There have been huge challenges for the education sector over the last year. Schools, colleges and universities had to close because of Covid-19 and establishments quickly found themselves trying to adjust to an online world, delivering classes remotely.
While teachers and students have been on various media outlets explaining the challenges they’ve faced over the last few months, the unsung heroes of this enforced digital transformation have undoubtedly been the IT managers and teams who have had to leverage their existing infrastructure, undertake new approaches and maintain continuity at this difficult time.
From the start of the lockdown, behind the scenes, IT staff were working tirelessly to implement a range of solutions. We’re blessed at this particular time that today’s technology is robust enough to deliver what is required.
We have cloud-based computing, the opportunity to set up virtual classrooms and deliver a wide range of educational support. But putting this in place as a matter of urgency for some organisations has been challenging to say the very least.
The Challenges of Online Learning
It wasn’t that remote teaching and learning had never been considered before. Online learning has been one of the biggest growth sectors in recent years.
The big challenge was an almost apocalyptic change that took place overnight. From the moment we all went into lockdown, IT managers across the UK were tasked with getting education back up and running again.
With teachers and students at home, face to face learning was impossible. The challenge was not just how to get people connected again sustainably and reliably and not all of it was technical.
- How could you make sure that everyone had the right kit and knew how to use it?
- How would schools cope with students or staff who had slower internet connections?
- What software solutions were likely to work best for different organisations and, within that, for different disciplines?
- While self-motivated students were able to cope with online learning, what about those who required more teacher support?
This, of course, required a lot of trial and error, with teachers, students and IT managers working closely together, not just across individual institutions but more widely across the UK.
Now that students are back in classes and there is a vaccine on the horizon, the role of technologies such as cloud-based learning is still at the forefront of educators minds.
It’s not just about providing online classes at certain times of the day but for exploring how current technology can be used to enhance collaboration and learning. IT services remain at the forefront of this disruptive undertaking, perhaps changing how education is delivered in the future.
Choosing the Right IT Partner
The good news is that there is a wide range of software available for educational organisations including schools, colleges and universities. Cloud-based services allow educators to not only deliver remote learning but greater engagement in the classroom.
For education, it’s never been so important to have an IT partner that can provide the wider range of support that is needed. At NextWave IT, we bring more than 30 years’ experience to bear on the challenges that schools and colleges face today.