben on 01689 814700 or ben.rogers@adept.co.uk.

The work of AdEPT Education

AdEPT Education has more than 30 years of experience in providing managed services, IT support and solutions to the UK’s schools. Through this work, AdEPT Education helps more than 2.2 million people across some 4,000 schools – and it does so with services built specifically for schools, such as:

WebScreen – giving students a safe online environment.
WebScreen is a service that gives schools control over their own internet filtering. Schools can configure and create their own block lists, and filter content based on individual student requirements, time of day, IP settings and other contexts. The service filters more than one billion access requests from schools each day.

eAdmissions – a digital platform that lets parents, guardians, schools and local authorities apply for or manage school admissions.
Used by every London local authority, as well as Surrey County Council, the eAdmissions service allows parents and guardians to apply for school places online, manage their applications and stay informed of progress. It also helps schools and councils administer these applications – greatly reducing the time and paperwork involved in this process.

In the latest round of applications the service notified the parents and guardians of more than 131,000 primary and 109,000 secondary school students about their new school place, with some applications being completed on a PlayStation!

Written by Ben Rogers

Marketing Manager