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Look to the Cloud for Answers

31 July 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

Schools are being advised that they must address ‘data gaps’ to embrace education technology revolution by one software provider.

Schools must improve on ‘significant’ gaps in their data and embrace cloud-based options to benefit from a revolution in education technology over the next decade. These are the findings of a new white paper commissioned by software provider Advanced Learning (Advanced) in association with one education expert, Professor Stephen Heppell.

To support this, the Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) was set up by the government in January 2014 to advise on how digital technologies might assist learners by enabling innovation across schools.

One of the Group’s recommendations was that more robust competition in the management information systems (MIS) market was required to benefit schools, and learners. The white paper suggested that outdated MIS prevented schools – and more importantly – learners from getting ‘real insight’ into what influences effective teaching and learning.

The report also highlights that the education sector should learn from other sectors, e.g. NHS, in using technology to build more transparent learning outcomes.

“Schools are often reluctant to change their existing MIS but need to realise education is entering a decade of remarkable opportunity,” said Professor Heppell. “To avoid being left behind, schools must move away from archaic systems and address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential.”

Professor Heppell went on to state that only by making better use of the information they already have (while finding ways to harness powerful and untapped data from emerging technologies), will they be able to adopt more effective teaching strategies.

“Missing data can make it hard to track, or acknowledge, a school’s effectiveness which can have an impact on funding,” explained Greg Ford, MD, Advanced Learning. “Modern MIS systems solve the problem by providing unparalleled intelligence so that schools no longer have to rely on incomplete information.”

Mr Ford argued that cloud-based options provide schools with a cost effective and scalable IT infrastructure to meet their growing requirements. By providing instant access to rich, interactive teaching resources, the Cloud also offered increased flexibility to support the delivery of effective learning.

Picture: Professor Stephen Heppell “To avoid being left behind, schools must….address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential.”

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 31 July 2015


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