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Three technology trends in education: is your school ready?

14/09/2022

Not only in students' spare time, but at school too, technology is becoming increasingly important. It's hard to imagine a classroom without laptops and tablets anymore. This blog article takes a closer look at some of the technology trends in education and we'll go into the requirements to get the most out of these innovations in more detail. Is your school ready to implement these trends? Find out here.

BLENDED LEARNING: WHERE EDUCATION MEETS THE DIGITAL WORLD

The days when teachers stood in front of the class and students busily jotted down notes are a thing of the past. In more and more schools, traditional teaching methods are making way for blended learning. Blended learning combines face-to-face or remote teaching with digital and online tools. These tools can be very extensive, ranging from educational videos to online quizzes.

The biggest strength of blended learning? More interactive and personal classes. It's a know fact that not all students learn in the same way. Traditional classes, where the teacher stands in front of the class and students do exercises in notebooks, are not the most suitable learning method for everyone. Blended learning gives teachers the opportunity to offer more possibilities. People with a more visual, verbal or social learning style can benefit greatly from digital tools.

Blended learning is often seen as a synonym of hybrid learning. However, these two concepts are not entirely the same. Hybrid learning refers more to classes that can be followed both in the classroom and remotely. In other words, not everyone follows a class in the same location because some students are following the class from home, for example. Remote or hybrid learning is often mentioned in the same breath as corona measures. For many schools, this was their first introduction to remote learning. Blended learning goes further. Blended learning is not (only) about remote or in-person classes, but about the digital tools that serve as a supplement. Think, for example, of students doing online exercises as homework, recording a talk at home, or watching an interesting video during history class.

Blended learning and connectivity: what is required?

Capacity, capacity, capacity: we cannot repeat it enough. To get the most out of blended learning, teachers and students need a powerful internet connection. HD videos must play instantly without buffering, teachers must be able to access all relevant documents and information from anywhere in the school, and the network must be able to handle the large number of users and devices. The best way to ensure connectivity at school? Discuss your needs with Citymesh and scale or upgrade your wireless network.

SECURITY AND BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE: A CHALLENGE FOR SCHOOLS

More and more schools apply the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) principle. This policy has many advantages: students know how to use their device, the devices make hybrid learning possible and schools can get to work on their digitisation strategy sooner. However, there are also risks connected to BYOD. Data leaks, ransomware and DDoS attacks are just some of the cyber threats that schools have to contend with. Security is therefore paramount when students use their own devices, be it tablets, laptops or even smartphones.

One of the biggest challenges of BYOD is the huge diversity. Different types of devices, brands, operating systems, etc. ICT-coordinators have to take into account many variables. Security must therefore be geared to all possible devices. Schools are able to apply cyber security in various ways. First of all, it's important to inform students, teachers and administrative staff about the dangers of phishing mails, malware and other types of cyber attacks. And by blacklisting websites, the school can already take a first step towards avoiding harmful content. The infrastructure must also be able to handle cyber threats. The wireless network should not be the weak link that gives malicious parties access to personal data and other sensitive information.

What does your school need to make security a priority?

It can be quite daunting for ICT coordinators to prepare the school's infrastructure for a BYOD policy. Citymesh's firewall-as-a-Service is the ideal solution. Malicious websites are automatically blocked, which drastically reduces the risk of unauthorised access to school data. Through blacklisting and/or whitelisting on different user levels, you ensure a comprehensive and flexible protection against ransomware, malware and more.

LEARNING ANALYTICS: THE POWER OF DATA

The more data schools have, the faster and better they're able to respond to students' needs. However, gathering information is easier said than done, as teachers already have their hands full with their curriculum. What if data were to do the job for them?

Targeted data and associated analysis in education can be a breakthrough for better student follow-up. By analysing trends, deviations can be detected more quickly and teachers can take action more efficiently. Learning analytics can be used by schools to monitor student performance, encourage student development and determine which students need extra support. Learning analytics can even provide an insight into what types of content (text, images or video) students prefer.

Big data can be used not only to measure student progress, but is also useful for other aspects of schools, such as overall strategy, curriculum management and school performance in general. This is referred to as educational analytics. Learning analytics focus mainly on students and teachers, whereas educational analytics have a broader basis, encompassing the operation of the school and the administrative staff.

How are schools able to collect the necessary data?

Schools possess a lot of data: students' marks, feedback on the classes, comments of teachers, etc. To securely and reliably save these data, robust connectivity is must. A Citymesh network offers the necessary security for schools.

Now this is it.
Time for action.

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