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Tidying up your tech

March 18, 2022, 16:08 GMT+1
Read in about 4 minutes
  • Two years on from the first lockdown it’s time to get those digital resources organised, says Simon Freeman
Tidying up your tech

Covid-19 caused great upheaval for this generation of school children.

Research from the Education Policy Institute suggests a minimum of £78bn in lifetime earnings will be lost by children who missed out on in-person education in England (£46,000 each). A major task lies ahead in dealing with our new reality.

Now more than ever, we need enhanced teaching to prevent any further negative side effects of children’s increased time in the digital learning world.

Unfortunately, there are still gaps in schools’ technological capabilities. An estimated 44% of teachers and school leaders did not have apps to capture work and assessments and only 39% had the capacity for parents to view student data. 

As students, parents and teachers continue to live with the risk of having to self-isolate, a future-fit Management Information System (MIS) is essential for giving teachers the right intelligence to ensure no student misses out on critical learning.  

To grapple with this successfully the education system needs to tidy up its tech and data. 

Investment in technology proved critical during lockdowns and will become even more so in efforts to close the digital gap, and ensure every student can achieve their potential.

With cloud-based big data and predictive analytics platforms the new norm in schools, teachers will be able to better evaluate the progress and needs of students and ultimately intervene earlier to help them stay on track. 

A tidy environment creates a calm mind more open to learning and succeeding. Yet existing tech stacks in schools and MATs are creating messy classrooms both online and in person; with patchworks of short-term fixes and outdated IT systems often locked away in school admin offices. 

During the pandemic school leaders were forced to spend precious time and energy manually searching for vital information to successfully deliver blended learning.

While many teachers created their own unique workarounds to ensure they could continue improving the life chances of every pupil, this isn’t a sustainable long-term solution. 

As we continue to navigate a new landscape, there must be a concerted effort to tidy up technology stacks and data across schools and MATs.

School leaders report data and analysis as a significant issue that impacts their workload. There is a solution to this challenge.

Harnessing cloud technology and the real-time intelligence it brings to its full potential, will benefit everyone - students, teachers and administrators - in the long-run.

From registrations, absences, detentions, financial planning, staff development and reporting, teachers need software tools that provide them with real-time information so they can act quickly and step in at the point of need to create the best possible outcome for every pupil.

No matter whether in-person or virtual, teachers need complete access to accurate information on students’ academic, wellbeing and safeguarding data to create a holistic view of each pupil. 

By having better information and intelligence, teachers can be empowered with the insight they need to make smarter decisions about schools too.

The right technology can shape the culture of learning, deliver smarter outcomes for public and ultimately give teachers the precious time they need to be the best versions of themselves.

Simon Freeman, MD for Education at IRIS Software Group