Education is changing as rapidly as everything else in a technology-driven society. Thirty years ago, advances seemed to happen every once in a while—but today, it feels like they’re made daily. Teachers, students and schools are feeling the pressure to use all of available devices in the educational system. However, with the rapid increase in that use, not every campus wireless network is able to handle it.
As trends continue to emerge, and more technology is being used in the classroom, schools have to look to the future. This means identifying what will happen over the next five years and begin to prepare for it.
Although it’s impossible to know exactly what will happen in the future, there are some pretty reliable insights you can find. Experts have begun to break down what they deem to be short-, mid- and long-term technology trends that schools will face over the next five years and beyond.
Blended Learning and Learning Spaces – In many ways, technology is bringing about some exciting possibilities. Simply put, blended learning is part digital learning—online, digitally delivered, etc—but also class time that incorporates technology into the lessons and activities. Blended learning will change the face of classrooms, as set-up requirements will benefit from a redesign.
Schools can also promote impromptu, collaborative sessions in alternate spaces. These spaces will range from hallways and lobbies to lounges. The short-term future should inspire schools to start looking at goals to improve wireless networks that can withstand the usage and number of devices connecting. It also forces campuses to look at optimizing high-use areas with monitors, outlets and other support for technological devices.
Suggested Reading: "5 Myths and the Truth about Modernizing Your School Wireless Network"
Open Educational Resources and Measured Learning – In the next few years, reports delve into the growth of OER (Open Educational Resources). Teachers and other faculty have responded favorably to OER, which is freely accessed licensed media and documents that are beneficial to teaching, researching and learning. It’s something they see themselves adopting in the near future.
OER is a large and complex concept, but one that has the power to change education and decrease the educational divide with free and easily accessible knowledge available to many people. The other mid-term trend, measured learning, is exactly what it sounds like—a way to assess data and analyze progress to personalize instruction. The caveat is maintaining student privacy, which means that security is crucial for school campuses to invest in.
Suggested Reading: "7 Amazing Open Education Resource Tools for Your Classroom"
Collaboration and Innovation – How does technology advance the skills of collaboration and innovation, and how does it apply to school campuses? An expectation exists with educational institutions—that they are hubs for supporting and fostering creativity and accelerated learning.
When technology is combined with collaboration, it is with the hope that it can lay the foundation for a cross-institution effort to improve education around the globe by forming beneficial partnerships. It’s the power to bring people together through technology for the advancement of education while keeping it affordable, cost-effective and an element that spurs innovation. It’s a tall order, but one that people agree has the ability to come to fruition.
Suggested Reading: "Obama's Plan to Take Our School Wi-Fi Networks into the 21st Century"
Growing with the trends
School wireless networks face an onslaught of six technology trends that require a system that can support them. With the number of devices and applications that will need to run on the system, schools will have to look at ways to manage and prevent both security and technical issues from occurring.
Schools too can make goals for the short-, mid- and long-term, so that these changes are easier to implement when they take shape on your campus. It takes analyzing your current school wireless network ecosystem, identifying and setting goals and then planning a timeline for implementation.
We always say to start with what you are trying to accomplish or do with the technology and then based on those goals you can determine what's required to support it from an infrastructure perspective.
The future is bright, with educational benefits that will include access, sharing, personalizing and joining together on a global scale.
Suggested Reading: "3 Actionable Tips for Updating Your School Wireless Network"
At SecurEdge Networks, we've deployed hundreds of secure wireless networks for schools that help them take advantage of today's latest technologies while also preparing them to scale for the future. If you need some help or would like us to analyze your current wireless network, reach out to us here!