Addressing the pace of change in the education landscape

Whether it is an updated curriculum, new legislation or technological advancements, it seems the only thing schools can rely on is change. But often, significant change presents an opportunity. While keeping up to speed with technology can be a hard task, we cannot ignore the transformative potential of new technology, nor the need to equip students with the requisite skills to cope with a digital world and to be employable.

With ongoing budget constraints, schools need to make sure they find a balance between providing a first-class education and the need to manage resources efficiently. New advances in digital technology and automation can offer schools a more flexible approach, to deliver more connected and efficient ways of working as well as improved budget management and better value for money.

Many schools throughout the country have already recognised the huge benefits of technologies such as cloud computing and have made good progress in implementing the cloud to streamline processes, enhance efficiencies as well as support extended learning and save money.

It’s widely known that using cloud technology can revolutionise the way education organisations work, bringing together essential information, teaching tools and management systems that are securely available at any time and in any place. The ability for students to access the learning environment anywhere from any device via the cloud can drastically reduce the need for on-site storage and create a device-agnostic environment. Staff and students can “plug in” using their own personal devices, rather than the school having to invest more heavily in mobile devices. It also gives pupils the opportunity to access a virtual homework diary hosted within an online learning environment. From a teacher perspective, this online learning environment enables them to upload and share all the necessary information, resources and deadlines with reminder alerts, so that students have everything they need to succeed. What’s more, the technology encourages better communication between students and staff through allowing pupils to ask questions as they go and allowing teachers to check on pupil progress at any time and from any place, whether that be in the classroom or outside of it.

This online learning environment is as much a business tool for a school as it is a learning tool for pupils, providing efficiencies in administration to maximise teacher time in the classroom and a full audit trail that can in turn be used to support Ofsted inspections.

However, before embarking on any new innovations, organisations should first consider whether their existing infrastructure can cope – or speak to an expert third party to get their advice. Without strong foundations to ensure the stability of any new projects, schools won’t see the return on investment they would otherwise expect.