In education, the adoption of advanced technologies is not just a trend but a necessity. As we gear up for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2024, the sector must be prepared to embrace transformative IT strategies to help students and teachers alike flourish.
Our CEO, Tim Mercer, breaks down the essential aspects institutions need to consider, and explores how tailored solutions can help meet the unique needs of this sector over the coming months.
In the UK’s booming EdTech sector, artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just a buzzword. Instead, it’s becoming a critical part of many organisations’ learning experiences. Schools are currently spending around £900 million yearly on educational technology, with generative AI, like ChatGPT and Google Bard, reshaping how students interact with tech.
AI goes beyond textbooks too, empowering personalised learning tailored to each student’s needs. It can analyse data to pinpoint strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. Teachers can then serve up targeted content, adapt strategies and give real-time feedback, making learning effective and engaging.
Beyond the classroom, AI tackles administrative headaches too, freeing teachers to focus on what matters — from marking to resource allocation and paperwork. As well as creating a more streamlined and positive learning environment, it ensures students and teachers make the most of available tech for first-class learning and development.
If there’s one thing for certain, as tech advances, so do cyber threats. And the education sector is a prime target, holding a goldmine of sensitive data. According to a global survey conducted by Sophos, a shocking 80% of school IT professionals said their schools were hit by ransomware in the last year. Schools like Debenham High School in Suffolk and The Church of England St Augustine Academy faced cyber turmoil.
These threats pack a punch – financial losses, a tarnished reputation, and legal trouble. Cybersecurity measures aren’t just a luxury; they are a must. Schools need rock-solid defences: preventative tactics, disaster recovery plans, regular training, robust access controls, and up-to-the-minute systems. Failing to fortify invites trouble, so safeguarding student data is non-negotiable.
Increased technology means handling greater volumes of sensitive data. And as AI-driven tools become classroom staples, setting ethical guidelines is a must in fostering trust between schools, students and parents.
Implementing measures like encryption, identity and access management systems, data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, firewalls and network security, and secure cloud solutions, ensures data is handled responsibly. Of course, the most robust approach would incorporate a number of these methods, rather than just one.
Today's student diversity demands a tech-savvy educational approach. Equal opportunities for all, regardless of background or abilities, are non-negotiable. And this is where tech steps in, creating an inclusive environment that caters to diverse needs.
Tech solutions like adaptive learning platforms personalise content based on individual progress. Assistive technologies, from text-to-speech software to collaborative learning platforms, support diverse learning needs. These systems are fundamental when it comes to remote learning opportunities and creating an enriching experience for every learner.
In a data-rich era, analytics can play a key role in empowering educational stakeholders to navigate data, spot patterns, personalise learning, and make informed decisions that foster student success and institutional growth.
Keen to shape an environment where learning is personalised, effective, and on the cutting edge? Get in touch to see how we can help.