CoSN, the Consortium of School Networking, a professional association for K-12 school system technology leaders, recently wrapped their 2018 Conference. This year’s theme focused on ‘Designing Learning in the 4th Industrial Revolution’ - exploring how schools can approach the significant changes and challenges associated with an increasingly digital market. Digital technologies are affecting the world around us, in day-to-day life, business, and in education. Modern technology is shaping school experiences across the globe with intersections of physical, digital, and biological worlds helping educators adopt deeper next-generation digital teaching environments to generate real change in for a digital age.
Some of the key takeaways from the conference included:
- The Power of Collaboration: Schools, educators, and education partners – such as Cisco – need to work together to prepare for rapid digital change. Every day, schools across Australia are witnessing the intersection of physical and digital worlds. For example, classrooms can now engage with experts across the globe in real time and new and exciting topics, while innovative ways are being developed to personalise student experiences to encourage new learning methods. Digital platforms support the digital learning experience, and they are advancing at an unprecedented rate. Schools and educators need to be prepared for these changes, and willing to collaborate to get the most out of them
- Going beyond Learning: It is worth noting that education platforms now extend beyond learning environments and that education and intelligent systems that empower teaching and learning can automate both physical and cyber security monitoring to enable network and systems management burdens from IT, staff. This frees up valuable resources, creating agility and preparedness that will assist positive digital growth across the education sector.
- Incident Awareness: Incidents and cyber crimes are not isolated to corporate and personal environments; schools are equally at risks. A school laptop, or a BYOD device that a student is using for their classwork, present significant threats against school systems. This may include hacking the system, manipulating grades, or unintentionally introducing malware or viruses via phishing or other means. Educators and administrators are not immune and need to be prepared to protect against data breaches.
- Vigilance and Protection: From natural disasters to cybercrimes, incidents on campus, and more – students and teachers are often on the front line. CoSN presenter Sheryl Abshire, the Chief Technology Officer of Calcasieu Parish Public School in Louisiana, US – who was also the CIO during Hurricane Katrina, points out the importance of preparedness for schools, saying that disasters are “not a matter of if, [but] a matter of when.
- Closed Doors: The 4th Industrial Revolution – the one technology is currently bringing us – is closing doors and opening new ones. This creates a challenge, as old technologies can no longer keep up with the needs of a modern market – and the current changes can be intimidating to most. CoSN conference leaders talked about the value of embracing organisation change management, and how this can be a driver for schools that allows them to strategise, prepare, and execute next-generation digital learning opportunities in their school.
With so many significant changes occurring in the digital world, education providers need to be prepared for what is to come. However, while there are significant challenges ahead, there are also substantial benefits – and the changes we are seeing exist to better Student Success, not inhibit it.
To ensure that you are getting the most out of your digital investments, reach out to a MOQdigital Education Consultant. We can help you and your school deliver better learning opportunities and engage positively with technological change. Contact us today!