Education has been particularly affected by the current situation with COVID-19 which has created a unique set of challenges to overcome, including the continuation of education and the need to keep students safe. Aside from these two major challenges, educators also must ensure that throughout these difficult times the future needs and wellbeing of students are still being met.

The pandemic has seen learning institutions requiring an adaptable, responsive and scalable way to deliver learning which can be difficult with the everchanging needs of the environment. Some have had to also push forward with change without having the time to adequately provision or plan for the longer term.

But what are the common challenges faced by education? Are you alone in what you face? And what are others doing to respond to these new demands?

The Challenges Facing K12 organisations

Every organisation has its nuances, but common challenges seen across education are;

  • Adapting and the delivery of new teaching styles
  • Ensuring student safety in the new circumstances
  • The need to improve student learning outcomes and success
  • The move to deliver a more personalised learning experience
  • A blended learning approach with remote access to tools and teaching
  • Cyber security and meeting data compliance rules
  • Ensuring technology and infrastructure can cope with increased demands
  • Having the tools, technology, and expertise to facilitate all the above

There has never been a greater shift in the way learning has been delivered and the expectation and pressures placed on education, but challenges by their nature can be overcome.

Education Trends

How are these being tackled?

The Cloud

With some year groups attending in shifts and reduced capacities across many schools’ students are requiring more remote services. The cloud allows scalability to add new capacity and institutions quickly can ‘rent’ the required services and capacity needed. Another benefit is the charge model with monthly payments rather than one off capital investment meaning budgets can be planned and cash kept in the bank

 

Also, the cloud can remove the need for physical onsite management of hardware and helps to mitigate the challenges around managing services. The vast majority of resources required to provide learning can also be migrated to a cloud platform and can often deliver a better performance and handle increased demands with ease. 

Benefits of Cloud Services
  • Accessibility
  • Cost Savings
  • Secure Storage
  • Agility and Scalability
  • Minimal Hardware Required

Virtual Desktop

Many Educational institutions are looking at innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver learning, and Virtual Desktop (which isn’t new) is one such area that is seeing a surge in popularity.

A Virtual Desktop has the same look and feel as your regular PC, but unlike this all of the data and software is stored and accessed across the internet from your physical or cloud servers.  This approach offers a way to accurately replicate the user experience of working on school/college desktops and accessing resources.

This way of using technology can also deliver significant costs savings without sacrificing performance, and can run applications such as Adobe, Google Sketchup, and other demanding applications without.

Benefits of Virtual Desktop
  • Reduced costs on hardware
  • Application and user security
  • Agility and performance
  • Simpler Management 

Networks and Wi-Fi

With this increased need to be agile and responsive, it is important that systems can be adapted and customised when required. However recent research by Extreme Networks discovered that 43% of education institutions still cannot customize each student’s network access which shows that this in not at the levels required.

Educators are now looking at many ways to deliver education across their communications and network infrastructure and if the network is not ready or have enough capacity it will fail.

Solutions such as drive-in learning and mobile hotspots are just a couple of ways education has been delivered during lockdown, as well as remote learning Institutions.

Your network is the backbone and circulatory system of your digital life and is an important tool deliver the flexibility and performance required today.

Benefits of a Resilient Network
  • Enhanced Remote learning
  • Student Safety and Privacy including, Bring Your Own Device.
  • Better coverage and connectivity for the learning environment
  • Personalised learning
  • Enhanced management
  • Seamless Roaming

In Summary

Ensuring you have the right tools and flexibility to adapt to demands placed upon learning is essential, it has been technology’s time to shine and it has and will deliver the solutions to help  educators and businesses adapt and keep going in the most challenging times we have faced.

The starting point for education must be to take the time to learn and understand what peers are doing and how technologies are being deployed to deliver learning, and where possible help institutions control and reduce costs.

If you would like to learn more about technology trends and impact on secondary education, join us on the 24th of November for our Lunch and Learn session. This informative session will also include a guest speaker Amaro Cruz da Silva from La Retraite Girls School to give insight into how to overcome many common challenges.

If you cannot attend the ‘Lunch and Learn’ session, but would like more information, please call out team on 0333 433 8971.

Discover How Extreme Networks are helping Education – Watch the Video >>