Generation Z – born between 1995 and 2009 – most do not remember life without the internet, and have had technology like smartphones, iPads, smartboards and other devices available throughout most of their schooling.
Generation Alpha – born since 2010 – they are younger than smartphones, the iPad, 3D television, Instagram, and music streaming apps like Spotify. This is the first generation likely to see in the 22nd century in large numbers.
A 21st century education is about giving students the skills they need to succeed in a new world and helping them grow the confidence to practice those skills. With so much information readily available to them, 21st century skills focus more on making sense of that information, sharing and using it in smart ways. Schools, colleges and universities in the UK are changing; within the next decade we will no longer see the traditional classroom or lecture theatre. Smart devices, tablets and collaborative tools are going to significantly change the way young people will learn in the future.
As consumer trends like social networking, mobile applications and smart devices continue to make their way into the classroom, students are increasingly expecting an atmosphere of more interaction and less presentation. Beyond their expectations, the reality is that students learn more through interaction and doing things for themselves, rather than passively absorbing content.
Regional as well as global classrooms will develop; students collaborating with experts anywhere in the world through connected mobile devices. Textbooks are already being replaced by continually developing, interactive, multi-media online teaching aids. We are also beginning to question the whole way we teach and learn. Below are just 4 of the trends that we believe are reshaping the world of education.Education Everywhere
It has never been easier to access education and often very cost-effectively, if not ‘Free’. From freely accessible training like YouTube, podcasts, The Khan Academy or the growing number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to paid premium courses such as Lynda.com (owned by LinkedIn) and The Open University. The ability to learn at any age, anywhere and using a blended learning approach has never been easier or accessible.Changing Classrooms
“Flipped” learning is where pupils undertake some of their learning outside of the classroom (e.g. watching videos the night before that explain a new concept). This frees up the teacher’s time to focus on more useful classroom activities, such as providing formative feedback and giving more personalised support to pupils who are struggling. It also gives pupils more control over their own learning, leading to the development of better general learning skills. Classroom time is no longer spent taking in raw content, a largely passive process. Instead, while in classes, students do practice problems, discuss issues, or work on specific projects. The classroom becomes an interactive environment that engages students more directly in their education.Peer to Peer Learning
Formalised peer learning can help students learn effectively. At a time when education resources are stretched and demands upon staff are increasing, it offers students the opportunity to learn from each other. It gives them considerably more practice than traditional teaching and learning methods in taking responsibility for their own learning and, more generally, learning how to learn. It is not a substitute for teaching and activities designed and conducted by staff members, but an important addition to the repertoire of teaching and learning activities that can enhance the quality of education.School - Business Collaboration
Supporting young people to develop strong employability skills is important to help them enter the workforce successfully. A growing body of evidence indicates that the chance of school leavers gaining a job and enjoying a successful career increases substantially when they come into regular and sustained contact with employers whilst still at school. There is a central role for businesses to play in workplace skills education.
More and more local authorities are engaging with the business community to build links with their local schools, colleges and universities to provide workplace experience, skills support, youth enterprise initiatives and access to technology that they would ordinarily not have access to.
Quickline have the privilege of working with and advising many schools and colleges on the best and most cost-effective technology infrastructures to deploy in order to support learning. If you need advice on how best to meet the technology needs for your organisation please give us a call and we’d be delighted to help.
According to recent research by OnePoll, internet outages cost the UK economy approximately £11 billion a year. It’s worth asking yourself; ‘How much money would my business lose if I lost all connectivity?’
Almost every modern business needs to have strong connectivity to effectively communicate with customers, clients, suppliers and employees. It is key to the day to day running of most software and communication tools and determines how well you can deliver your service.
Internet connectivity is growing in importance too, as the ‘always-on’ mentality takes over and customer expectations continue to rise. The modern consumer no longer goes by 9 to 5 business hours and wants to be able to communicate and engage with a business at any time, from anywhere, and they expect you to be able to accommodate this.
Can you afford for your business not to be connected, even for short periods of time?
Should your primary broadband service become disrupted, the cost to your business can be considerable. The same research stated that when connectivity fails, everyday operations will come to a halt at 38 per cent of businesses, 13 per cent immediately start losing money following an outage and 46 per cent will suffer a financial hit after four hours. However, considering that the average waiting time for service to resume is 6 hours, it’s surprising that only 13 per cent of businesses switch to a secondary backup solution.
Whilst larger companies statistically lose the most money and productive hours, the effects of connectivity failures apply to businesses of any size.
How can this be avoided?
Internet providers are not invincible, and outages can occur through malicious web attacks or damage to the physical infrastructure such as a digger cutting through cables.
Check that you are using internet connectivity that is suitable for your business – reliability, speed and bandwidth. As your company grows its vital that regular checks and audits are carried out to ensure all IT and telecommunication systems are able to deal with the volumes and are protected against outages and cyber-attacks. You can internally review the scalability and resiliency of your systems by checking your bandwidth is still suitable for the size of your business. If your business has grown beyond your bandwidth speed and size, then it’s time to upgrade.
Unfortunately, sometimes a connectivity issue will arise despite you and your connectivity provider’s best efforts. Rather than moving to a temporary office space or sending your people home, a better option would be to implement a secondary backup internet connection. What may seem like another unnecessary expense could save you downtime, productivity loss, and customer issues as well as money.
Depending on the size of your business, there are a number of solutions available to help your business when an outage occurs
A step up from using your mobile phone data or temporary use of someone’s WiFi is a 4G router; these will connect to the 4G network in the event of an internet outage, meaning you can continue carrying out small tasks that require internet connection such as taking electronic payments and sending emails.
For businesses where an internet connection is essential to carry out the majority of business activity, a second connection would be the most appropriate option. Before taking this step it’s worth considering choosing a different supplier to the one you currently receive your main broadband connection from. If your main service provider encounters a major issue, your secondary connection should not be impacted.
Weighing up the chances of an outage occurring and the amount you’d lose each time, it should become evident how invaluable a secondary internet connection is when you know that on average there are at least four outages per organisation per year.
Both potential and existing customers are key drivers in sustaining and growing your business. If neither can contact you, will they call your competitors? By adding a second low-cost connection you can be confident that your business will carry on as normal in the event of an outage.
At Quickline we work with multiple partners in order to supply the right tailored solution for your business. If you are considering deploying primary or secondary wireless or wired internet infrastructure within your organisation, talk to our team of experts.