The new school year is now in full swing, and while you might have made and executed some of your plans over the summer, when it comes to technology, it’s always worth keeping an eye on the next project. And it’s always a great idea to head into BETT with a solid idea of the technology you’re looking to invest in next.
With that in mind, here are 4 education technology tools we think are going to be essential in 2020.
This is (hopefully!) a bit of an obvious one. As you’re no doubt aware by now, support for Windows 7 ends on 14th January 2020. This means that if you haven’t already, you should definitely be focusing on how you’re going to move to the latest version of Windows. If you reach the de-support date and you’re still running Windows 7, you could be exposing your institution to a number of potential security threats and the unexpected costs that come with a breach. Whether you choose to upgrade your end user technology or just the operating system, it’s vital that you start planning this migration now if you haven’t already.
Maybe mixed reality technology isn’t essential – but this year, virtual and augmented reality have blown up in the edtech space, and as the technology becomes more affordable and accessible to a wider range of budgets, it’s not set to slow down. It’s definitely worth considering how and if you will bring mixed reality into your classrooms in the next few years, if you haven’t already. There is a plethora of content available across all of the core subjects and beyond – and much of it can be accessed for free. Mixed reality has been shown to assist in making lessons more engaging, and more accessible for students of all abilities and all ages – you can deliver experiences they might never have had the opportunity to have, without even leaving the classroom. As mixed reality becomes more embedded into our society and applications beyond learning and gaming, it’s becoming more and more vital that students understand the technology and its potential.
Less of a tool, more of a strategy, but an important point nonetheless. To ensure your school is really getting the most out of its technology, it’s vital that your teachers think as “digital-first” educators. Rather than asking them to incorporate the technology into their existing practices, you should be equipping them with the tools and knowledge to create and deliver lessons that are digitally led, making the most of the technology rather than using them as a vehicle for older, more traditional practices. You need to support them in this, and the best way to do this is through offering a continued programme of continued professional development (CPD) and training in order to give them the vital skills they need to teach the next generation the vital digital skills they need.
Engagement and adoption
Whether it’s teachers, pupils or parents – everyone within your institution should be on board with the technology you’re using and the strategy behind it – otherwise you won’t be getting the most out of your investment. Just as teachers need ongoing CPD to ensure they’re getting the most value out of the tech, pupils and parents need to understand why they’re using the tools, and what’s expected from them when they’re using them. They may use devices at home, but that could be very different to using them in an educational context. It’s important that parents in particular buy-in to the use of the tech, because they are going to be key in driving consistent use at home as well as at school.
Whatever your next move when it comes to technology, we can help you upgrade in a more cost-effective way. Freedom Tech have created a range of flexible technology finance options built specifically for education. With strong partnerships with leading vendors and resellers, we offer unbeatable pricing on the latest tech. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.