Summer vacation might be in full swing but we know many educators aren’t taking a break. Many are continuing their education, preparing for the upcoming year, and making sure the school as a whole is ready to take on all of its students in today’s tech-driven classroom. GadllNet has identified 6 tech-related trends to consider before the new school year starts.
- Cyber Security
A cyber security audit is a good way to get a baseline of the protection you currently have. These audits are designed to uncover any vulnerabilities that exist so you can correct them before they become a problem.This is a good first step if you aren’t sure how to increase your cyber security efforts. An audit will help you create a comprehensive plan and breath easy that your data isn’t at risk.
Another hot topic in cyber security is cyber liability insurance. Do you wonder if cyber liability insurance is worth the cost? When you are dealing with sensitive data that is protected under law, we think it is. You are responsible for keeping that data safe for the protection of your students and staff. Cyber liability insurance ensures that if your systems fail and data is leaked, you are able to financially handle it.Learn more about it here.
2. The Future of EdTech
If we look back at how much the classroom has already changed in respect to technology, it seems hard to predict where it is going. The strides that have already been made have revolutionized education and we see a few trends that will become common place soon. The future of the classroom has never looked brighter. This is what will be adopted:
- Real-time parent contact
- Technology that allows collaboration as well as differentiated learning
- Article on New Mexico adopting D2L’s Brightspace product
- In-school communication platforms (announcements through mobile phones, etc.)
- API mindset in software development (see com and PowerSchool’s Partner Integrations)
- Full-frame wireless video from a mobile device
- Unified experience from one device to another — “From application delivery to service delivery” – monograph from Citrix detailing the critical role of shared policies as we move into an integrated technology paradigm
- Importance of data analytics and warehousing connected to standards
You should also review your funding sources and make sure your school is getting everything you need. There are more resources out there than ever before to infuse technology into the classroom. Ask yourself these questions:
- Where are you getting technology funding from currently?
- Are you using the e-rate program?
- What resources are presently available in schools and how are they distributed?
- What are your 1, 3, and 5-year goals in terms of digital learning?
- What devices do students already bring to school and how do they use those devices?
- How fast are the internal and external connections in schools? How fast must they be to meet students’ and educators’ needs?
- What are the major strengths and challenges this area has in terms of technology?
Set up a task force to investigate all of these questions and make sure you are getting all the funding you can to meet the needs your individual school has.
4. Professional Development
Educators have always been proactive about professional development. As we mold the minds of children as teachers, we recognize that it is important to always remain a student and continue to learn. Technology has had an incredible impact on personal development for educators. Personal development has never been so personalized, relevant, or useful. Leveraging learning communities is what many teachers today rely on and it is effective. Asset sharing is something most educators are doing in some capacity.
Planning for technology expenses has never been more important. Your school’s growing technology needs should take into consideration the total cost of ownership, meaning what it costs beyond the initial purchase price to have a piece of technology, and the refresh cycle, or how often you will need to reinvest in certain technologies.
Create a budget strategy that includes these two details so you don’t fall behind later.
6. Student Portfolios
Student portfolios have been gaining popularity in recent years. Borrowing the idea from artists, this portfolio helps to showcase the works and talents of a student. Instead of your students just stuffing their worksheet in a folder and eventually throwing them away, they are able to keep records of their work. If this is ann initiative your school has taken on, encourage your educators to give your students the resources they need to keep their portfolio in order.
Possible technologies to use include Google Drive, websites such as KidBlog, Blogger, and Weebly, and professional sites such as About.me and LinkedIn. Creating a strategy for implementation is important for a successful student portfolio.
Ensure your classrooms are ready to take on the new year when it comes to technology. Look at all of these areas and make updates where needed. Your educators will thank you.
For more information, access our presentation here.