by Belinda Breeze

As the leading provide of CLOUD-BASED K-12 Software, PowerSchool supports educators, administrators, and families to help students learn in a way that’s right for them, with its vision being to transform education using innovative technology that truly supports personalised education for every student around the world.

With nearly three decades of experience delivering innovative, best-in-class education technology, PowerSchool connects everyone in the education community with the shared goal of helping students thrive through personalised education. Connecting the central office to the classroom to the home helps schools efficiently manage secure student data, registration, attendance, grading, instruction, assessments, human resources, talent, professional development, special education, communications, and analytics with cloud-based software.

TRANSFORMATIVE TOOLS FOR EDUCATION In 2024, PowerSchool will provide six comprehensive Clouds to bring together the digital tools education teams need to be successful in their roles and help students succeed. PowerSchool also offers expanded platform capabilities with AI, Analytics and Insights, and Data to empower educators to personalise teaching.

It also supports better engagement between families and schools through My PowerSchool and Communications solutions. PowerSchool has grown to support over 50 million students, including an extensive and growing customer base in the MEA region. In 2023, PowerSchool opened its first MEA office in Dubai to better support and expand customer relationships in the MEA and surrounding market. Currently, PowerSchool supports a range of UAE customers, including Al Ittihad National Private Schools, Liwa Education, Aldar Education, ESOL, and the American International School in Abu Dhabi.

PERSONALISATION AND ADAPTIVE LEARNING IN THE CLOUD With PowerSchool, educators can experience a transformative approach to AI that is meticulously designed for the day-to-day needs of educators and is reshaping the landscape of teaching, learning, and managing school operations. As PowerSchool delves into the impactful world of AI-ML solutions in education, it acknowledges their transformative effect but sees the true value in their development and application.

PowerSchool is committed to maintaining a mindful and responsible approach to AI, guided by six principles: human-centered design, fairness and bias elimination, stringent data governance, privacy and security, transparency and user control, and ethical use. Its vision for leveraging the power of AI bolsters its mission to help every student achieve their maximum potential by transforming how teachers teach and students learn, responsibly and ethically. It has already started upon this journey, seamlessly integrating an array of AI functionalities into its suite of products:

  • In 2023, PowerSchool announced two new generative AI-powered features for educators as part of a new partnership between PowerSchool and Microsoft. Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Services was embedded into PowerSchool’s Performance Matters and LearningNav solutions.
  • PowerSchool also introduced AI to its Risk Analysis product, allowing educators to quickly identify students who require additional support through predictive analytics and machine learning and increase the chances of students graduating on time.
  • On 23 January 2024, PowerSchool announced the next evolution of its platform with the launch of PowerSchool PowerBuddy™, a new AI-powered assistant that will be integrated across the PowerSchool family of products, including Performance Matters, Schoology Learning, Naviance CCLR, Connected Intelligence, Analytics & Insights, and My PowerSchool.

These additions allow educators, students, administrators, and families to unlock the untapped potential of personalized teaching and learning, leading to unparalleled efficiency and paving the way for a future where every learner can thrive for lifelong success.

THE STUDENT BUDDY EXPERIENCE Understanding a student’s current mastery and instructional gaps including their grades, reading levels, special accommodations, learning styles, and test scores to name a few is the first step in the process of crafting personalised education experiences and curating individualised learning plans and assignments for each student. Here is an example where a student is struggling to understand a concept within an assignment. The student reaches out to PowerBuddy for help. Leveraging its programmed Socratic method, lesson title, and standard alignment to assignment, PowerBuddy returns helpful information to guide the student along, such as providing helpful topics and hints or even challenges to personalise the student’s learning journey:

  • PowerBuddy: “It looks like you’re looking at your assignment ‘How Ecosystems work’. Need any help?”
  • Student clicks on notification and starts speaking with PowerBuddy: “How has overfishing impacted the ecosystem?”
  • PowerBuddy explains in a tailored way for the student: “So, imagine a big, bustling aquarium where all kinds of fish live. Overfishing is like taking too many fish out of that aquarium. When we do this in the oceans, it upsets the balance – some fish become scarce, others become too many, and it messes up the homes of other sea creatures. So, we need to be careful and take only what we need to keep our underwater world healthy and happy!”

COLLABORATION TOOLS AND FEATURES IN CLOUD-BASED EDUCATION In 2023, PowerSchool introduced PowerSchool Clouds, tailor-made solutions built for specific roles that can help solve their challenges while increasing security and saving time. The PowerSchool Clouds are the first endto-end ed-tech solutions of their kind, built to support 21st-century K-12 needs and priorities. The Clouds are designed specifically to provide all the digital assets needed by education teams to be successful. The Clouds can help teams thrive by saving time, improving student outcomes, and simplifying workflows.

In 2024, PowerSchool provides six comprehensive Clouds: Personalised Learning Cloud: Curriculum and Instruction Directors know the importance of empowering teachers, fostering connections, and innovating education. With its interoperable design and powerful AI functionality, PowerSchool’s Personalised Learning Cloud offers a comprehensive set of assessment, curriculum management, and instructional tools that enable teachers to create customized learning experiences for every student, regardless of their learning style or needs.

Student Success Cloud: Only PowerSchool’s Student Success Cloud provides the complete support students need to reach their potential. Student Success Cloud solutions reduce chronic absenteeism, promote positive behaviour, and include a comprehensive MTSS solution that allows schools to identify and track student needs, provide extensive inputs to conduct and monitor interventions, and review the fidelity of the MTSS framework.

Educator Effectiveness Cloud: PowerSchool’s Educator Effectiveness Cloud has tools to transform realtime observation and instructional coaching data into personalised goals and professional development recommendations for each educator. This Cloud enables schools to foster a data-informed culture that enhances the capabilities of their staff to support student success and improve overall district performance. With this Cloud, schools can increase teacher retention, conduct evaluations, deliver content, and offer personalised professional learning.

HR & ERP Cloud: Transform a school’s critical operations with the PowerSchool HR & ERP Cloud, an integrated solution that modernises and enhances both financial management and HR processes.

This powerful solution revolutionises recruitment, onboarding, position control, budget management, and financial strategy. With the benefits of a modernised and intuitive system, seamless workflows, and streamlined hiring processes, this comprehensive solution provides tools to effectively and efficiently manage resources, time, and workforce for a greater impact on student success.

College, Career, and Life Readiness Cloud: PowerSchool’s College, Career, and Life Readiness Cloud provides the complete support students need to be ready for their futures. With robust tools to drive self-discovery, career pathway exploration, work-based learning, education programme and college preparation, and skills development, students can create a personalized post-secondary plan that helps them reach their goals. With easy access to workforce insights, leaders can be equipped with the data needed to drive education and workforce alignment. As students prepare to enter a rapidly evolving global job market, empower them to acquire the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to excel in their educational journey and beyond.

REDEFINING EDUCATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE: PowerSchool University (PSU) helps users take advantage of the robust features and capabilities of PowerSchool solutions through hands-on professional development and access to an interactive digital curriculum included with each PowerSchool University event.

PSU Remote Plus offers instructor-led training online. With PSU Remote Plus, users will receive the same hands-on training they’re accustomed to at an onsite event, with the convenience of an online format. Users will receive a digital curriculum for all classes – even those they don’t attend – with no expiration date.

PSU Express is a PSU-style training in a quick, two-day format. Available in various cities within a region, PSU Express provides hands-on training on topics specific to a user’s role. Get the training needed without the added expense of out-of-country travel or an extended stay. PowerSchool brings its best trainers to the user!

REACH OUT AND ENGAGE: PowerSchool hosts regular webinars to help schools learn more about PowerSchool’s offerings, including the PowerSchool Clouds and recent AI announcements such as PowerBuddy. Schools can also speak with a sales representative or schedule a personalised demo of the products they’re interested in by visiting PowerSchool.