Top Digital Trends in Further Education in 2018
As we are entering the final year of the strategy for “Technology-Enhanced Learning in Further Education and Training from 2014-2019”, let’s take a look at the top digital trends set to influence further education throughout the rest of 2018.
It is clear that the Further Education sector is an increasingly competitive market in terms of attracting students, driving improved attainment and delivering an enriched learning environment. ICT is a key enabler to helping Further Education establishments achieve this.
Many Irish Further Educational establishments now recognise the need to upgrade their network backbone and add better wireless access points to provide dense coverage throughout their campuses. Doing this in a secure resilient way is key not only to ensuring a good end user experience but also in assuring that access is fair and ubiquitous. But where do they start?
The first step should be to speak to an IT provider that can review your existing infrastructure and work in partnership with you to understand your existing and future mobile strategy. Understanding the level of demand placed on your wireless infrastructure and whether or not it can support current and future usage, is key.
Maintaining a secure online environment while supporting the use of technology in learning and teaching can be a challenge. Cyber-attacks are on the increase within Further and Higher Education and with the flexibility to use devices and access to the internet anywhere within a college building, the need to ensure the connection is secure and appropriate filtering is in place is increasingly important. In addition to this, further education organisations need to ensure they have appropriate measures in place to ensure the student experience meets expectations, with access to applications and online learning resources easily available.
IT support is another common concern with Further Education establishments. It can be daunting to invest in a huge network upgrade but many make the mistake of not ensuring that the correct support is readily available to facilitate disruptions when and if they occur. An ICT managed service means that the IT team in Further Education locations have more time to focus on supporting staff in new ways to use and apply technology in their day-to-day roles and don’t have to worry about fixing devices or monitoring a network. Capita provide tailored flexible IT support services to meet specific needs, budget and plans. This enables Further Educational organisations to retain control of their IT infrastructure whilst Capita simply bring the back-up, assistance and expertise when it is required. There is a matrix of services to choose from depending on the requirements sought. Knowing Capita is supporting the college network, servers, devices and systems delivers peace of mind that teachers can teach without IT disruption, and students have a positive learning experience.
Most Further Education colleges have some form of cloud infrastructure in place already. For both students and staff. There are a wide range of approaches to planning and implementing cloud technology applications. The following areas can be covered:
- Email and storage
- Learner-focused applications
- Disaster recovery in the cloud
- Finance, HR and payroll service
- Student and other relationship management
Cloud computing offers these institutions the opportunity to open themselves up to a world of virtual computing, which enables them to rapidly scale up and down depending on their current needs. As a result of Microsoft Azure, staff and pupils are now benefitting from anytime anywhere access to the resources they need online. Not only can implementing cloud infrastructure save money, it can also enhance the quality of learner, employer and staff experiences. Capita empowers all levels and tiers within the Further Education sector to fully leverage the cloud in ways that truly benefit everyone involved. The education cloud solutions provide collaborative and interactive platforms that extend learning beyond the classroom.
These trends will continue to influence Further Education establishments throughout 2018. They will continue to add value to these establishments and ensure that they are being managed in a safe, smooth and compliant way that benefit both staff and students.