From education to employment

The power of edtech partnership

students wearing VR Headsets

Partnership is at the heart of delivering education technology (edtech) projects, says Stephen O’Connell, sales and marketing director of IT and technology specialists Advantex (@advantexuk).

Edtech is unquestionably one of the most dynamic, fluid and energetic IT sectors in the UK today. Government investment, the rise of remote learning during the pandemic and constantly evolving technology are recurring tropes propelling a sector that’s currently worth in excess of £3bn and seeing year-on-year double digit growth.

Technologies such as head mounted VR devices, 3D printing machines and e-books among myriad other online digital tools are contributing to a revolution in eLearning, reshaping and redefining education experiences for millions of students across the UK. Indeed, digital learning through instant access and customisation is making the learning experience smoother, smarter, personal and, perhaps crucially, more in-line with the world of work.

Today’s students are able to learn almost anytime, from anywhere at their own pace with innovative tools and enriching content that keeps them motivated and engaged both inside and outside of the college campus. Technology is driving better practices, improving quality standards and securing high pupil engagement. It’s also powering the way to greater and easier communications between people while nurturing ever more innovative, efficient and cost-effective learning strategies for teachers.

Colleges will always need more funding to narrow the digital gap, which seems to have widened lately, especially for some of the most vulnerable students. This means that it will be more important than ever to have accessible technology available at the touch of a button (or click of mouse) as teaching and learning pushes forward in the government’s shiny new education landscape.

Evidently, this involves a long-term plan for hardware but equally critical, it includes assigning budgets and resources to the construction of the quality highways, networks and frameworks to underpin and power the digital tools and technologies. Moreover, if engagement is key to learning, then investment in effective, future proof platforms and the partnerships to build them, must be seen as paramount in the long-term drive to deliver opportunity and access the type of quality learning that our students want and deserve.

Indeed, those in the vanguard of delivering tomorrow’s education facilities maintain the value of working in partnership with adept IT companies who offer the wherewithal, experience and strategic insight to see things differently and bring a singular added value approach to project success.

Edtech partnerships are the way forward. Such initiatives will continue to form, develop and evolve, becoming the norm as capital projects become ever more complex, costly and wide ranging in their purview. It’s paramount therefore that strong partnerships are forged from the outset of a project – even as early as the bid stage – if they are to have maximum long-term value, endurance and return on investment. In this way, they help to align the project with the education provider’s intertwined digital and learning strategies. It’s about applying digital technology to deliver a new form of learning architecture if you will.

Greater collaboration between all those involved in the education sector is unquestionably one of the priorities of the government’s digital strategy. In this realm, investment in savvy partnerships allows edtech partners to bring forward innovative solutions and risk-averse delivery, connectivity and application of eLearning equipment. These can be quickly and cost-effectively upgraded or extended, meeting any future demands due to funding or changing requirements.

Stephen O’Connell, sales and marketing director of IT and technology specialists Advantex 

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