03 Dec Cloud Technologies in Education
Welcome to the first of many posts on Cloud9ine! Let’s start with the first topic, cloud technologies in education. Yes it is about as broad as it can possibly be, however it is such a key talking point and in the current climate cloud technologies are being widely praised and scrutinised at the same time. This post is intended to provide an overview of cloud technologies, for those new to the area, but also provide a viewpoint and a discussion around the topic.
There is a plethora of research now available around cloud technologies and their impact on education, both from a primary and secondary school perspective. It has been clearly stated that when used in the right way, digital equipment, tools and resources can help to raise the speed of learning, as well as the depth. Digital technologies have been perceived to help improve basic literacy and numeracy skills, mainly in primary schools. Where digital tools are used effectively they can help to build interactivity and collaboration, critical thinking and leadership in secondary age learners, many employers see these as key skills.
Although this is fantastic news for educational statistics and those benefitting from the new technologies, it does not mean that everyone is having as much fun as the students, who are being provided with ipads, mathletics and funky new smartboards. Some of the teachers could be said to be struggling to find their feet when using the technology, from our interviews carried out with various school leaders, there is most definitely an enthusiasm towards new technology, but there is also a nervousness and frustration for teachers. The lack of training around the technology and how to integrate it successfully into the curriculum to improve teaching and learning is somewhat holding the teacher’s back. For those lacking in confidence, they are often discarding the technology and reverting back to older methods of teaching.
It was David Fairbairn-Day, who is the head of education strategy and business development at Promethean, who said that “…I see schools putting in policies for every students to have access to a tablet, sometimes, once the tablets arrive, they are scratching their heads. Now we have them, what do we do with them?”. Schools need to think carefully before jumping into their purchasing. Cloud9ine will be looking at this and will be seeking tips from those who have learnt from mistakes with new technologies and those who have had great experiences and results.
Cloud9ine will be following schools who are just starting their cloud journeys and from this will we be helping them to implement the technology, but also training them in how to use it effectively through our Digital Learning Programme (DLP).
Cloud technologies are prominent and have been for some time in education, but the work around them; implementation, training, teaching & learning outcomes, keeping up with the ever changing technology landscape, making the right investments are still areas in which schools need help and advice. Over the coming months we will be delving into all aspects of cloud technologies, with interviews, case studies and more blogs to come. Sign up to Cloud9ine to ensure you are kept up to date!
This week’s Cloud Bite on the Cloud9ine portal looks at people’s understanding of cloud technologies in education: http://cloud-9ine.com/cloud-bites/. It provides an overview from both industry professionals and school leaders.
If you have any opinions and views, or would like to get involved, please email us as: firstname.lastname@example.org