Policy Matter

2020 to witnesscloud adoption as a new trend in Education Technology

Even though there have been a huge transformation in the past schools, the growing role of technology in every sector have impacted education too due to which multiple schools are now struggling to match with the pace of innovation. Right now its about the opportunities that the educators need to look for in 2020- it can be data analytics, new classroom technology or a cloud service along with the plan of its implementations. RM Education’s Change Strategy Manager, Michael Oaks took to share his education technology trends for 2020.

Change Strategy Manager at RM Education, Michael Oakes reportedly says that its quite a difficult time for a lot of schools. Ofsted frameworks have been demanding more from the teachers, budgets have been tight and the number of technologies available to transform learning and teaching can seem to be overwhelming. Through his discussions with school leaders, he came to know about one of the most common difficulties which is the lack of clarity that the schools have about implementing any new plan. According to him many schools have introduced new technologies without a clear plan which has eventually caused more frustration than help.

He adds that for the better implementations of education technology in 2020 it’s crucial that school along with the wider industry stops to take technology as a single solution every problem and rather should start planning about how new innovations can support existing initiatives and enable teachers to make the most of it. In order to do this the technology transformation should be as well planned as any other investment with clear targets, outcomes and deliverables. Along with all this the schools and institutions should believe in the fact that a well-trained and well supported staff is equally important so that they have the idea of utilising these technologies effectively. The lack of these can cause many institutions lag behind.

Further he comments that it is amid the backdrop of Ofsted inspections and multiple expectations from schools that schools gets a hold on the new technologies and with this he believes that 2020 will see the re-birth of technology as a positive force in various educational institutions. The loss of faith in technology and investment among the senior leaders is due to poorly implemented projects and increasing number of competing vendors. He suggests working together as an industry can help ensure that schools are well equipped to educate the upcoming generation.

As a part of this speech, Michael Oakes shared some of his predictions about the kind of expectations we should have from the education sector in the coming year:

Schools will be pressurized to innovate for the growing literacy among the staff

With the newest generation of teachers have started participating the process of educating, schools are now facing young minds who are digital natives too. Beginning from classroom technology to cloud management along with sufficient internet speeds, these teachers are emphasizing more on clear and quick innovation and this is pressurizing the schools to develop faster and better.

Of course, digitally equipped schools are proving to be a desirable workplace for younger professionals. This scenario has led to schools being a educated consumer in terms of technology solutions. As the demands of smarter ways of working, students and teachers to access resources remotely, cloud technology, the digitals natives will also get a clarity on the changes they desire to see in the institutions and the ways they should bring them.

Cloud-based infrastructure to be the next trend

2020 will be witnessing majority of big schools to make significant progress towards the transformation to a cloud-based infrastructure. The traditional infrastructure are no longer being able to provide the ease of use, accessibility and flexibility that the modern school require. Now is the time when the teachers need to access information remotely and students gain equal learning experience at home as well as schools.

Certain other benefits of cloud adoption have proved that though past learning technologies such as interactive screens, VR and online portals were viewed sceptically, the advantages of cloud adoption have enabled decision makers to realize their value and the way of driving them forward. Eventually the schools are being seen more confident in cloud adoption and focussed on technical systems which will allow the infrastructure and classroom learning to improve more.

The use of data in schools for the better understanding of classroom trends

The importance of data is not hidden. Irrespective of the organization, keeping a track of its information have always been crucial. As far as schools are considered data helps in keeping a record, of the attendance, performance, exam results. The Management Information Systems which handles this is no less than a backbone of the modern teaching. With MIS enabling the teachers to easily analyse the performance in classroom, schools should also start viewing the data they collect in context because only through this they can get to understand its value and predict the trends of future in terms of anticipating probable challenges. For instance, if more absence in a particular time of an year is being noticed in the data, the institutions can easily understand if it’s the weather or the season and these analysations will further help in planning the holidays or examinations in future years.

An MIS will enable teachers and office staff extract information quickly and without any training or specialist skills. Schools further will require enough focus on getting real value out of their MIS to build outcome-focussed programmes which utilises management information effectively so that results and improvements gets demonstrated.

Cybersecurity adoption to be driven by Cloud migration

Schools like other sectors are also facing cybersecurity threats which risks the students data along with day-to-day operations. With DDoS (distributed denial of service), Hackers can easily target organizations which limits the access to the online resources and internet or straight away attempt to manipulate data. A business continuity strategy and robust cybersecurity has to be introduced for the schools to cope up with such cyber threats. Solutions like managed cloud services, encryption and two factor authentication can save an organizations from the cybercriminals.

With a good clarity about these in minds, Schools will be wiser enough when it comes to buying their technology services and solutions. Schools will start ensuring the authenticity of the providers they are working with, understand in detail about the threats they face and take care that appropriate standards are being implemented so that risk of attacks can be mitigate. With this the school’s choice of hardware, software, network connectivity and access management will also be impacted. Certain schools have already started using cloud-solutions which enables teaching and mitigate the risk as well.

In order to implement solutions of this sort, the network managers will have to coordinate with a trustworthy third party which identifies the vulnerabilities and assures that they are taken care of periodically. A clear idea of this will also be communicated to teachers as well as rest of the staffs so that they understand the risks in the business and maintain good practices of password management and other security areas. Since everyday is a new challenge when it comes to cybersecurity, a school must have the clarity on these threats and deal with them within real time.

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