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Patricia O'Loughlin
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How Schools Can Safely Capitalise on Technology Trends

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These days, schools bristle with a brand new generation of students. It’s a generation that has grown up in a digitally-saturated world full of emerging technology, and so naturally, their eyes are drawn towards the newest-and-shiniest tech products to grace the market.

As a result, many educational facilities are feeling the pressure to keep up with the digital age in order to engage, motivate and stimulate their students. To gauge an idea of just how influential technology is within the educational sphere, let’s take a look at some of the trends that are buzzing right now.

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device

BYOD, or ‘bring your own device’, is one of the overarching trends washing over schools at the moment. While Australian classrooms introduced laptops for students only a few years ago, the tech-savvy times move so quickly that this crusade has quickly progressed into students preferring to bring their own devices to the learning space. Thanks to the introduction of slim, lightweight laptops and super-convenient, on-the-go tablets, it’s now easier than ever for students to seamlessly work between home and school. The result? Students learn the responsible use of technology, preparing them for workplaces that have already heartily embraced the digital age.

LMS – Learning Management System

Another major trend that many schools have already enthusiastically latched onto is LMS. From Google Apps to Office 365, LMS is any kind of software application designed to carry out a range of education-based tasks, including managing educational records and delivering e-learning. The benefits are endless: LMS streamlines traditional paper-pushing processes by organising all content in one location; reduces learning and development costs; keeps organisations up-to-date on compliance regulations; and integrates social learning experiences on a platform that students simply love.

But what kinds of hurdles do these trends present and how can schools overcome them?

The benefits of systems such as BYOD and LMS can only become tangible if schools can effectively introduce and manage them. If not, problems begin to arise: for instance, while BYOD sounds ideally simple, it poses the risk of data being compromised due to lacklustre security. On a more complex level, LMS is built on a systemic framework that requires professional assistance to setup and maintain, not to mention some guidance in choosing the best application for your institution thanks to the 1400-and-counting options currently available!

Naturally, few schools have the in-house resources, the expertise, or simply the time to ensure these new tech trends can be safely and efficiently implemented. Thankfully, however, we are now seeing more and more providers of ICT solutions for educational facilities, enabling them to easily drive the systems necessary to keep up with the tech-savvy times.

The rise of digital technology calls for the rise of digital solutions

Let’s colour this with a simple analogy: the invention of electricity essentially opened up a gateway for a brand new industry as it required ways to generate, transmit and distribute electrical power. Similarly, the invention of digital systems requires a way to implement and maintain the very systems that are being created. It’s forced a new industry in ICT solutions (Information and Communications Technology) to open up, and it’s one that is continually evolving.

After all, as with any new product that’s released on the commercial market, it is imperative to find ways to ensure the best results possible are elicited. If educational facilities employ the necessary expertise to deliver high-quality tech methods, teachers and students alike can make the most of their learning experiences in a positive and productive environment. Once this is achieved, the benefits are truly endless.

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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