Students and teachers alike benefit from the integration of technology in education. Innovations like flat screen TVs and multimedia presentations help teachers demonstrate concepts better, while mobile devices like tablets and smartphones serve as powerful research and creation tools for students.
But implementing technology can be difficult. Devices might malfunction, or the Wi-Fi might act up, or the network itself might get compromised, resulting in interrupted lessons and unproductive downtime. To avoid unfortunate circumstances due to technology failure, employ these best practices.
- Ensure that different technologies are compatible with each other
The rule of thumb is to keep hardware, software, and security compatible. You have to make sure that your hardware can support both your software and the security measures necessary, like patches and firewalls. You wouldn’t want to purchase an app that can’t run on your devices, nor would you want to invest in a software that no longer receives security support from the developer. Before you purchase new devices or subscribe to a web service, it’s best to consult with educational technology experts to check the logistics of technology deployment and implementation.
- Secure reliable high-speed internet connection
Without an internet connection, you can’t access cloud-based apps like those included in Office 365. And if your connection is either too slow or too unreliable, students who are used to having fast, interruption-free internet will lose interest. That’s why you should always have a high-speed connection.
And while getting funding for internet access can be a challenge, there are options that can ease the burden. For one, IT for Education can help you receive up to 90% funding for technologies that will help you establish your internet connection, and up to 85% funding for those that will improve your network infrastructure.
- Prioritize network management
Academic environments are diverse. Speech labs, chemistry labs, and gymnasiums all make use of different technologies, and they’re spread out all over the campus. Thus, managing, monitoring, and maintaining all of them can be challenging.
Plan strategically with your in-house IT about how you can keep all your hardware and software running optimally while keeping downtime to a minimum. Invest in a network management system (NMS) that monitors all aspects of your technology and identifies issues as soon as they arise. Also, consider having a remote IT support team that can proactively monitor and optimize your network 24/7 but can also provide on-site staffing when you need it.
- Plan with cybersecurity in mind
As technology and education have become further intertwined in recent years, cybersecurity incidents have also grown, amounting to over 620 incidents since 2016. Ransomware, or malware designed to hold networks hostage until a certain amount is paid, is one of the most common types of cyberattacks schools have to deal with. Another primary cyberattack incident type is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), a process that overloads targeted servers so they crash because of too much traffic.
One cyberattack alone can paralyze your campus-wide connection and disrupt classes. As such, cybersecurity shouldn’t just be an afterthought when you design or implement technology projects. Partner up with a cybersecurity company to equip your network with robust security solutions that can thwart even the most sophisticated and persistent attacks.
- Educate users about their responsibility
All end users have the responsibility to keep technology working efficiently. Misuse and abuse of technology, like connecting to unsecured networks or visiting malware-infected sites, can open the school system to cyberattacks and lead to interruptions. Improper handling can cause hardware to break or get damage.
With proper training, educators can be models of proper technology use. They can cascade agreeable behavior to their students through training materials or lectures about the role of students in keeping schoolwide technology secure and functioning.
Too often, technology mishaps or disorganization can get in the way of the learning process. IT for Education removes this burden so you’ll never have to worry about it again. Let us empower your institution through technology. Call us at 305-745-7889 or fill out this form to get in touch with us today.