As a specialist in the Education market and having frequent contact with operators and providers in the space, it is clear that there is a desire to champion new ways for schools to inspire pupils and allow them to engage with the subjects that they are being taught. Ultimately, being able to connect with students and make learning enjoyable makes a critical difference. As many school proprietors or governors can attest, providing teachers with the best tools to maximise the learning experience will attract and secure the best staff and allow children to flourish.
That said, you can’t necessarily implement a new initiative for the sake of it; as with any tool it must be used correctly to ensure that the full benefit is received. The specific technologies used must be understood and embraced by everyone in the organisation to ensure the greatest positive effect; regular staff training centred around this a key factor.
There are so many options available, ranging from reading robots, to new computer-led sensory musical instruments, through to virtual or augmented reality and apps that allow children to participate without having to ‘put their hand up’. The choices seem endless and at times difficult to comprehend, particularly for those who are not technically-minded. That said, as the world continues to evolve and technology advances at a gathering pace it is more and more important to teach children in ways that they will relate to, and that has the potential to offer them the greatest benefits.
As we look to the educational needs of a generation who are now ‘digital natives’, growing up fully proficient with technologies such as tablets and smartphones, providers need to consider the impact this has on their social skills and explore ways to incorporate technologies that they already take for granted into the classroom. The learning potential is huge, the question for education practitioners is whether they have vision and the willingness to do so?
Adopting technology and new ways of teaching can benefit the business in many ways. Increased efficiency in learning, marking and administration leads to a streamlining of how the business runs and can lead to cost savings. In a period where the costs of running a school are increasing, such as the recent pension contribution rates rise, and it is becoming harder to justify increases in fees, schools need to start at looking at alternative methods in which to make their business run more cost effectively and efficiently.