The past couple of years have seen educators navigate long-term lockdowns and remote learning at an overwhelming pace. To combat the impact on students, education technology (EdTech) became their lifeline as it provided the only means to facilitate blended learning.
Educators have a major task at hand to deal with what lies ahead – especially as the Education Policy Institute suggests children have lost at least £78bn in lifetime earnings (£46,000 each) because of a lack of in-person learning. This will only worsen as the latest Covid wave risks school closures again in 2022.
Now more than ever, we need enhanced teaching to eliminate any further risk of lost learning for children. This starts with adopting the right EdTech to meaningfully improve the life chances of students.
It’s vital schools have the technology in place to manage disruption. As we look ahead, there are three key trends we expect to see:
Teachers’ focus has been on delivering schooling in a rapidly changing environment. However, with the new risk of schools closing again, blended learning is clearly here to stay.
Research has revealed that 44% of teachers and school leaders did not have apps to capture work and assessments in 2021, and only 39% had the capacity for parents to view student data; these are notable gaps that must be addressed in 2022 to make blended learning a success.
By focusing energy and adopting an automation-first mindset in 2022, educators will be able to take advantage of the advances EdTech has to offer. For instance, they will have far more access to data to help them navigate the constantly changing environment.
School budgets are tight, so senior leadership teams (SLTs) need to consider how to stretch budgets further. By incorporating automation into financial planning, SLTs will have an even better central view of financial data across the school/MAT, enhancing management and providing the bandwidth to be more creative with budgets.
Launching into cloud
For some time now, teachers and SLTs have desperately sought out modern, cloud-based EdTech infrastructure as they have been stuck with outdated technology for years. This aligns with the Department of Education’s key aim for all schools to have access to a modern broadband infrastructure to move to the cloud and better support blended learning.
The recent changes in learning have highlighted we cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to EdTech. In 2022, more than ever, schools and MATs will need to remain agile and equipped with cloud-based technology to adapt to today’s turbulent world.
Harnessing a single, secure cloud-based platform streamlines teachers’ admin tasks, saves time and removes the pain of keeping on top of internal messages and term-end reporting. This will empower them to step in at any point of need and focus their precious time on the job at hand – teaching.
Migrating IT infrastructure to a cloud-based environment will also give schools and Trusts peace of mind their servers will be secure and easy to deploy and manage. Data is easily accessible, and they’ll always have the ability to scale up and down as needed. This is essential for schools and Trusts to plan for the long-term.
Augmented use of data
A key challenge for schools and MATs is providing high quality learning, safeguarding and experiences across all schools, no matter where they are teaching from. However, a staggering 90% of school leaders report data and analysis is a significant issue impacting their workload. The industry is only scratching the surface when it comes to using real-time data to inform decision making – adoption drastically needs to increase in 2022, especially as GCSE and A-Level exams are expected to be more difficult.
This will drive schools and Trusts to adopt informative dashboards that present, at a glance, statistics to key trust level roles. Teachers will be able to take advantage of more powerful reporting that provides a detailed view of critical data such as attendance, assessment, wellbeing, behaviour at a Trust, school, class and pupil level with drill through capability.
Through intuitive reporting, presentation and representation of the data, conversations can be had to digest and understand the real life (human) stories behind the numbers. This will provide a holistic view of each teacher and pupil and allow for accurate, informed decisions to be made. The human element is, therefore, never lost, and less effort will be used to bring data from individual, unconnected systems together. More time can then be spent focusing on delivering the best outcomes for students.
It is impossible to underestimate the value and importance of investing in EdTech during such uncertain times. Being equipped with enhanced EdTech ensures schools and MATs can deliver a vital service so that not one more student suffers from lost learning in 2022.
Winston Poyton, Senior Product Director at IRIS Software GroupRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in