Live from the X2 Community Conference

I'm at the X2 Development Corporation Community Conference for the next two days. It's an annual event that our SIS vendor puts on to bring together end users (power, guru, new, and otherwise) and, not surprisingly, build community among their growing cadre of school districts.

I'm at the X2 Development Corporation Community Conference for the next two days. It's an annual event that our SIS vendor puts on to bring together end users (power, guru, new, and otherwise) and, not surprisingly, build community among their growing cadre of school districts.

Obviously, my district uses X2 Aspen (their SIS product), so in the interest of full disclosure, I'll let everyone know that I'm the system administrator for our district, a member of their Advisory Council, and am genuinely fond of the product. In my opinion, it's a great web-based student information system that is only getting better.

That being said, there are a lot of sessions with extra information about X2 Aspen and the state-of-the-art in student information systems. I'll be posting updates here throughout the next few days of things I find interesting about both X2 and SIS products.

As I'm posting, share your favorite features from your SIS.

6 May 2009, 9:12am To start: The president, Rick Dwyer, is giving his keynote on the evolution and maturing of their product. For a 6-year old company, it's come a long ways (of course, so has the Web since 2003). More to come.

Here are some of the new major components that are online now and/or are being adopted by many districts this year:

  • Parent/student portal
  • Personnel/PD tracking
  • Helpdesk, project management, asset tracking, and a knowledge base integrated into the SIS (already used extensively internal to the company, but now opening up to the districts to manage their own tech support operations, including support unrelated to X2); districts using their helpdesk system can automatically escalate internal X2 support issues directly to X2 tech support.
  • Improved audit trails (ever wanted to nail a secretary who wiped out student records?)
  • Improved queries with prompts that administrators can build to allow easy end-user access to data
  • Portable workflows (workflows have been integrated into X2 for a while, but they can now be exported, shared, modified, etc., making it easy for districts to share their solutions to various issues, e.g., contact verification)
  • Drastically improved Special Education module (good enough that I'll be seriously thinking about leaving eSped behind next year - we'll see if they keep improving it at this rate)

6 May 2009, 10:22am More coffee on board...Now at a session on the relatively new 504 Plan management module in X2.

Talking about how to address accountability in the 504 module. Also, we've figured out how to embed documents in custom fields so that relevant documents can electronically be attached to 504s.

6 May 2009, 1:31pm My last session for the day: scheduled jobs within the SIS (e.g., an automatic export to ConnectEd every night).

What can be scheduled in X2 Aspen?

  • Reports (e.g., run an attendance report every day and email it automatically to the assistant principal)
  • Exports/imports
  • Procedures