Choosing a school for your child and want to know what to look out for from an IT point of view? IT is critical in today’s workplace so it’s important your child is exposed as early as possible and for that to happen your school needs to have the right setup. Here are some things to look for:
With the advancement of the Internet today, many learning resources are available online. Your school should have a decent Internet connection to supply children with satisfactory access to the web. Schools can also be heavy on the Internet connectivity with many people accessing it at once. Running on ADSL is unfortunately not an option any more. Fibre is a minimum requirement to efficiently run connectivity at your child’s school.
Firewalls and content control
Although the Internet may be one big learning resource, it also comes with a lot of “other stuff”. Ensure your child doesn’t encounter this at school by checking that their school has the correct content blockers, anti-viruses, and firewalls in place. No one wants their child exposed to the dark side of the net.
Easy to use learning apps
If your child’s school is in a place where they can use technology for more than just Computer Class, check what learning apps they are enabling in the classroom. If you have a moment, play with the programs and see if they are enabling learning and growth in your child. If the app constantly crashes or isn’t user-friendly, this could hinder the progress in the classroom. Bring it up with the school if this happens.
Interactive teaching offers a host of benefits including more measurable student accomplishments, flexibility, enhancing the learning process and an increase in student motivation. Interactive whiteboards make for engaged and exciting learning. In a research study done by the Gates Foundation, they found that Teachers identified six instructional purposes for which digital tools are useful:
- Delivering instruction directly to students
- Diagnosing student learning needs
- Varying the delivery method of instruction
- Tailoring the learning experience to meet individual student needs
- Supporting student collaboration and providing interactive experiences
- Fostering independent practice of specific skills
If your school makes use of interactive teaching tools, ensure they are using them to their full capacity as they can be very beneficial to the learning experience.
A holistic IT system
Having the right tools is meaningless if they don’t fit into the right system with the right policies and procedures governing them. A school today needs to take IT seriously and as such there should be a holistic plan covering the current system and one for future growth. A messy or uncontrolled IT environment results in downtime, which results in frustration, which results in learners not being able to learn.
Here at Dial a Nerd we will use our solutions timeline to assess the needs of a school-based on the building, cabling, current connectivity, how many people rely on the IT infrastructure and a host of other things needed for a school in particular. We’ll work in conjunction with the governing body and teachers to create a long term plan and every facet of the system will need to fit with the goals of the school.