Schools are becoming increasingly digitised, for instance recording attendance online and digitally monitoring progress and assessments. ICT is therefore becoming an increasingly critical tool that can help students to achieve more, support teachers with their workload and efficiency and provide data security for a school, its students and staff.
However, many schools are still struggling with ICT – whether it’s a lack of training, the wrong systems, or the newly introduced GDPR regulations – leaving them open to, at best, harsh criticism and, at worst, hacking and fines.
So what happens when your ICT simply falls flat on its face – and is it even worth the risk?
Stress, tension and retention
The results from the NEU workload survey criticise the effectiveness of the Government’s campaign to tackle teacher workload. The report states that, since the launch of the new measures, six out of 10 teachers have actually reported an increase in workload.
Unfortunately the wrong ICT and poor ICT support can contribute to teacher workloads and stress. Nobody wants to be fiddling with technology and lacking the right training, in front of a multitude of students who are ready to stage a revolution.
However, with the right equipment and programs, ICT can support teaching staff to lighten their workloads through improved organisation and collaboration, helping efficiency, and supporting work–life balance. ICT also has many benefits for students, enabling them to work at their own pace, using technology that interests and engages them and helps them to work towards their grades on their own terms.
Student behaviour in school is known to link strongly to an individual’s opportunity for success in later life. And the current situation is that student behaviour in schools is perceived to be worse than it has ever been. A survey by the SSTA found verbal abuse had affected seven out of 10 staff members, while one in five said they had been assaulted by pupils during their career.
If students aren’t engaged with the ICT available to them, then there’s a problem. They’ll feel undervalued, or under pressure to work at a pace not suited to their individual abilities. And this will lead to worse behaviour.
The right ICT, however, can enable the teacher to work alongside the child to emphasise discussion and problem-solving. In fact 72% of educators think that behaviour could be improved with technology.
The most recent State of Technology in Education Report highlights that, with regard to GDPR (the legal requirements for processing personal data) 28% of respondents were unclear about what it actually is. Given the legal requirements, this is a worryingly high figure and could lead to challenges with schools’ digitisation requirements and legal data protection compliance.
Other very real risks include identity fraud and hacking. And with schools and their ICT departments being directly responsible for the data they hold, having the right systems and security measures in place has never been more important.
The good news is that whatever your school needs, RM Education can support you and your ICT team to deliver the very best solutions. We offer a free, no obligation ICT Health Check to explore the current strengths and weaknesses of your ICT provision, your vision for the future, and the best practice that will help you achieve your school goals.
RM Education: outstanding (and upstanding) ICT support
ICT offers benefits that far outweigh the risks. In fact 94% of educators recognise that educational technology can improve engagement levels.
And if you partner with an ICT support company such as RM Education – that is used to working in the education space – they will be able to share their positive experiences with you and even introduce you to other schools where the benefit of ICT has already been seen.
If you already know where you need input, RM Education can talk to you about useful programs, tips or hacks to reduce the time staff spend on admin and keep students engaged. We can also help you to identify your individual needs and suggest a clear ICT plan for the future.