For a long while we’ve understood the importance of IT in ensuring students are ‘digital ready’ when they leave school. Coding, digital editing, and digital photography are just a few of the skills that have crept onto the academic agenda. However, recent world events have made parents, teachers and governments see the role of technology in education in a very different light.
Historically, remote learning was considered the domain of working parents or day-release students; those with busy schedules or demanding responsibilities that prevented them from physically attending classes.
However, this year world events have forced us to reconsider these preconceptions. We’ve seen entire nations scrabble to identify new ways to educate 1.37 billion students, from reception to university graduates, who were unable to be taught face to face.
Globalisation, air travel and digitalisation have brought vast benefits to the global economy, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that this newfound closeness brings with it inherent risks. To meet these challenges, society must evolve to ensure students can continue to access the education they are entitled to, whatever global events arise.
According to the UN, by the end of April 2020, 94% of the world’s students were learning remotely and schools and educational establishments turned to a multitude of online platforms to reach their students. Microsoft Teams was being used in 175 countries by 183,000 educational institutions and Skype reported more than 200 million users in the six months leading up to the end of March.
Ten years ago, none of this would have been possible. Wi-Fi, affordable technology, and video call technology all make it possible for students to connect with their teachers without being geographically close.
Still, educating billions of children around the world remotely has its complications.
Children need devices to access online resources, but these devices need to be up to the job. They need the processing power and connectivity to use platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Skype.
They need devices that are robust and resilient, able to take the bumps and knocks that are inevitable in the hands of a six-year old, or the school bag of a 16-year old.
They need security to give parents, students, and teachers peace of mind — protecting the work, the data and the users.
They need to be highly portable. With schools taking a blended learning approach, it makes sense that the devices selected can be easily toted between school and home.
And these devices need to be affordable.
These features have been central to Lenovo’s latest designs that offer students with the versatility, durability and processing power that they need to meet the increasing demands of today’s curriculum.
For example, the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook can easily be used as a tablet, or as a computer, eliminating the need for multiple devices. And with USI stylus support, can even accommodate skills such as drawing and handwriting development.
For built-in virus protection offering added peace of mind and a long-lasting battery to ensure that students can stay logged in all day long, Lenovo have developed the Chromebook.
The 6th Generation ThinkPad Yoga 11e is thinner and lighter making it extremely portable, with the processing power students need to learn the digital skills they need to survive in tomorrow’s workplace such as coding, video editing and more.
And the Lenovo 14W, available with a touchscreen, offers even greater interactivity and military-grade durability to cope with bumps and knocks. It even has a spill resistant keyboard to withstand those juice mishaps.
Whether schools find themselves remotely teaching students, continuing to manage homework online to reduce teachers’ workloads, or even simply providing online support to help students bridge any gaps within their learning, one thing is for sure - teaching and learning will never be the same again.
Digital devices will be central to students receiving a consistent education, and schools need to be able to step seamlessly into the world of online delivery to accommodate future lockdowns or world events.
To find out how Lenovo can help your school or college take its education online and prepare for the future, read more here.