“What makes or breaks a software is the ability to connect via an ODBC connection and pull live data from whatever source, in our case our student information system and financial information system.” said James Matthews, Director of Information Services at Wylie ISD in Texas. Prior to purchasing School Technology Associate’s ID Badging solution in 2013, Wylie ISD was using a system that had a separate database for each school. To keep the system’s information up to date with what they had in Skyward, Wylie ISD had to pull the data from one system and copy it over to the other, sometimes taking up to five days for a student to get their badge. “Staff was ready to pull their hair out every time they had to think of the old system.”
Having worked previously with School Technology Associate’s ID Badging system at a different district, James knew there was a better way. Directly integrated with the Skyward Student Software, School Technology’s ID Badging system can pull data instantly to print on an ID Badge. The system also allows a photo to be taken on the spot and when the picture importer runs it adds the picture into Skyward. “When they enroll a student they know if the kid isn’t in the badging system yet to just refresh the data and the kid will be there.” said James.
The ID Badging Solution includes the software, an ID badge printer, and a camera. The software allows you to easily search and add fields from Skyward you would like included on the badge. You can easily preview the badge with the live data from Skyward to make sure it is satisfactory before printing. After the software was installed and set up by the IT team at Wylie ISD, James, “set up a time with those who would be using the software, walked them through the one page click sheet the first time, and that was it.”
There are many benefits for a school to have its own badge printing system. Many forms of security start with a badge. It’s important to have all staff and students carry an ID to verify they are allowed and should be on campus. To tighten security further, Wylie ISD also provides badges for regular parent volunteers and other recurring volunteer visitors. Having plastic badges allows for clear pictures and it’s easy to print bright colors that can be changed year to year offering visible verification they are up to date.
When asked what his favorite feature of ID Badging is James answered, “The fact that it pulls live data from Skyward. That it’s intuitive enough so secretaries, librarians, staff who rarely use the software, can open it up and figure out how to use it with the less than a one page click sheet.”