I remember when my older brother started high school around 2000 – a time when we were bombarded with new technology like endless dot-coms, panic-inducing Y2k information, and AOL free trial CDs – and he came home after the first day of school with a laptop
. I was blown away, but little did I know that he was on the cutting edge of technology in the classroom.
Computer technology is used in the classroom as a tool to help teachers have a greater impact on their students and to give those students a greater advantage. From self-erasing white boards and live-streaming apps to tablets and laptops, classrooms today are ruled by technology.
Schools, including K-12 and higher education, collectively spend billions of dollars every year to provide students with personal devices or easy access to leading technologies. The technology schools provide is often flaunted a differentiator, especially for private institutions. They want prospective students and their parents to know that they will have access to the technology that will help them succeed in the classroom. However, with a multitude of devices, including laptops and tablets as well as the sheer number of devices in circulation, it is essential that schools have the right IT support for those devices.
Here are three things to consider when adopting leading technologies in the classroom:
Consider: Ensuring Device Safety
If your school is one of the many that provides devices to students, you need to consider how you manage those devices to ensure not only the safety of the students, but also the safety of your network. For a large device inventory, it is necessary to implement a centralized solution that allows you to develop and manage policies to govern the type of content students can access. With so much malicious and inappropriate material easily available to students, not having a centralized and easily manageable solution will cause headaches in the future. To address this, consider using a firewall with advanced features (e.g., content filtering) or a mobile device management solution.
Consider: Creating a Thorough Policy
In conjunction with a centralized management solution, you should also have written policies that students and/or parents can easily access. These policies ensure that those who use school-provided devices understand their responsibilities when using the technology. It may be necessary to engage an IT expert with extensive knowledge of industry best practices to help develop and roll-out these policies.
Consider: The Cost of Supporting Devices
To support the inevitable issues that arise with such technology, you’ll need a technical support function. Your school may be large enough to maintain an in-house staff to support both student and teacher technical issues full-time, but if not, you may need to outsource those needs. An outsourced help desk
is an ideal solution to support the needs of faculty and student technical issues.
Although students today will never know the anguish of clapping chalk dust-filled erasers at recess, classrooms are now venues for students to gain an educational foundation that will support them the rest of their lives while they simultaneously learn how to engage with technology in a way that is constructive and positive.
If your school is considering providing students with personal devices or is having difficulty managing an existing device fleet, contact us today
to see how we can help.