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The evolution and future of Edtech: A chat with Aaron Webb, Sr Product Marketing Manager at Jamf

How has the pandemic impacted the way we view edtech?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the way that edtech is viewed within the education system. In the last two years, we have seen technology brought to the forefront, as schools have adopted platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom in order to enable teachers to provide learning to children of all ages. There has also been an increase in device purchases or repurposing of existing devices in order to provide students with access to these platforms. While some schools have relied on student having access to their own device at home in order to keep teaching as best they could, others already had devices in the hands of students and the systems in place adapted in a different way. What started as reactive for most and a forced move to use technology has become a learning curve where all schools, even if they already had an established 1:1 programme or already used Teams or Google to reset. Technology in education has many benefits and schools have seen that, from accessibility and providing differentiated resources to cutting the amount of paper used. They have realised what can be done outside the walls of the classroom and they saw the importance of having a structure in place to flip to online learning whenever required. However, during the pandemic, there was little time to implement a strategy or enable staff with the new tools and skills. Some schools still had key worker children on site while teaching remotely so had to juggle both face to face and online learning. We are now in a period where schools are focused on students who are back in the classroom but they are also able to review the workflows they were using both prior and during the pandemic. Many schools are reflecting on those free offerings to blend with other paid-for solutions, for example using Google Classroom as a free offering but moving to Showbie for digital assessment and feedback. Apple devices are being used to blend Google tools with the Apple ecosystem and the need for both teaching training and IT management of devices has grown rapidly. There is also more focus on security, with devices being issued without the knowledge, skills or tools to secure them, and an increase in cyber attacks on schools and universities means protecting students, devices and the networks are now a huge requirement in education. The pandemic has certainly fast-tracked the digitisation of education considerably and will continue to shape the future of learning, professional development with tools and platforms to support.

 

What is Jamf and how are you making a difference in the education sector?

Jamf is the leading Apple enterprise management solution of scale that remotely connects, manages and protects Apple users, devices and services. Our flagship education solution, Jamf School, recently surpassed 5 million devices and provides simple education-focused tools and value-added workflows, not only for the IT admin to manage and secure Apple devices but Teacher, Student and Parent apps to empower student success. Jamf provides a holistic management solution for schools of all sizes that manages every aspect of Apple devices through to provisioning devices right from purchase, through to the deployment with zero touch for IT which gives the ultimate buy in for staff and students who unbox their brand new device, power on and see all their apps and setting configured based on their sign in. With our security solutions and management offers, we can help schools monitor and prevent malware threats, and provide safe online learning environments, all without invading user privacy. We support the use of our devices and tools with training and robust help for IT admins but also free online professional development for the Jamf Teacher app with our Jamf Educator platform. Teachers can learn, try and apply in a simulation environment before rolling out across the school. We celebrate their success with a Jamf educator badge to share on social media and as part of their professional development but also invite them to join our dedicated education hub within Jamf Nation, our online community of IT professionals.

 

What differentiates Jamf from other edtech solutions?

Jamf empowers student success. We know that many stakeholders play a huge part in this and we have tools and solutions to support those key personas. IT, teachers, the students themselves and parents and carers. Each tool and workflow enhances engagement between teachers, students and parents while simplifying IT workflows. It is a unique proposition that presents a variety of capabilities that allow for management of devices by a number of different stakeholders and participants regardless of IT knowledge and skills. Each of these is adapted and created specifically for its role in this journey. Jamf has carefully considered what is required for each participant and developed a capability to support their function.

 

These solutions become even more powerful with our integrations and solution partners. Our integrations with Microsoft and Google mean schools can choose Apple and use the systems they know and love to form a powerful combination that suits their needs. By choosing Apple they can still use their Google or Microsoft systems but blend the Apple ecosystem for a better together approach.

 

We extend that experience even further with solution partners through our Jamf Marketplace. There is a wealth of solutions and integrations that allow schools to use systems they already have or are looking to adopt with Jamf, whether that be IT solution or teaching and learning specific apps such as Showbie, Explain Everything or digital signage solutions for their Apple TV fleet such as Carousel or Trilby TV.

 

How is Jamf combating some of the main security concerns in the edtech space?

The technological landscape is constantly evolving, and it is imperative that learning institutions take the necessary measures to combat the latest threats and security risks to prevent any potential problems. The use of technology in the classroom can be invaluable but steps need to be taken to protect both children and teachers alike, while also respecting and conserving their privacy.

 

Our solutions offer an easy way to remove concerns around security and harness a safe learning environment. Jamf has a robust and comprehensive knowledge base of the potential threats and has solutions that work to mitigate them, giving teachers and students the tools for success while keeping them safe from harm.

 

Jamf have announced their latest tool to keep users safe while they work. Jamf Safe Internet will be available for macOS, iPadOS and iOS this summer, combining content filtering and network threat prevention features that block unsafe content and malicious attacks so students can learn safely anywhere. This protection also includes software to stop malware and phishing attacks in their tracks. Jamf Safe Internet uses a vast content-filtering database and lightweight technology, so the learning experience of the user is not hampered and continues to provide the best Apple experience teachers and students know and love, while avoiding an invasion of student’s privacy. This is yet another layer of protection in place in addition to the existing safeguards in place throughout the Jamf’s Education solutions.

 

What do you think about the future of edtech?

Edtech, at its core, looks to empower teachers, parents and students, both inside and outside the classroom, to use technology as a tool to simplify and progress learning methods and make education as effective as possible. We know that the pandemic has accelerated its progress, but I think we are still yet to see the best to come. Technology is constantly evolving and developing, and the possible applications are vast. However, there are still areas that need to adapt. Exams and assessment were impacted during the pandemic. Schools need to rethink how students are assessed and consider digital assessments – edtech can definitely play a huge part in it.

“Whilst some providers have been counted in, nobody has been counted out”: NASBTT responds to ITT accreditation process outcome

The Department for Education (DfE) has today notified providers who applied to Round 1 of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) accreditation process of the outcome.

 

Figures released show that 80 providers spanning school and university-based ITT have been accredited.

 

In response, Emma Hollis, Executive Director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said:

 

“Whilst we are obviously disappointed by the headline figure that only 80 providers have been successful in Round 1, it is important to stress that we are only part-way through the process and as such no provider has been counted out.

 

Providers who have not yet been accredited are able to re-apply in Round 2 (which opens on 23rd May, deadline 27th June) and, importantly, have been given feedback from DfE which will support their resubmission. They will only have to submit responses to the question or questions they did not pass, so can invest time over the next two months developing their applications in the specified areas. Needless to say, we are committed to supporting all NASBTT members through the accreditation process, and would encourage all providers who have not yet been accredited to continue with their applications into Round 2.

 

We would also encourage all those who are resubmitting or planning to apply for the first time in Round 2 to attend our forthcoming online networking events on trainee curriculum (8th and 9th June), mentoring (13th June), partnerships (14th June) and brokering new partnerships (15th June), which are free to NASBTT members. These will bring ITT providers together to discuss their approaches to each of these elements of the application, and to share ideas and thinking to support one another in the accreditation process.

 

We remain confident, based on assurances that we have been given from DfE (who we are in constant dialogue with), that there is no pattern or preference emerging in the accreditation process for size and scale of provider – a fear expressed by many.

 

We are also confident that the government at large will want to avoid a potentially catastrophic risk to the teacher supply chain – and quality and availability of provision – which would come from losing significant numbers of providers from the market and further undermining teacher supply at a time when ITT applications are back to, or indeed below, pre-pandemic levels.”

 

Students and activists gather to mark Europe Day

Over 75 students from local schools were joined by people from the Together.eu community to mark Europe Day in London yesterday (Monday 9 May 2022).

 

The young people were joined by representatives from the European Parliament, the EU Delegation in the UK, diplomats from all over Europe and beyond, friends and neighbours, as all came together to celebrate the European Year of the Youth with a special emphasis on showing solidarity with people in Ukraine.

 

Europe Day has been marked every year since 1964 to promote peace and unity in Europe. In 2022, the focus on youth was celebrated in the UK with a host of local schools being invited to London’s famed Europe House for a chance to experience the festivities in person, including a preview of the Gardens and Landscapes exhibition by young French artist Alexandre-Benjamin Navet, as well as the opportunity to meet the EU’s ambassador to the UK, João Vale de Almeida and Susanne Oberhauser, Head of the European Parliament’s Liaison Office in the UK, together with her whole team.

 

Further events took place across Europe, and in the UK a concert at St. John’s Smith Square included a performance by soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Alongside standout pieces such as ‘Ode to Joy’ and a soloist performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “Abîme des oiseaux” from Quatuor pour la fin du temps, the orchestra also played the Ukrainian national anthem, highlighting solidarity with the people of. Susanne Oberhauser said: “Europe Day brings into stark focus the “raison d’être” of the European Union: UNITED IN PEACE. And as our President Roberta Metsola put it: Today we celebrate our values, today we stand with Ukraine.”

 

One of the young people taking part, secondary school student Clemmie Aargaard from London, gave a powerful speech, which really was the cornerstone of the European Year of Youth and Europe Day celebrations. To conclude her very moving and personal account of what it means to her to be European, she said: “When we think of ourselves as Europeans, or as citizens of a wider world, we are motivated to live alongside each other. Celebrating our differences as well as the many ties that bind us.”

 

The European Union Ambassador to the UK João Vale de Almeida said: “Europe is about bringing different people, languages and cultures together, to reach common goals, and based on shared values. United in diversity, as our motto says. It has not always been an easy job, nonetheless for the last 72 years we did it, we keep on doing it and we hope younger generations will continue carrying the torch for 72 more years at least. We are proud to see so many countries wanting to join us.”

 

The European Parliament Liaison Office is encouraging all young people throughout the UK who would like to take action on issues they care about such as global public health, the planet, security or human rights. Young people can visit the Together.eu website and connect with others who share their enthusiasm for joint action for a better future.

 

Leicester School Marks Mental Health Awareness Week

Pupils at a Leicester primary school have been learning how to support their wellbeing and self-esteem ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Elizabeth Woodville Primary School in Groby has been hosting special lessons and activities to mark the event using Discovery Education Health and Relationships – a digital programme which teaches children about healthy and happy relationships, and gives them the skills they need to look after their physical and mental health.

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation charity, Mental Health Awareness Week (9 to 15 May 2022) is an annual, nationwide event which encourages people to focus on achieving good mental health.  The theme of this year’s event is ‘Loneliness’, and it’s hoped that the campaign will shine a light on the mental health impact of the pandemic.

Year 5 pupils at Elizabeth Woodville Primary School began their Mental Health Awareness Week lessons by learning about the importance of self-image and self-respect. Using digital resources from Discovery Education, they explored how the way in which we see ourselves can affect our feelings and behaviour.

 

Inspired by this, the children took part in a lively discussion about the benefits of positive self-image and how this can improve their health and wellbeing. The children enjoyed debating and sharing their ideas. One of the pupils said, “It was good to hear what other people wanted to say and sometimes I changed my mind too!”

 

The class then produced some beautiful written work on the theme of self-esteem, in which they listed the things that they are good at and highlighted the achievements they are most proud of.

 

Helen Taylor, Year 5 teacher at Elizabeth Woodville Primary School said:

 

“Given the difficulties and challenges faced by children of all ages within the last two years, caring for their mental health has never been more important. At Elizabeth Woodville Primary School, we take our responsibility to promote and improve the mental health of our pupils very seriously. Discovery Education’s Health and Relationships programme has allowed us to teach the importance of a positive mentality, self-image and self-respect in a clear, interesting and age-appropriate way. Every lesson enables discussion and debate and the children learn from each other as much as from the teaching.”

 

Featuring a variety of engaging digital content including videos, activities and complete lesson plans, Discovery Education Health and Relationships helps children to learn about mental health and relationships in a safe and supportive environment. The resources, which support teachers to deliver the primary RSHE curriculum, are centred around child-led videos and animations to help pupils relate to the subject and encourage them to take part in discussions.

 

“Discovery Education is proud to support Elizabeth Woodville Primary School as they teach their pupils about the importance of good mental health” said Howard Lewis, Discovery Education Managing Director UK and International. “Providing pupils with engaging opportunities to learn about wellbeing is so important, and we are glad to offer teachers the materials to do so.”

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

ENDS

Who is safeguarding the safeguarders? Study reveals school safeguarding staff are STILL suffering distress – yet are less likely than ever to seek support

                     30% of DSLs (Designated Safeguarding Leads) in schools admit suffering distress or upset as a result of carrying out their roles

                     DSL safeguarding distress similar to 2020 pandemic levels

                     Yet there is a 25% decline in DSLs seeking support compared with two years ago

New research released today for Mental Health Awareness Week, has revealed two years on from the pandemic starting, teachers and staff responsible for safeguarding are STILL suffering high levels of distress as a result of carrying out their role. However, they are less likely than ever to seek personal support to help address the issue.  

According to the data, released by Smoothwall, a leading digital safeguarding technology provider, nearly a third (30%) of those responsible for safeguarding in a school have experienced or seen something that has caused personal distress, such as upsetting images or content.

DSLs within private schools (20%) fare significantly better than those in state schools (31%). However, the levels of distress experienced by those responsible for safeguarding as a whole remains largely in line with comparative data from 2020 (33%).

Despite levels remaining high, there has been a significant decline in the number of DSLs seeking professional support, such as counselling, or personal help from colleagues or peers. In fact, when compared with two years ago, DSLs are 25% less likely to seek support of any kind, posing the question: who is safeguarding those with a responsibility to safeguard?

Safeguarding can be an extremely challenging role with seemingly ‘invisible’ issues such as students accessing harmful online material often flying under the radar and being difficult to spot. The research underlines this with 1-in-10 DSLs admitting they feel unable to spot mental health issues amongst children in their care.

Kat Howard, safeguarding expert at Smoothwall, said: “Those staff with a safeguarding responsibility are absolutely committed to providing the very best care and support for their students, and the fear of missing a vulnerable child can cause significant stress in itself. However, the experience of witnessing atrocious content, sexual imagery, online student chats with potential perpetrators and more through their day-to-day roles is not pleasant and over time can affect their wellbeing and mental health too.

 “Safeguarding issues are also widespread. Our own digital monitoring data shows that every 12 minutes, a child was found to have been involved in a serious sexual incident, and every 22 minutes, a child was involved in a serious cyberbullying, or violent incident.

“As such, it’s critically important we provide those with a responsibility for safeguarding, not only the right tools and technology to be able to do their job more efficiently and spot issues before they escalate, but also to recognise and provide the appropriate emotional and mental health support for those carrying out this crucially important job.”

Against this context, an active monitoring solution can provide DSLs with valuable support and reassurance in identifying those most at risk. Digital devices within a school are constantly monitored to check for signs of risk in children, quickly. 

Serious risks such as a suicide, grooming or a gang meeting can all be picked up in real-time if a child has used their keyboard to view content, message someone, look for information, type out their feelings – even if they delete it immediately or never press ‘send’ or ‘enter’. This approach can support the valuable ‘eyes and ears’ approach to safeguarding, that relies on teacher’s years of experience in intuition.

For more information on Smoothwall, or to access a full report into the research, visit https://www.smoothwall.com/  

Employment law and the duties of teachers: What do you need to know?

Professionals who work in education, especially those who work with minors, are expected to operate to very high standards of conduct, ethics and safety, due to the vulnerability of those who they work with and their position of power, influence and trust.

 

Dave Ward, a partner in the Employment team at Blacks Solicitors, shares his advice on what education employers and employees need to be aware of relating to allegations of misconduct and safeguarding, unfair dismissal and teacher’s duties. 

 

Safeguarding and misconduct

Professionals in education should always be mindful of the privileged position in which they work. The safeguarding of students and particularly children in education settings is absolutely paramount. It is likely that most instances of potential misconduct will give rise to safeguarding concerns. Errors of judgement, inappropriate behaviours and major failures to carry out aspects of the role could put children at risk.

 

Where misconduct is determined following a reasonable process, it can have career ending consequences for professionals in education, especially given there are regulatory reporting obligations and reference requirements, including DBS checks, that are naturally in place to alert local authorities and prospective employers to risks.

 

It is likely that those subject to allegations of misconduct will be represented by a union and their representatives can take various types of approach, from reasonable and pragmatic, to occasionally derailing processes which cause significant disruption, leading to the parties losing sight of the ultimate objective, which is the provision of a safe learning environment for all.

 

Disciplinary processes

Against this backdrop, education providers can rest easy in the knowledge that if there is reasonable evidence of wrongdoing, a robust and fair disciplinary process should allow appropriate action to be taken, without putting the establishment at risk.

 

However, providers must also be mindful of underlying causes of misconduct, such as what occurred in City of York Council v Grosset. In that case, the local authority was found to have discriminated against Mr Grosset on the grounds of disability when disciplining him, where it had not realised that his alleged misconduct was connected to his disability.

 

It is important for the employer not to place conduct standards and safeguarding on such a pedestal that employment rights are overlooked. Similarly, just because allegations are raised, the employer should not overreact and forgo a reasonable investigation and evidence gathering exercise, as this could well put the establishment at risk of failing to properly investigate, understand the facts and take appropriate remedial action.

 

Whilst the education sector is a rather niche area of Human Resources, established best practice guidance as set out under the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, remains sufficient to conduct disciplinary processes in education settings. This is so, even where there are allegations involving the most serious types of misconduct.  A thorough, methodical and transparent approach to investigating and making decisions is vital.

 

For more information, please visit https://www.lawblacks.com/business/employment-law/

Schools & Academies Show London 2022

The Schools & Academies Show London 2022 took place on 27th April at ExCeL, London for the first time in over three years.

The show’s return to London provided the perfect opportunity for the sector to continue moving from recovery to re-discovery. The event brought together over 3,000 attendees, 150 inspirational speakers and 140 leading education suppliers and provided the perfect meeting and networking space for senior leaders from schools to meet and discuss how to overcome the biggest challenges facing schools in the UK.

As the country continues to move beyond the effects of the pandemic, the education sector is still suffering from staff shortages, funding challenges and now has added pressures from pupil and staff wellbeing issues. Therefore, the Schools & Academies Show is positioned to tackle these challenges through showcasing good practice case studies, innovative suppliers and interactive networking and meeting spaces.

Our Headline Sponsor; Lyfta, presented an insightful presentation; ‘Nurturing Children for Our Changing World: The Amazing Power of Diverse Human Stories’ and stated:

“We were delighted to take part in the show and have the opportunity to meet sector leaders and staff, while sharing our message and vision with many schools that were not familiar with Lyfta.

Lyfta provides a powerful and accessible way for students to experience human diversity, and for educators to build cultural capital and nurture the vital skills and values children need to thrive in our changing world. We invite students to explore and connect with real human stories from across the globe, through interactive 360° spaces and powerful short films.

By taking part, we were able to share some of our work and our mission with Headteachers, MAT Leaders and wider Senior Leadership Teams and it was a great experience to see so many representatives from the sector in one place throughout the day.”

The show is heavily supported by the Department for Education (DfE) and we were delighted to bring back the popular Government Education Village which provides visitors with the chance to speak directly with representatives from multiple teams at the DfE as well as see a variety of live sessions and project demonstrations by the department.

This focus on insightful content and good practice was carried through the entire event, with the following themed stages on offer:

  • School Improvement Theatre
  • Trust & Trustees Theatre
  • Business & Finance Theatre
  • EdTech Theatre
  • Safeguarding & Wellbeing Theatre
  • SEND Theatre
  • Leaders’ Town Hall

As well as the 30+ hours of CPD-certified content on offer, over 140 exhibitors took part offering a wide variety of services, products, and solutions for every aspect of running a school. Discovering new suppliers, meeting with current service providers, and finding new and exciting services is one of the key benefits of the show and without this support from the sector, the show would not be such a huge success.

Stephen Morales, CEO, ISBL and Chair, GovNet Education Advisory Board stated:

“It’s always a privilege to part of one of the sector largest national events. Being able to interact with such large numbers in attendance, both in the margins of the sessions and as speaker provides me with a real sense of the mood of our sector, their challenges, their concerns, and their aspirations.

As ISBLs CEO I believe events like this are essential to the sectors ongoing evolutions and as a professional institute we look forward to supporting the Schools & Academies Show again in Birmingham in November.”

If you would like to find out more about how you can join the leading education suppliers already benefiting from exhibiting at the shows, then please contact info@schoolsandacademiesshow.co.uk.

About the Events:

The Schools & Academies Show is the UK’s leading education policy event, tackling the biggest topics and changes across the sector in order to ensure better outcomes for pupils and staff and is organised by GovNet Education.

@SAA_Show

#SAAShow22

 

To Outsource or In-House, That is the Question (in School IT Support)

It goes without saying that school IT support is hugely important. It’s important at every level, whether you’re a 2000 student sixth form college, or a 50 pupil primary school. Education revolves around tech; a science trip to the nature reserve could involve taking tablets for insect and plant identification, Spanish class could be video chatting with students in Peru. Having expert support available to keep learning flowing smoothly is essential.

 

Many schools have some level of IT support, perhaps a support technician or network manager. Some schools and many Trusts share. However, with budgets stretched to the limit across the entire school network, these precious resources don’t necessarily cover all scenarios.

 

As a specialist outsourced IT provider (with a strong background in supporting schools), we understand a lot of the pain points. We’ve written this article not to suggest all school IT support should be outsourced, but to highlight how it can be a complementary service. In-house IT resources play a hugely important part in helping us do our job well. We’re here to work with you, let’s take a look at how outsourcing could benefit your school.

 

School IT Systems

Taking care of the IT in a school means being a bit of a Swiss Army knife – there’s a lot going on. Understandably, a single IT Manager will have greater strengths in some areas, and weaknesses in others.

 

Schools rely not only on tech for teaching (from languages to graphics), but to power everything behind the scenes. The IT systems and solutions used by schools include:

  • Email System
  • Accounting System
  • Cyber Security Solutions
  • Storage Systems and Backup (cloud and/or on-premise)
  • Classroom Management Software
  • Productivity Software (Office 365/Google)
  • Network Management
  • Connectivity Management
  • School Information System
  • Library Software

 

Behind all this software-based IT is all the hardware it runs on, from desktops and laptops to servers, switches and access points.

 

All of the above is essential in keeping your school operational and your students safe and protected at all times.

 

What an outsourced solution can offer you is expertise across the board. With your in-house person focused on the tasks they excel at, they can have a whole Service Desk on hand to support them with the rest.

 

What Can Outsourced Support Offer

When we first speak with a school or Trust we establish what level of support they’re looking for. For example, there could be one on-site IT apprentice who needs a lot of training and guidance, or a school IT Manager with 20 years of experience who is run off his or her feet maintaining two different campuses. Both scenarios require different levels of support from us, as do the many versions in between this.

 

When your technical support provider is commissioned mainly to help with unexpected issues you can expect a systematic process to solve the problem now and for the future. Something along the lines of:

  • Fault diagnosis
  • Identification of the resolution
  • Fixing the issue using existing hardware and software
  • Enlisting additional hardware or software to resolve the issue if required
  • Testing the system to confirm the fault is gone
  • Putting measures in place to ensure issue can’t recur.

 

If your technical support provider is engaged as an extension of your day-to-day activities, they’ll be helping with:

  • Setting up new starter accounts
  • Handling password resets
  • Adding/removing users to your Microsoft 365/Google Workspace
  • Assigning or removing licenses
  • Increasing or decreasing storage limits

 

Types of Outsourced IT Support for Schools

In the course of establishing what kind of support package you need, we also clearly discuss the types of IT support available. Today, the vast majority of issues can be fixed remotely, particularly if the infrastructure has been built in such a way.

 

We provide either:

  • Remote technical support (via phone or email)
  • On-site technical support (either ad hoc or an arranged regular visit)

 

A custom support solution from M-Tech will be built around the type of support you need, ensuring you’re getting the most out of your outsourced service provider.

 

We can also place a full-time technician in your school or Trust, fully employed and managed by M-Tech. If this is what you’re looking for, please discuss this with us.

 

The Good, the Bad and the… Well There Isn’t Any Ugly

In-house IT support and outsourced IT support both have their pros and cons. Let’s take a quick look at each below.

 

In-House IT Support Pros

  • Quick response time, your technician is always dedicated to you and on site/s
  • You can hire in the set skills you need and want for your environment
  • Your team will be (or will become) very well versed in your specific setup: software, hardware, networking, etc

 

In-House IT Support Cons

  • The person employing and managing the team may have limited expertise as to what they should be looking for/no industry expectations
  • An in-house employee or team may not have all the specialist knowledge required for your environment
  • If staff are unwell, on leave, or otherwise engaged, no one is available to attend to pressing issues
  • Maintaining motivated, engaged and well-trained technical staff, as well as up to the minute equipment, can soon add up

 

Outsourced IT Support Pros

  • On-demand access to expert support
  • Affordable support plans, tailored to your needs, without the associated personnel costs
  • A typically large(r) team who bring specialist knowledge across many different areas
  • Up to the minute knowledge of security best practices
  • Access to higher grade technology and lower cost solutions through managed service provider relationships
  • In-house technicians can feel supported and able to provide a better service to pupils and staff alike

 

Outsourced IT Support Cons

  • In-house technicians can see outsourcing as a threat to their livelihood so may move on, leaving a temporary void
  • Finding a provider who can work with you, who you trust, and who understands the education market can be a risk (but it doesn’t have to be with M-Tech! Take a look at our Testimonials and Case Studies and feel free to ask us for a reference sheet to speak with our many satisfied customers before making your decision)

 

How Does Outsourcing School IT Support Save Money?

Every school is different, which is why at M-Tech we offer custom-designed IT support packages. As we’ve touched on already, some schools need someone on-site on a regular basis who can deal with the day to day, others just want an expert on hand they can call to help with serious threats and service outages. Whichever position you’re in, we act as a Service Desk and 3rd Line support for many schools across the UK – by simple economies of scale, our costs are kept low. Instead of looking for a unicorn – one network manager who is an expert in 15 different fields (and charges accordingly) – why not get a whole blessing (yes that really is the term for a group of unicorns), with a whole company of individual experts continually learning and developing from each other.

 

If you only want outsourced support at certain times of the year, we can help with that too. Why hire two members of tech support to cover against eventualities at great expense, when you could have just one and an external cover arrangement when you need it.

 

As well as technical support, you can chat to us about hardware and software purchasing, licensing and renewals. With our considerable years of expertise, we know how to get what you need at the best prices.

 

We also firmly believe in helping you prepare for tomorrow, today. We don’t just fight fires with you, we support you in strategic planning, ensuring your IT is ready for the future and that you’re investing your limited budget in the right solutions. Together, we’ll put your school in good stead for years to come.

 

To Outsource or In-House, What is the Answer?

To us, the answer is both, but in what capacity depends on your exact requirements. Every school, college or Trust deserves to have access to the best IT to support their students’ learning and development to the fullest. How this is achieved comes down to who is currently working in your organisation, how current your infrastructure is and how you’d like to work in partnership with us.

 

With decades of experience in managing schools IT, we’d love to work with you next. Get in touch for a no obligation initial discussion.

‘Ed tech’ specialists, Osborne Technologies launch their new and improved WizeFloor interactive surface to schools in the UK, Europe and USA.

Osborne Technologies launch their new and improved, out-of-the-box interactive projection system, the WizeFloor One, designed primarily for educational establishments.

 

WizeFloor is a fun, engaging, cross-curricular interactive learning resource for educators, promoting play, movement and collaboration. Pupils can interact with the surface using their hands, feet, bean bags, play cones and any other soft play items.

 

The new and improved interactive floor system is designed to be more compact, robust and easier to install, whilst making WizeFloor more accessible and affordable. Available in two models, the WizeFloor One is an all-in-one overhead mounted solution designed for fixed installation within designated spaces, such as classrooms and sensory rooms and the WizeFloor GO is a fully mobile and height adjustable solution, for use in any suitable location. Along with numerous improvements to the hardware, WizeFloor is now more affordable than ever and includes a comprehensive 12 month warranty and optional installation. Osborne Technologies have recently installed their first WizeFloor One solution in the SNAP Charity in Essex, UK.

 

WizeFloor apps provide the underlying functionality for the many hundreds of available activities, and two purchasing options, ‘Create’ and ‘Play’ are available to suit different requirements and budgets. The ‘Create’ package provides teachers with all the tools they need to quickly and easily create and customise activities with their own lesson content. Whether it be a quiz to assess understanding of a modern foreign language, a game to solve mathematical equations, or a memory game to test geographical knowledge, each app is designed in a way that can be customised and adapted for any lesson or subject. The WizeFloor Play package (coming soon) will come with 50 and 100 pre-made games.

 

Nev Roberts, Director at Osborne Technologies –

“Many schools across the UK and US already use WizeFloor in their school curriculum to provide fun, enjoyable and motivational learning experiences. It is a unique product in that it can be used right across the curriculum, within virtually any subject and by any age group or ability”.

 

 

Andrew Griffith MP visits LVS Hassocks to meet Principal and learn more about their specialist education for children with a diagnosis of autism

Photos by Liz Finlayson/Vervate

Andrew Griffith, Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs, visited multi award winning specialist school for children with a diagnosis of autism, LVS Hassocks on Friday 29th April to meet with Principal, Jen weeks, to find out more about the benefits of a specialist education for children with a diagnosis of autism.

Mr Griffith – who lists schools among his priorities as a Member of Parliament – visited the school to meet the principal, for a tour around the campus and to meet some of the students and talk to them about the difference LVS Hassocks has made for their education and for them as individuals.

On social media Mr Griffith highlights his passion for education and has pledged “to support children, teachers and schools by developing training programmes by 2024 to give children access to great schools and great teachers.”

LVS Hassocks were delighted to host Mr Griffith allowing him the opportunity to learn more about the schools’ values and learning environment that enables children with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum to thrive and learn in a safe and specialist environment.

Jen Weeks, Principal of LVS Hassocks said:

“We were delighted to welcome Mr Griffith and showcase LVS Hassocks. It was a pleasure touring Mr Griffith around our school and talking about the benefits LVS Hassocks has on children with a diagnosis of autism, we are proud of what we do and the impact we have on our student’s lives post LVS Hassocks”.

Andrew Griffith, Member of Parliament said:

“I received a very warm welcome at LVS Hassocks and it was good to see first-hand the work they do.   

“I welcome the National Autism Strategy which sets out the real steps Government is going to take over the next five years – to create a society which is inclusive of people with autism.  The Strategy will give the extra the support needed – backed by £75 million funding in its first year – to improve diagnosis and education through to employment.” 

 For more information about LVS Hassocks, please visit https://www.lvs-hassocks.org.uk/