In the 20th century, technology was something students used if they had a computer lab. Students might have learned to type, tried basic programming, and used a limited software selection. Today, technology has long since moved out of the lab to become an integrated part of the classroom.
During the pandemic, students, teachers, and parents had to quickly pivot to a remote learning environment, and most struggled with the change. While the path forward for both in-person and virtual learning has become more defined, one aspect of modern learning that we cannot debate is the value of technology. According to a survey by Promethean, 77% of educators now say that technology is necessary in the classroom. The role technology plays in students’ everyday lives continues to increase, so whether instruction remains in-person or a virtual hybrid, teachers who effectively leverage technology in the classroom can better engage students and enrich the learning process.
77% of educators now say that technology is necessary in the classroom.
The Challenges Posed by Integrated Technology
Technology in schools is more than just remote learning or applications in the classroom. Back-office tools must be in place to handle student records, donor development, CRM, finance, and more. Most critically, everyone’s data must be kept safe. Schools, administrators, and teachers often find themselves facing a slew of challenges:
- Lack of Technical Staff – Many schools operate with a partial IT (Information Technology) staff and lack the necessary resources to provide clear and consistent technology services.
- Too Many Platforms – With multiple technology platforms in use, students, parents, and staff must navigate many tools to complete daily tasks.
- Tech Frustration – From parents’ and students’ frustration with virtual classroom tools to teachers’ difficulty mastering new software, irritation with technology can lead to less engagement, decreased efficiency, and a failure to achieve learning outcomes.
- Lack of Cloud Access – Back-office systems in private schools may not be cloud-based or only partially cloud-based, requiring staff to be on premises to work with them, which can contribute to the loss of productivity and increased operational costs. Migrating legacy applications to the cloud is one way private schools can combat the lack of cloud access.
- Varying Infrastructure Capabilities – Not everyone who needs to access technology remotely will have the tools, internet connection, or proper internet speeds to do so, which will result in a degraded experience and less engagement.
- Inadequate Security – As more student, parent, and donor information is stored on various platforms, cybersecurity measures become even more critical to protect personal and confidential information.
- Lack of Strategic IT Leadership – Most efforts are focused on IT operational activities with little time and effort spent on establishing and fulfilling an effective IT strategy and/or understanding how technology functions as part of the school’s education delivery.
And while public schools can rely on their district or state for assistance with these challenges, private schools must often navigate them all independently.
Ensuring a Strong Technological Foundation in Private Institutions
At SC&H, we know the struggle that can come with digital transformations; and, as parents of children enrolled in private schools, we live it. Fortunately, we also know the education industry. Our firm has worked with more than a dozen educational institutions in the last decade and partnered with over 100 schools in the last 15 years. Currently, our Technology Advisory Services practice is working with private schools to maximize their technology investments.
We use a unified approach to technology that includes:
- An overall assessment of your current technology and back-office tools
- Reliable, knowledgeable technology advisors who understand how your technology and your current situation relate
- Dedicated resources that can address your technology issues
- A proactive approach to cybersecurity and a roadmap to more-effective cybersecurity practices
- Training in modern technology and cybersecurity practices to help drive organizational change and tech adoption
- Active, experienced senior professionals to provide CIO/CTO services
When partnering with a technology firm to address your tech needs, it is important to work with seasoned professionals familiar with the latest technologies and security practices. In doing so, you can confidently outsource your technology needs at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time IT professional in-house or partner with us to collaboratively address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.