31 August 2017
Personalised Learning: Education Technology Gets Smart
All types of school, every university and college, have long shared a challenge: how do we meet the unique learning needs of a diverse range of abilities and learning types?
In a grade one classroom, teachers may have to cater for children struggling to master the alphabet, at the same time as fluent readers seeking more challenging content. Similar situations arise throughout the education journey.
As technology plays an increasingly prominent role in the classroom, it isn’t surprising that it is seen as an opportunity to match learning more closely to individual needs.
A proliferation of apps is emerging to help teachers to track individual progress, set differentiated tasks, and identify gaps where extra help is needed. They can collaborate – within classes, schools, or with students on the other side of the globe.
Accessing those apps is no longer just for the classroom; increasingly, tools like Study Ladder and Mathletics are being used to set tasks for homework, reducing marking time and allowing teachers more opportunity to analyse results.
Both in the classroom and out, consistency and reliability of devices is important. Where devices are awkward to set up, it can cut into class time – and with an intensive curriculum, wasted time is hard to catch up.
While BYOD remains a popular option for high school and university students, at primary level we are seeing more schools opt for the same brand of laptops all round. This makes sense – no teacher wants to deal with a class of grade fives with 25 completely different devices, all before starting a lesson.
Supporting this new style of learning is a preoccupation of big name IT vendors like Dell EMC, who have built a flexible, modular, cloud-based education solution that is winning fans in the Australian private sector.
From an administrative perspective, the new breed of solutions makes it possible to promote best practice across multiple schools or campuses, at the same time reducing capital expenses. Shared services are deployed either on-site or through a hosting provider – TechPath has a number of options for this.
What we like about the new education products is the flexibility… they are customisable, and can include things like accidental drop protection, scratch and spill resistant, durable rubberised case, 13 hours battery life and an activity light that indicates if they are on the network and shouldn’t be.
For typically overstretched school or university IT teams, a focus on simplicity – both at device level and in infrastructure design – is a blessing. Anything that helps carve out a bit more time to review applications, instead of support and administration, makes a welcome change.
Those applications, after all, are what makes the school experience better for every individual student. They allow for learning to be more individual – making learning more engaging, no matter whether a student is learning ABCs or advanced physics.
To find out more about supporting individual learning, or supporting collaboration and mobile study, contact the experienced TechPath team.