Technology and education - the perfect match?
The changing landscape of consumer behaviour seen in recent years, thanks to the increasingly widespread use of mobile technology and the rise of the internet, has had a significant impact on the way in which children learn and retain information. For this reason, schools have been put under increasing pressure to adapt teaching techniques to keep up with this, placing technology at the forefront in the classroom in the 21st century.
Integrating technology into the classroom has given pupils of all ages a wealth of new experiences, promoting a collaborative approach to learning that promotes both integration and diversity in learning styles.
While the benefits offered by technology in the classroom are seemingly endless, giving teachers the chance to prepare children for life in the working world, this innovative method is not without its challenges.
By integrating technology into the classroom, schools are opening windows to a new set of challenges, which they would never have been tasked with dealing with in years gone by. Namely, the prospect of performing tasks on a number of different devices throughout any given day, which could lead to higher operating costs and leave schools’ business to security threats if streamlining is not considered from an early stage.
So, what can schools do to ensure that integrating technology into the everyday lives of pupils does not turn into a headache?
Streamline your operations
Continuing to bring new devices into the classroom which offer exciting learning opportunities for children and teachers may seem like a good idea to begin with, but having too many programmes, operating systems and applications will soon prove to be quite stress-inducing. For instance, if a child is working on a project on one device, then moves to another, they will often find themselves unable to continue with that work until they can log on to that same device once again. The ideal approach to technology in education keeps streamlining both devices and software at the forefront of operations, as having one single setup will lead to lower costs and fewer tantrums over lost work in the long term.
Prowise, a brand that specialises in digital learning solutions, is becoming increasingly popular in classrooms across the country, as teachers and decision makers learn more about what this innovative brand can offer. Rolling out a full suite of products - known as 360 Prowise - is one valuable way in which school IT departments can prevent issues. This approach, which incorporates the use of touch screens, tablets and software that works together seamlessly straight out of the box, means teachers do not have to worry about documents getting lost between devices.
As with many businesses, school IT departments often struggle to place adequate emphasis on security due to a lack of understanding or budget constraints. However, the more technology becomes an integral part of education, the higher the risk to schools and the valuable data stored on their networks. Having a security strategy in place is absolutely essential for any school that wants to prevent further issues by leaving themselves vulnerable to an attack, and the earlier this is considered, the better.
The safety of such devices in a physical sense is another priority which can be a source of some confusion. Deciphering how to store, transport and charge a potentially large number of solutions - from laptops of different sizes and brands, to tablets and the cables required for their use - may seem like an impossible task, but there are solutions on the market that are ideal for use in this manner. Leba Innovation is one brand helping schools to kit themselves out with high quality products to store, charge, protect and sync electronic devices in a single, compact unit.
As the popularity of technology use in the classroom continues to grow, it is vital for IT departments in learning institutions to devise a clear and effective strategy that streamlines devices and software in order to prevent issues further down the line. By doing so, and incorporating a long-term security plan, more time can be dedicated to other important tasks, ensuring that pupils are left to get the most out of innovative devices that can completely revolutionise the way they learn.
Albie Attias is managing director of IT hardware reseller, King of Servers. He regularly helps IT departments in the education sector to overcome the ever-growing list of challenges they face as technology’s role in the classroom grows.