Innovation is exciting, and it is doing a lot for schools around the world. However, there is a big problem with innovation and education. Many schools are adopting strategies and solutions that are 'on trend' and not tailored to their needs, creating a shift in costs and outcomes that don't add up. Campuses are spending more, but are seeing less. There needs to be a re-balance between innovation and maintenance in education if digital advancement is going to remain effective as a tool or learning.
The Technology Trend
The problem with innovation and education starts largely with technology trends. Many educators are adopting devices and tools that are 'of the moment' rather than examining how they can frame their technological investments as a way to promote better and more meaningful learning practices.
The students of today are surrounded by technology, and this saturation will only increase as time goes on. As they become the leaders of tomorrow, they will have to be effective and efficient digital citizens – and it is up to the teachers of today to teach them that. This means helping them develop problem-solving capabilities suited to a new era of digitalisation, as well as promote creativity, innovation, collaboration, and communication.
This raises the question – how do we do that? The answer is simple: by ensuring that any technology adopted by a campus contributes positively to it both now and in the future. This doesn't just refer to technology that affects learning, but also cost-reduction devices and administrative tools that enable improved operational efficiency on campus.
It is also important to realise that identifying that there is a problem with innovation and education is not anti-technology but is instead pro-balance.
Getting the Right Balance
Finding this balance is crucial for schools in a digital age, and teachers need to be asking if their IT investments are worth it. The pursuit of innovation can lead to neglect, but there are steps school leaders can take to ensure that they are making the right investments for their campus. These include:
- Understanding what technology, they already have, along with what tools and services can enhance existing devices rather than replacing them.
- Discovering cost-effective and innovative technologies that improve learning and infrastructure, such as that provided by Microsoft 365.
- Examine existing assets and plan how to maintain, replace, and upgrade them when necessary.
- Budget for digitalisation, and make investments that are in line with a school's needs – not with trends.
The critical takeaway for schools should be to develop a maintenance mindset when it comes to balancing education and innovation. This allows educators to create a sustainable environment where they can thrive, rather than one where devices, tools, and services remain unused.
If you are worried about the problem of innovation and education, or simply want to ensure your school is making the most of its digital investments get in touch with MOQdigital today.