Technology’s Role in School Board Meeting Management
Before boardroom technology became a part of the picture, school board meetings depended largely upon the successful creation, collation and distribution of paper-bound board packets. Not only was this process tedious and cumbersome, but boards would spend significant amounts of money on paper and printing costs, as well as mailing and carrier services in order to get board packets to board members ahead of time. Preparing for a school board meeting meant reviewing pages upon pages and having to redo the entire process if any mistakes or needed updates came to light. While some school boards are still relying on these methods for meeting management, many have made the switch over to digital and are reaping the daily benefits of boardroom technology.
From creating agendas and putting them through reviews and edits to actually addressing each item laid out in the agenda and making progress on key issues during the meeting, boardroom technology facilitates the most effective, efficient and impactful meeting outcomes on a consistent basis.
Incorporating Boardroom Technology into Board Trainings
School boards of directors are among the least knowledgeable groups regarding boardroom technology. In a 2017 National School Boards Association (NSBA) survey of 482 school board members, only 22% of respondents knew that digitizing board documents would increase the security of information. Additionally, only 35% of respondents also understood that insecure file-storage sites like Google Docs significantly increase the risk of data breaches and other cyberattacks. With these statistics in mind, ensuring that boardroom technology is incorporated into board member trainings is critical to the security and operations of any school board.
It should be a top priority for today’s school boards to have a comprehensive understanding of technology and how to leverage digital tools securely and effectively. These trainings and conversations will also help to make the case for paperless meeting software to otherwise reluctant school board members by demonstrating the copious benefits that come from digitizing the boardroom. Once a board portal platform has been agreed upon, board trainings will work to prepare the board for implementation to make for a seamless and painless process.
How Boardroom Technology Builds Good Board Governance
Practicing good board governance is a core aspect of a school board of director’s work. Bad governance can seriously damage public trust and negatively impact a school board’s reputation, trickling down to effect the students and any achievement goals that may have been in place for either the short or long term. Working within tight budgets makes it difficult for school boards to allocate the right amount of spend to needed boardroom technology, but budgeting for a board portal is a necessary step that school boards should take if they truly wish to see continual improvements, strong board governance and goals being met. Leveraging boardroom technology that helps boards streamline meeting processes and easily access needed information enables them to focus more on practicing sound board governance and keeping an eye on the main goals for the district, like growing student success.