I need a response to the below statement:
The organization the author works in, Riyadh Schools (RS), is struggling to communicate effectively and utilize information technology. Until the start of the pandemic, it was making a gradual shift and running a series of communications technologies side by side for managing communication. These included Classera, as a Saudi wide standard education LMS used by the government, Eduzone, as a database for academic settings, Google Suite for staff collaboration, MS Teams, as a Microsoft Showcase School, as well as a number of software such as OneNote, Google Classrooms, and a panoply of educational software for resource and practice. Communicating effectively and efficiently across these platforms has been close to a nightmare. Most reliable is school-wide MS Outlook, but with a GSuite foundation. Interestingly enough, for real-time collaboration, WhatsApp groups and individually is a primary tool for communication school-wide. We could not live without it. There is not a good system between these. Classera is required to be used, but MS Forms and Teams function better since the pandemic. But Classera has been chosen by the Ministry of Education for public schools, so even though RS is private, they choose it for ease in records sharing (Alahmari & Kyei-Blankson, 2016). Classera may have more capacity and function but due to a practice of archiving records, including from the email function, it is little more than a system for RS for formative and summative assessment with exam features.
As for a communications plan, this is definitely needed. An example is simple audience analysis. Although RS recommends teachers communicate with their students via Classera, most students do not check their messages there. For a counselor working with students year over year, having a record of messages and tracked history is crucial. Messages being wiped every four months is a disaster. For messaging I proposed students use their official RS email accounts that are accessible through their MS outlook subscriptions. This includes grade warnings, appeals, requests for resources, references, scholarship applications, etc. However, another channel of WhatsApp is best for communicating with students. A proposal would include what I have done already and what has worked effectively. Dynamic communications regarding class announcements and questions for the teacher are done through Whatsapp groups. Sharing of resources and submission of assignments is done through MS OneNote seconded to Teams groups. Narrowing down communications to three channels helps students to stay connected as opposed to having five or six different channels that they do not check. However, unfortunately, there is not an organization-wide plan. So, individual staff develops a plan at the beginning of each course with their class and with their work teams as well.
Considering audience, resources, channels, objectives, and timing, I would recommend that organization-wide we stop using Classera for messaging, but rather email for official, WhatsApp for unofficial messages (Mindtools, 2021). Sharing of resources should take place on a unified platform like Teams for collaborative work using their many apps available like OneNote and file sharing. Classera can continue to be used for examinations because its security has been accepted by the Ministry of Education, despite its glaring holes. This would create a better path towards cohesive communication.
Alahmari, A., & Kyei-Blankson, L. (2016). Adopting and Implementing an E-Learning System for Teaching and Learning in Saudi Public K-12 Schools: The Benefits, Challenges, and Concerns. World Journal of Educational Research, 3(1), 11. 10.22158/wjer.v3n1p11