Our children – for better or worse – are being born into a technical age, where apps, devices and connectivity are second-nature concepts.
Coding, now recognised as an essential future skill, is a regular fixture on the education curriculum, while even our youngest can navigate phone apps long before they’ve scribbled into their notebooks.
Yet this also makes technology a challenge; not least in education, where maintaining a student’s attention can be challenging. How do we take something so pedestrian and use it to leverage a young student’s attention and imagination? Can we take learning further than the classroom – and make education available from anywhere?
As a Managed Service Provider, we’re familiar with delivering award-winning services to local businesses; yet we also understand the needs of schools and colleges, whose network security, SaaS applications and Managed Print software need as much protection and personalisation as that of any other organisation.
Educational Technology (or eTech) might not be far removed from the Office software we’re used to, yet it’s still flexible enough to create engaging ways of learning for youngsters. For example…
Growing up in the nineties, owning Encarta made you the coolest kid in the homework club; a wealth of information on a single disk, given a jolt of life with its interactive activities and videos. With the arrival of the internet, Google and the ubiquitous allure of Wikipedia, however, it’s now too easy for young students to find the information they need – and the magic has been lost, somewhat.
Software allows tutors to make more creative learning materials, letting students approach their work with a more hands-on approach. Microsoft Forms allows students to share ideas or knowledge, for example, while presentations can be brought to life with PowerPoint’s simple-to-use animation functions. Students can even collaborate on creative projects of their own, through their personal devices, to create presentations and materials.
SaaS solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 keep work always available and easily shared between users. For working both in the classroom and at home via Wi-Fi, this is an exceptional opportunity for collaborative learning.
Via Microsoft Teams, students are encouraged to engage with their learning from home, without losing the social benefits of the classroom. They and their working buddies can meet online to take the humdrum out of home learning. Similarly, solutions such as these nurture an always-online forum, where students can discuss homework with their tutors outside the confines of the classroom. This also means that if external issues cause schools to close or classes to be limited, the learning can continue from home.
Inclusion and Individuality
For students with learning difficulties, or for whom English might be a second language, the classroom environment can feel awkward or excluding; but educational materials seen through a personal device gives the user a tailored experience, that better suits their preferred learning methods and provides the accessibility options they need.
The benefit is twofold; not only can the learning experience be tailored to a student’s distinct capabilities or difficulties, it does so in a personal environment where they can’t feel ashamed or ostracised.
Just as much a benefit for tutors as students, analytics can be implemented - explicitly or otherwise - to gain feedback or better establish learning trends. Over time, tutors can identify any ongoing patterns of behaviour, calculate expected grades or establish any rise or fall in attendance.
Yet analytics needn’t only be used for the strict monitoring of the class. For students, it can be used more creatively in coursework to draw conclusive results or understand scientific or social theories on an altogether grander scale.
Software such as Microsoft Azure, as well as modern Managed Print apps, can analyse data flows, or even monitor your scanned documents, to source this information quickly and accurately.
The education sector is transformed not only by our technology, but by our students’ abilities to interact, understand and interpret it. By embracing the possibilities, the classroom can become a truly cooperative environment; with teachers guiding the curriculum, and students dictating its digital future.
An IT solution from Mirus is especially tailored for the needs of any enterprise – including schools and colleges. We’re familiar with SQL Server, the software behind such school management systems as SIMS and RM; our networking capabilities create a safe and secure infrastructure for your students to study and learn in; and our expertise with software such as Office 365 means we can build a working environment where tutors and pupils can cooperate and collaborate, with cloud-based learning that’s available to all.
With our Managed Services, you’ll also benefit from managed and monitored IT that’s secured with all the latest updates – in or out of term time.
For more on our work with educational institutions, you can read our Case Study on MK College’s technical transformation in the link below.
Click the download button above for the case study.