Today, both students and parents have far greater expectations regarding access to technology than ever before. Accustomed to having information at hand, 24/7, they expect the same level of accessibility and flexibility with regards to their learning, their peers, and the school as a whole.
The modern student expects, for instance, to be able to access learning resources after hours, as well via a range of different learning avenues and tools – including videos, interactive displays, discussion forums, PowerPoint presentations and more. Similarly, parents expect to be able to check their child’s progress at any step.
In enabling this level of interactivity and accessibility, technology is vital.
Examples of technology that can bring the modern school to life include:
Learning Management Systems
An effective and rich learning management system (LMS) is a key requirement of any modern school – enabling students to access and store classroom notes and lessons, securely, online. An LMS can also have distinct benefits for teachers – functioning as an assessment and grading tool.
St Stephen’s School on the Gold Coast, for instance, has been embracing eLearning for many years, and implemented the Brightspace LMS in 2011. Brightspace enables blended learning; which is about using the LMS to create an experience for students where they can learn on their own schedule and at a pace that works for them. It’s learning that isn’t restricted to regular school hours. Armed with the proper learning resources and an LMS that can keep up with the school’s vision, students are responding.
Peter West, the school’s Director of eLearning, says that the platform has been very effective in enabling students to learn at their own pace, and at a time that suits them, with students often logging in after hours and on weekends.
“If we don’t provide a modern, rich learning environment, then we’re essentially stealing opportunities from students. We don’t want to replace traditional, teacher-led teaching, where teachers inspire kids to do their best, but we want to enhance this classroom learning and enable them to learn anywhere, any time,” says West.
Today’s student wants to learn in different ways and is very familiar with using a range of devices to gather and interpret information. As such, more and more schools are enabling students to bring their own devices (BYOD) or providing different devices to enable more cross-platform learning.
There are a range of Windows devices that cater for different subjects and learning styles, featuring digital ink, touch, keyboard, voice and video - allowing students to sketch notes, type essays, video lessons and more.
For IT staff, a BYOD strategy – and or management of a range of school-owned devices - can be managed with via Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security suite, which provides secure single sign-on access to school services, applications and safe social media.
To get the best results, both students and staff need to have reliable tools with which to produce work, share information and communicate.
Microsoft Office 365 provides a suite of cloud-based productivity tools for student and staff collaboration and communication at home, at school and on the go.
Windows 10 also helps students and staff organise schoolwork with easy ways to snap apps in place, optimise their screen space, group items and create virtual desktops.
A modern school success story: How Marist College enabled new ways of learning
Recently, Insync worked with Marist College in Queensland to help them respond to calls from students and staff for more seamless and efficient computing. The school’s infrastructure was dated, and IT staff were finding it hard to keep up with ongoing maintenance and security requirements.
The school decided to move to a cloud-based infrastructure, which would more effectively enable them to support a BYOD model. Insync recommended that the school implement Microsoft Office 365 due to its significant capabilities and capacity - and its proven results in education. Students can now easily share information across a whole range of devices, and can access educational resources at any time, via Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint. The new system has also considerably reduced the burden on the school’s IT team, which no longer needs to manage expensive and legacy on-premises infrastructure.
To learn more about how a modern school can enable effective learning, 24/7:
Or get in touch with the education experts at Insync on 1300 652 207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.