Over the past decade, the IT landscape in schools has evolved and transformed, but the recent impact of Covid-19 has arguably had one of the most profound impacts on how IT is used to deliver teaching and learning.
For some schools, the sudden need to deliver lessons remotely was just a minor point amongst the myriad of other things that had to be resolved, such a meal vouchers and staying open to support Key Worker & vulnerable children.
Figure 1 – ID: 475459816
So why was this? Generally, the ease of transition to remote learning was a reflection on the maturity of the use of IT within the school.
If you have a very mature IT environment that is well thought out, planned and budgeted for then brilliant. If you do not, your investment approach in IT needs to be reconsidered.
Those schools with a mature approach to IT will have switched to remote learning with little difficulty. However, you might also think that because you managed to quickly implement a remote learning platform for Covid-19 you are out of the woods, but I’m afraid not!
What it means is that investment in IT should be considered, informed and planned, so that you are purchasing the most appropriate equipment/service for your needs and within your budget.
So how can you achieve this? By using this structured methodology, you can ensure that the ICT Strategy is aligned to your Teaching & Learning (T&L) Strategy. This is done by considering the three key areas of ICT use in a school;
- IT for Teaching
- IT for Management
- IT for Learning
Once the initial review has taken place, you will then be able to identify where you are on the IT maturity path.
The IT requirements of these three areas vary greatly, which is why they need to be considered separately, but importantly of all is making sure that any IT investment decision underpins a T&L objective.
If it doesn’t, then there is no rational for the investment.
Once the strategy has been defined, then you can start looking for tools, platforms and services that will support your T&L objectives. Only then can you start to evaluate Laptops vs Chromebooks (did you know you can use O365 on a Chromebook!), iPads vs Android Tablets, O365 vs G Suite, an on premise MIS vs a Cloud based MIS and much much more.
Ultimately, the IT used within a school should work and support all the requirements of learners, teachers and staff and at the same time be cost effective.
Educa IT have been providing IT services for 30 years and would be happy to talk to you about your IT strategy or any of the other services we provide, so please do get in touch.