Lessons in school ICT ahead of Bett

Two children in classroom using a tablet

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in ICT is solving problems. It’s something that often gets taken for granted in working life, but for us, it’s at the heart of what we do: scrutinising an organisation’s challenges and needs, developing a plan of action, then reconfiguring existing or setting up new technology to help our client solve their problem and make progress on their plans.

It’s an approach that is especially fulfilling in the education sector. We’ve worked with schools for more than three decades now, having helped almost 600 of them to set up remote teaching platforms during the pandemic.

Consequently, we’ve seen first-hand how improving infrastructure, connectivity and systems – while often a behind-the-scenes part of ICT – can have a major impact on the frontline. For example, better security can protect students from online abuse; improved systems integration can save school management time and money; and some services can even reduce the administrative burden on teachers, helping them get on with the day job.

One other way we find supporting the education sector to be particularly rewarding is due to the very nature of education: it’s about constantly learning and growing – and in a way, the ever-changing world of ICT has that same culture. It’s understandable, then, that we find our school clients have a genuine appetite for innovation. This is a sector that, in our experience, rejects the idea of “we’ve always done it this way” – and often, schools’ tight budgets foster the most creative of approaches.

We’re thinking about this right now because we usually join school ICT professionals at the annual Bett UK show around this time of year. But, following its postponement to March, due to Covid, we thought it worth sharing some of the news, views and resources we’ve seen over the past year that may be of interest to you as a school ICT professional – or even someone who is looking to get more from your school ICT.

One caveat: we’ve always found Bett to be an eye-opening and uplifting event – and an excellent opportunity to learn and network – so we realise there’s no substitute for discussing the below topics in person. But we hope there’s some food for thought for you below and hope, too, to see you at Bett in March.

Cyber security and protecting young people

The pandemic has seen a rise in cyber attacks targeting the education sector, likely due to the vulnerabilities resulting from the profound changes made to school networks. As such, we have found it has been a talking point with our school clients – and may be high on your ICT agenda, too. Here’s some sources that can help:

Wider impact of the pandemic

Understandably, the focus during the pandemic was to keep teachers teaching and students learning. But a few secondary topics emerged that we believe are important:

ICT beyond the pandemic

It’s an understatement to say Covid-19 has shaken up education ICT – so we know many schools are now asking where they go next. Now that pre-pandemic routines are returning to some degree, it might be time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Here are some areas to consider:

Specialist topics

Not all ICT topics sit with the ICT team – and it’s not always about devices on desks. So we looked at some other areas that regularly crop up in conversation with our education clients:

A final word

We hope you’ve found the information in this blog useful – and if you have any questions, do give us a call on 0333 4002490 or email enquiries@adept.co.uk.

We’d also like to thank you for the extraordinary work of the past two years. Whether you’re working in your school’s ICT team, a business manager or teaching students, you’ve helped our children continue their learning – so we hope a few pointers here can help you in your work.

Written by David Bealing

Managing Director, AdEPT Education