Implementing any new piece of technology presents a challenge. There are too many things that can go wrong. There are problems that will never crop up until the tools are in the hands of real people using them in real-world situations.
When you're trying to put something in place that's as big as Independent School District 196's new online fee-payment system, those problems are magnified.
Still, the district seems to be making progress. A pair of recent trial runs were encouraging despite some bumps in the road. Between tennis sign-ups at Eastview High School and Advanced Placement test registrations at Eastview and Rosemount high schools, the district processed more than $85,000 in payments entirely online.
There were technical challenges. Some users ran into problems that blocked their progress entirely. Others had problems that were more a result of user error -- or of a confusing interface -- than they were technical problems.
Those things can be fixed, though, and so far things look encouraging. The new system, which will allow parents and students to go online to pay for lunches, field trips and athletic fees, among other things, should streamline operations in the district. They will eliminate problems with students forgetting to hand in money, or with things getting misplaced once they're in the hands of a teacher or a coach.
The district says it is on pace to have this new system live by it's July 1 target. We believe it will be a benefit for all parents in the district.