Curriculum changes create IT challenges across education sector
Schools, colleges and universities increasingly have to provide technology that will deliver a good learning experience as well as a good technology experience. This is challenging from a cost, management and logistical point of view.
Having the tools and resources to make sure you can deliver high quality technology is key to attracting students and teaching professionals. Knowing what assets are working well for you, where additions are required and which should be rationalised, has never been more important.
IT managers are increasingly expected to ensure their organisations’ IT estates are operating at optimum efficiency and effectiveness, and good asset management is key.
Varying quality of IT available at different educational establishments means a lottery for students – with no guarantee as to how effectively technology will be used in the school, college, university or training provider of their choice (if they even have a choice). Education shouldn’t be pot-luck, and a good approach to IT lifecycle management could help reduce this inequality.
New curriculum – new challenges
2013 saw a seismic shift in the ICT national curriculum as it was morphed into computing. Education minister Elizabeth Truss’ decision to make this change followed lobbying from, and then co-operation with, the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The full computing curriculum will be implemented in September 2014. The reason for this change is the perceived in-balance between the three core elements of ICT – digital literacy, information technology, and computer science. This means teachers are now faced with what is virtually a new subject, the core of which is essentially computer science.
It follows that there is a growing requirement for technology that will meet the demands of this new curriculum.
There is also a concern that focus on ‘computing’ will result in the use of technology across the curriculum (known as technology-enhanced learning or TEL) being side-lined. Balancing existing technologies which support TEL, and new technologies to support ‘computing’ will be key, and will require robust asset management systems and processes.
Competing priorities and scarce resources
The challenge for heads of ICT will be the issues of competing priorities and scarce resources. With responsibility for the use of ICT in cross-curriculum subjects, management of technical support and a leading role in the procurement and replacement of equipment, heads of ICT will be increasingly stretched.
Without efficient systems and processes to manage assets and keep abreast of technology requirements to meet various demands across the curriculum, the opportunity for heads of ICT to add further value will be significantly reduced.
Are you ready for September?
A solid IT lifecycle management strategy and the right asset management tools will help ensure efficient and effective use of your IT estate, freeing up valuable time of heads of ICT to concentrate on strategy and adding value.
To discuss your organisation’s IT requirements, please contact Paul Fletcher on 01344 701806 or paul.fletcher(at)3stepit.com.