Industry Focus: Next Generation Schools
Technology use has grown in almost every industry, including that of education. If you’re a graduate or a student, you will have noticed that school systems have changed and adapted to this new age. Contributing to schools’ development is worthwhile and rewarding, as you can help to shape the next generation’s future. If you’re interested in this type of work, take a look at the opportunities in next generation schools.
Technology and Education
Digital services are used in almost half of today’s classrooms. Laptops, desktops, smart boards, and tablets have become the most common devices used in a classroom. Of course, there are still schools with low budgets that are unable to afford this type of equipment. However, an increasing number of educational facilities are relying on more sophisticated forms of technology.
Despite the everyday use of technological devices, there is always room for growth in school technology adoption. At the 2017 ASU GSV summit, where the smartest and most influential minds in learning and talent tech gather and share information, it was concluded that the education industry is in the midst of a technology-driven disruption. Every student should have access to education with technology-oriented classes to enable participation in the growing digital economy. Nowadays, high-education jobs require at least some knowledge in the field of technology. This is why next generation schools are turning digital and implementing technology in their everyday routines.
Why Do We Need Education Technology?
The world has seen many digital changes and there are plenty more to yet come. In their paper, “Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education,” the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution suggests that schools need to prepare youth for a world of rapid change in technology, increasing interconnectedness, and new forms of employment. Whereas years ago, many educational institutions focussed on teaching students to obtain knowledge via memorization, this is no longer the case. Today’s fast changing world requires a breadth of skills rooted in academic competencies such as literacy, numeracy, and science, but also qualities such as teamwork, critical thinking, communication, persistence, and creativity.
Over the past decade, the higher education industry has seen significant change. With an increased focus on student success and completion, IT plays a crucial role in providing knowledge that will allow students to progress. Also, offering IT education will provide institutions with an advantage over other schools. The ability to achieve this is dependent on IT partnering with institutional leadership at a strategic level to meet institutional goals.
Digital skills have become the foundation of a competitive economy and for that reason, schools need to invest in digital training to increase productivity and stimulate innovation. The rapid pace of digital transformation is changing the nature of the workplace. The current and future generations must be equipped not only with the skills that the industry needs today, but also with the skills they will need for the years to come.
Recommendations for Institutions to Become Next Generation Schools
There are several ways in which an institution can educate students to the next level.
- The use of innovative technology can be incorporated in pedagogical strategies. Students expect technologies such as video and virtual reality, to deliver integrated and personalized learning. They can decide for themselves their education needs and rate of progress. Institutions and faculties, in particular, need to embrace and apply these technologies when designing teaching and learning. For institutions to compete in an increasingly digital and competitive market, enabling these technologies is a necessity.
- A collaborative and campus-wide approach should be developed in order to improve student success. Developing and communicating that vision across the institution means that resources can be aligned more effectively to support defined goals. Collaboration between every campus stakeholder that can influence the student’s success and the value of the full student experience creates a better chance for students. From student affairs to academic affairs, all of these functions and more play a role in student success. A successful campus-wide student success strategy will include common goals and consistent messages.
- The CIO and IT department should be considered as trusted partners of the institution. When purchasing technology services, it is common to seek out knowledgeable experts who can share the good and the bad sides of the proposed investment. Institutional leaders should consider the CIO and IT team as a trusted partner when making these investment decisions. IT teams are far more than just maintainers of systems, and this is why the CIO and the IT team should have a more important role.
Educational Technology Courses of Studies
The implementation of digital technology in education also enables many European universities to have courses of study in this field. Being properly educated and prepared at top universities can increase the chances of obtaining the desired job position in this industry. If you are interested in next generation schools and how you can be a part of them, here are some European universities that offer essential knowledge about this field.
- Cardiff University: Education
- Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg: Education Studies Bachelors
- University of Limerick: Bachelor of Technology (Education) in Materials and Engineering Technology
- University of Oxford: Education (Learning and Technology)
- The University of Manchester: Digital Technologies, Communication, and Education Masters
- University of Geneva: Master in Advanced Learning and Teaching Technologies
- Universidad Autónoma de Madrid: Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Technologies in Education and Training
Job Opportunities Related to Next Generation Schools
Next generation schools need to be equipped with advanced technology that can assist both students and teachers in acquiring and delivering knowledge. That is why many companies and digital agencies supply schools with the needed instruments and programs. Besides being a part of the school and finding a job as a teacher or IT expert, there are also opportunities in companies that closely cooperate with schools.
For example, Sprint Education is an award winning digital agency that has pioneered digital and inbound marketing to the UK education sector. Through their digital marketing plans and education marketing software (Campus) they attract teachers, school staff and educational establishments to their clients’ brands.
Another company worth mentioning is Navitas. Navitas is a leading global education provider that offers an extensive range of educational services to students and professionals including university programs, creative media education, professional education, English language training and settlement services. With over 120 colleges and campuses across 31 countries offering a range of educational services to more than 80,000 students, clients and professionals, the success of the company is growing.
Specific job positions in this field are:
Companies dealing with digital education are in need of creative and original copywriters who can contribute to their marketing team. The job includes writing blog posts, creating new website content, and developing marketing campaigns. If you are interested in this position, Sprint education is currently on the lookout for a copywriter
Student Services Administrator
Schools need educated people with good communication and organization skills who can solve students’ problems and cater to their needs. Besides administrative experience linked to teaching and academic administration, computer literacy is also a vital skill. Navitas is searching for a responsible student services administrator, so if you have the required skills, take a look at this job position.
This is a key job position in next generation schools. From experts in mathematics to psychology major graduates, all can contribute to the education system. However, these schools desire much more than just good teaching skills. Familiarity with digital technology is a necessity since different programs and digital instruments will be used as equipment in lectures. If you are interested in technology and think that you have good teaching skills, this may be just the right job for you.
All progressive institutions need an IT expert who can maintain their school systems and offer advice when investing in new digital instruments. If you have enviable digital skills, from enabling software systems to knowing about trending and upcoming IT innovations, you may find this job appealing. In addition, having good communication skills is a plus since this position also involves helping teachers to understand the equipment they use.
Given the pace of technological advances, it is no wonder that it was always a challenge for schools to keep up with the latest innovations. As digital skills are becoming increasingly essential for industrial sectors, schools need to invest in offering high-quality courses. Additionally, these types of schools need to have teachers with digital skills who can professionally inform and educate students.
Complementing apprenticeships and work placements can give students valuable insight into the technology industry so that later on they will have desirable employability skills. Having access to digital education will enable them to participate in the growing digital economy.
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