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VIEWS & OPINION


A positive first step fromthe government


Comment by CHRIS ROTHWELL, Director of Education,Microsoft


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Technology is having an incredible impact across the education sector today, but adoption is not yet broad or ositive to see e


the launch of th consistent. It’s p


government’s EdTech strategy, spotlighting a wide range of topics that can help increase access and adoption across the country. As we educate people for life in a digital world, technology needs to be an integral part of how we prepare them.


We’re seeing technology


expand the options for teaching and learning. It is not simply replicating analogue teaching on a laptop, it is engaging pupils in new ways of learning and integrating technology as part of everyday curriculum and teaching.We see it building collaborative skills, teaching critical and computational thinking, and


encouraging creativity. These are all important skills that will help young people prepare for a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world.


At the same time, technology is helping teachers spend less time on routine tasks and procedures, and more time on teaching. Our research shows that 77%of teachers are not able to do their best work due to time constraints. Technology is helping reduce lesson preparation, often by enabling richer collaboration between teachers, and reducing marking and assessment workload.


Technology in the classroom can also play a vital role in supporting learners with their different learning requirements, helping students access information in a way that works best for them – whether that is helping someone with dyslexia read more easily with Learning Tools, or supporting learners and families where English is an additional language with inbuilt translation tools. Ultimately, these solutions help children feel more comfortable in the classroom and empower them to find their own voice.


Despite these great strides and the wealth of opportunities available, the education system still has a long way to go in providing students with the foundation they need for success in the future workplace. Teachers are still largely working in classrooms that are not fit for purpose, with the majority (52%) still using analogue equipment and over half (54%) of students lacking access to devices.What’s more, only 42%of teachers believe schools are setting students up for success as future professionals.


There is clearly more work to be done. In conjunction with making technology available in schools, we need to ensure that teachers and leaders receive the training and tools they need to adopt and apply it successfully. TheMicrosoft Education


Community is a resource that can provide a wide range of training and professional development to help people learn new skills, understand how best to implement technology and get


accustomed to 21st century learning design and digital pedagogy. The launch of the strategy is a good step to expanding the impact of EdTech in schools, and we are committed to continue to work with government, customers and partners to help realise


May


2019 the potential.


For school access


controls, sometimes simple is best!


Comment by ANDYWRAY, GeneralManager SME for STANLEY Security


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There’s a huge array of Access Control systems on the market, with an even wider array of features and functions, so determining what type of system best suits a particular school building can seem


overwhelming.Whilst there is most definitely a place for highly sophisticated Access Cont


complex needs, more often than not a st


raightforward, reliable, rol systems to meet


easy to use Access Control system, minus all the bells and whistles, does the job. And is highly affordable to boot!


Types of system


Swipe card based systems are pretty much a thing of the past and have been replaced by proximity systems where you present a card or tag at a reader without needing to touch it. These are by far the most popular as they can be relatively inexpensive in terms of capital outlay. There’s no wear and tear on components so they are reliable and ongoing maintenance costs are low, plus the flow of pedestrian traffic is not impeded. However, proximity systems do have the ongoing cost of issuing and managing tags/


s/cards. To avoid that you could look


at a biometric based system instead.Whilst these involve a larger capital outlay, the ongoing costs are minimal. One of the newest systems to arrive is smartphone-based. Designed to be quick and simple to use, these systems also remove the need for cards and tags with users gaining access via a smartphone App. Depending on the nature of the system, it may be possible to use existing hardware, as is the case with the Stanley OneDoor system, with just a monthly subscription fee per door.


Whatmakes for an eff ffective simple system?


Stand alone systems are ideal if you have just one or two doors to control and will do the job at hand. Any more than this and you need to go up a level and opt for a software based system. You don’t want to be paying for an array of advanced features that you don’t need, so ensure the system allows you to buy a basic package that you can add to if and when the need arises. There really are an array of features that come with software- based systems – far too many for me to l aspect that is very useful is an audit trail, has been on site and in what areas.


which documents who ist here – but one


When it comes to hardware, you want robust readers and electronic locks that stand the test of time. The locks have the most wear and tear, and will require maintenance, so check if your security provider offers service and maintenance packages and what those cover.


Ultimately, when deciding on an Access Control system be realistic about what you want from the system and don’t get carried away by all the clever features and add ons. Remember, sometimes Simple is Best!


www.education-today.co.uk 32


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