Back in 2017, Australia received a dispiriting report. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) ranked Australia 39 out of 41 high and middle-income nations in terms of education quality.
We beat only Romania and Turkey in terms of literacy, numeracy, and scientific education – which means we would have a lot of work to do in order to catch up.
Many have proposed that we integrate technology more tightly into our public education system in order to improve student outcomes, but technology alone won’t help our country solve its education problems. After all, 50 percent of teachers use computers to teach part of their curriculum at least twice a week, and the country has long been famous for its School of the Air, which has used radio, television, and cellular links to connect students living in remote locations. Despite these and similar technological investments, the country’s educational ranking remains what it is.
Improving student outcomes requires top-down technological leadership
In Finland, which was ranked highest in the same UNICEF report, technology does show up in the classroom quite a bit – but is used in an extremely different way. Schools use the traditional mix of PCs, tablets, and overhead projectors, but they also rely heavily on the over 300 edtech startups that have grown up within Finland’s borders.
In these classrooms, for example, children might play a computer game that gamifies the process of scientific learning, allowing them to absorb advanced concepts like particle physics without the traditional process of rote memorisation. They might also use applications that allow them to talk about anxiety or improve their emotional health – critical factors when it comes to performing well on educational assessments.
If you’re a teacher in Australia, you may be looking at the educational tools available in Finland and asking yourself how you can emulate them. The answer is that you alone probably don’t have the budget or technical skills to implement edtech and its supporting infrastructure at the scale of an entire school. To truly level the playing field for Australian students, you need an IT leader that can help you enact technological change at the organisational level.
Work with MOQdigital for a CIO as a Service in schools
In many schools, the budget doesn’t extend to a full-time technological planner – or Chief Information Officer. Instead, their front-line IT staff spends most of their time re-imaging computers that get viruses, fixing printers, and helping people who forget their password. There’s no time to plan and commit to sweeping, overarching change.
With a CIO as a Service, you can create a roadmap that will allow you to cut down on maintenance, free up space in your budget, and implement the educational technology that you’ve dreamed of – all in service of giving your students a better education. For more information, contact MOQdigital today.