In most countries throughout Europe, the need for technology has grown in importance over the last 10 years or so and has made breakthrough changes to the way schools are run. While many have achieved huge progress through their use of technology, others still have a long way to go. Here are eight ways improved ICT support can benefit schools:
With the correct ICT systems and support, teachers can save time by easily accessing school and student data whenever needed, rather than searching for information across spreadsheets. Many school platforms provide information such as targets, predictive analysis and online assessment, which should help teachers with reporting.
According to a recent survey carried out by the National Education Union, 80% of teachers considered leaving the profession within the last 12 months due to an intense workload; while a poll taken by Teacher Tapp discovered that only an alarming 50% of those who currently teach believe they will still remain in the profession in 10 years’ time. The development of online learning facilities can support teachers in reducing workload and could help with teacher retention.
With the right technology in place, schools can notice huge changes in efficiency with both teachers and students managing workloads more easily. Teachers can make better use of their time completing tasks online and instead spend more time on one-to-one teaching or giving feedback on work for improvement. Likewise, students can get easy access to teachers’ notes, upload homework, or discuss tasks with peers instantly.
Security and safeguarding
ICT support should protect children, data and school systems. For example, a cloud platform means that instead of using USB sticks to manually upload/download homework tasks, information can be more safely stored and protected online. A full review from a professional team may be necessary at least once each year to ensure confidential data is safe. Firewalls and anti-virus software should be used to prevent hacking, phishing and malware activity; while online filtering can be applied to ensure searched websites are age appropriate, education related and time based (for example, allowing Skype to be unblocked in the evenings, should boarding students wish to contact relatives).
Better student behaviour and learning
If the correct programs and applications are chosen, ICT can inspire engagement throughout lessons. It can also be beneficial for SEND students who might struggle to keep up. Students work differently, but tech platforms allow those with learning difficulties to complete tasks at a comfortable pace, while others can skip ahead if need be. Students who are more engaged in the lesson are also far more likely to remember what they have learnt and participate in class discussion. Your ICT provider could suggest the most effective options.
Improving parent communication
Keeping parents in the loop with all the latest news and updates can often be a challenge. However, making sure they are well informed is an excellent way of maintaining a positive relationship between the school, staff members and parents. Online platforms give parents the opportunity to check on pupil progress, while personalised messages can be sent out to parents, either individually or in bulk.
Improving communication across the schools
We believe that cloud collaboration is being used in around just one third of schools currently. The lack of virtual sharing can often present challenges in schools – especially those which are part of a trust or cluster, where daily collaboration is needed. Managing physical documents can become a burden for staff members, however, a cloud system means documents and data can be shared effortlessly, which should improve school communication and increase efficiency.
Improving day-to-day work for office staff
Office staff rely on computers to get their work done, so making sure they have the right tools for the job is important. This might be in the form of enhanced software or a more advanced computer to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Schools often ask us to review their office ICT so why not request a free health check?
Getting better results
91% of leaders in schools believe that pressure has increased significantly over the last two years; however, ICT can considerably enhance overall school performance and attainment. For example, according to Becta’s ‘A review of the research literature relating to ICT and attainment’ ICT can have a positive effect on pupils’ learning of different concepts and skills in mathematics (alongside other subjects) at both primary and secondary levels.
Now you have read the eight points above, are you confident that your ICT helps to overcome school challenges? Why not check out our free online ICT Health Check Tool to see how your ICT stacks up?