Many trends in the education market are technology-driven. Classrooms from kindergarten to doctoral degree courses have evolved from the traditional pedagogy method of a teacher in front of a class to employing a variety of IT solutions that keep students engaged and learning. Managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) should evaluate their education vertical prospects’ needs in areas including:
Digital learning: In digital learning, students use laptops or tablets to access information via the school’s intranet or approved internet sites. Students can receive immediate feedback as they do their schoolwork and easily collaborate with classmates. Learning in a digital environment itself also has benefits: Students will develop skills that enable them to use the internet safely and confidently, which nearly all will need to do as adults. Teachers combine traditional educational methods with digital learning to create blended learning environments that best suit the needs of their students.
Approximately 96 percent of public schools have adequate infrastructure and internet services to make digital learning possible — more than 44 million students learn in classrooms with high-speed internet service, up from 4 million five years ago. Help schools in your market use this capability to its fullest advantage.
Mobility: While students trading textbooks for tablets, teachers and parents are also going digital — and going mobile. Parents want easy, on-demand access to grades and other markers of student performance, and teachers are using text, messaging, email, and collaboration solutions to communicate with students, parents, and their peers. Schools need the infrastructure and security solutions to accommodate both school-owned and personal devices on their networks and applications that facilitate real-time access to data.
Personalized learning: Teachers can engage students with different learning styles using tools such as digital whiteboards. Students can listen, see images or videos, or touch items or write on the board. Energy-efficient digital whiteboards are also environmentally friendly, helping to reduce classrooms’ dependence on paper. Platform as a Service, low-code and no-code platforms enable teachers to create their own applications, regardless of their skill as coders, creating apps that suit their students’ needs.
Virtual reality: VR gives students virtual opportunities to visit another country, go back in time, see how organs function in the human body, visualize mathematics, and prepare for their future careers. VR adoption in schools is growing. An Internet2 survey learned that 18 percent of colleges and universities had fully deployed VR and 46 percent use VR in some form at their schools. And, although VR in K-12 schools is still in the early adopter stage, more schools are incorporating VR into learning. Free virtual reality tools and budget-friendly VR systems are helping to remove the cost barrier associated with the technology.
Virtual reality can also facilitate learning for students who cannot attend regular classrooms due to disability or illness, helping them stay on track with the rest of the class.
Artificial intelligence: AI is beginning to make lives easier, powering systems that provide information or perform tasks upon voice command, tell us which route to take to avoid heavy traffic, and serve up what we’re most interested in reading or watching on the internet or social media. AI can make life easier in the school setting as well. It can free up teachers’ time by handling routine work like grading papers. It can provide data that administrators need to make improvements and produce better outcomes. It may also be used for tutoring or providing personalized instruction for students who need extra help.
Cashless schools: Schools are looking for ways to eliminate the risks and time associated with handling cash at school. Payment solutions that allow parents to pay for lunches, fees, or activities online eliminate the need for students to carry cash or checks and also reduce the resources required to account and manage deposits.
Data security: One unfortunate trend is that schools are targets for cyberattack. Schools need layered security solutions including endpoint security, application security and patch management to keep sensitive data safe.
These trends confirm that the education market, like other verticals, is advancing with digital transformation. Each school needs a unique IT roadmap to help them reach their goals, and MSPs and VARs can help schools move forward by providing cost-effective and practical solutions. Learn what’s trending in the schools in your market and provide optimal solutions to help them reach their goals.