NJFMPUG October Meeting: Using FileMaker Go & the iPad to Create Data Driven Schools

The New Jersey FileMaker Pro User Group’s October 26, 2011 meeting was held at Essex Computers in Paramus. FileMaker, Inc. presenters included Rick Colcock, Corporate Systems Engineer; Rodney Santwier, Regional Education Manager, K12 East Sales; and Mike Alvarado, Director of Sales.

The meeting topic was “Using FileMaker Go / iPad to Create Data Driven Schools.” Rick reviewed how simple it can be to access FileMaker files from a mobile device: either by opening a remote file directly in Go, or by transferring a database via email, web or iTunes to use locally. He showed sample data on multiple platforms and devices to underscore the consistency of the user’s experience.

FileMaker Server is a great tool for teaching institutions, and is currently being used by many schools and districts to collect, aggregate and disseminate data. It can be managed in-house (as cloud-based student data is a concern for many educational organizations), yet used to share information in real time with multiple populations, including administrators, teachers and other staff, parents and students themselves. FileMaker can also be used as an adjunct to other SIS (Student Information Systems), such as PowerSchool.

Rodney discussed and demonstrated several education-specific applications deployed in iOS. These ran the gamut from classroom observation check lists to student scheduling systems for security, from logging complaints to recording release forms, from examining correlations to drilling students in math. FileMaker functionality in our schools is well-suited for the front office, classroom, and public information services

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