How principals can get ahead of the tech curve

How principals can get ahead of the tech curve

As e-learning changes the education landscape across the world, there is an abundance of tools available – each with their own specialisations, as well as strengths and weaknesses

Often it falls to principals to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to selecting the best digital resources for their schools.

Patrick Devlin, director of enterprise territory group Australia at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), shares his view about the powerful technologies emerging in the K-12 education sector that are helping school leaders drive real change in classrooms.

“There is tremendous opportunity in this space to tailor a learning experience directly to an individual student’s needs and abilities, and connected software and devices are evolving rapidly to meet this growing demand,” Devlin told The Educator.

In parallel with technology development in the commercial sector, Devlin said big data, deep learning and AI are likely to have the largest combined impact in the K-12 space.

“AI is well suited to learning and adapting to many different education environments and individual student behaviours. Under the guidance of a skilled teacher, AI will allow for targeted reach in larger classrooms with better individual learning outcomes for students at all levels,” he said.

“This will mean that simple and pervasive network connectivity will be more important than before. To feed AI, deep learning algorithms will need more data sources that are likely to come from a proliferation of Internet of Things [IoT] devices.”

However, as technology becomes more versatile and complicated, the gap of understanding between technology specialists and educators increases, adding to the challenges faced by the academic community in harnessing the power of technology.

To address this, Devlin said HPE has invested heavily in building networks to integrate student and teacher technology, with an understanding of the unique requirements and challenges that only years of experience can bring.

“HPE believes that digital learning presents an opportunity to boost student achievement and is vital to the modernisation of school curriculums and long-term success of educators,” Devlin said.

“Educators ultimately desire the agility to move quickly and sample new learning tools as they become available and HPE has created a means to make this possible.”

Devlin said the biggest challenge for principals is keeping up with rapidly changing education technology, because as soon as educators become fluent with current technology, it can become obsolete.

To combat this, he says educational institutions should seek ways to ‘future-proof’ their technology platforms and move away from “single purpose” technologies.

“We see that in how our customers that own and operate IT are now increasingly asking for fluidity in these platforms, in a concept that we term as composable infrastructure (CI),” Devlin said.

Devlin said CI is a new category of IT infrastructure where compute, storage, and networks become a shared resource that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

“This enables the quick ‘composition’ or ‘re-composition’ of resources based on the needs of new applications being deployed, which ultimately brings about the required agility,” he said.

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