As the world hurtles through the digital age, most schools have been quick to adapt to the changing landscape of education. The integration of technology has not only transformed the way we teach and learn but has also revolutionised the entire school environment. In this blog post, we will explore 10 ways schools have evolved and embraced the power of technology.
While Chalkboards may remain a symbol of education, recent decades have seen its gradual replacement by whiteboards that require dry-erase markers, surpassing chalkboards by 4-to-1 according to The Atlantic. But the evolution doesn’t stop there. Smart boards have now been introduced, rendering even the once-favoured whiteboards obsolete. Gone are the days of dusty chalk and erasers, or even dry-erase markers and wipes. Now, teachers and students can use interactive screens that allow them to write, draw, annotate, and share content with ease. These screens can also connect to the internet, laptops, tablets, and other devices, enabling a more dynamic and collaborative learning experience.
Computers move in…
The rise of the computer lab was a significant leap forward in the 90s, and today, personal devices have taken centre stage. Computers used to be a rare and expensive resource in schools, confined to designated labs or rooms. The clunky desktop Macs and IBMs of yesteryears have given way to sleek laptops, tablets, and smartphones that effortlessly fit into students’ daily lives.
Now, computers are ubiquitous and essential tools for learning and teaching. Many schools have adopted a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, allowing students to use their own laptops, tablets, or smartphones in class. This gives students more flexibility and autonomy in their learning, as well as access to a wealth of online resources and applications. In primary schools, that often means students grab devices from an in-classroom cart when necessary; for older kids, it often means their school-provided laptop simply goes with them everywhere.
This dynamic shift has reshaped the educational landscape, making learning more personalised, interactive, and engaging. As technology becomes an integral part of education, New Era Technology has been at the forefront, assisting New Zealand schools with innovative solutions. Through our BYOD portal and technology procurement solutions, we help schools navigate the complex world of digital integration. Our aim is to empower educators and students by providing seamless access to technology, ensuring that learning remains at the heart of this technological evolution.
Overhead projectors become obsolete…
Remember those bulky overhead projectors that used to project transparent sheets onto a wall or screen? Invented by 3M in the early 1960s, overhead projectors and transparencies quickly became a core teaching tool in classrooms across the country. But 3M discontinued its iconic product in 2015, paving the way for the evolution of classroom technology.
Interactive smart boards are one technology that has made the bulky projectors nearly obsolete, but slick 3D projectors are another modern-day alternative. The transition from clunky projectors to these advanced alternatives has not only freed up physical space in classrooms but also enhanced the quality of visual presentations. These interactive smart boards have revolutionised teaching methods by offering high-quality images, videos, animations, and more, all at the teacher’s fingertips.
These boards take interactivity to a whole new level by sensing touch and gestures, allowing teachers and students to engage with the content in real-time. Beyond being a display tool, these boards have become collaborative platforms, where lessons turn into dynamic conversations.
TV carts are retired
TV carts used to be a common sight in schools, as teachers would wheel them into classrooms to show educational videos or programs. These carts symbolised the efforts to bring multimedia into the educational environment, but their clunky nature and reliance on physical media were indicative of a bygone era.
Fast forward to today, these TV carts have been gracefully retired as DVDs and video tapes, once the primary content sources for these carts are now obsolete relics. In their place, digital and interactive screens have emerged. As mentioned these interactive screens, can serve as all-in-one media centres. Teachers can easily access and stream any video or audio content from the internet or their own devices, and control them with a remote or a touch screen.
Textbooks go digital
Textbooks used to be the main source of information and instruction in schools, but they also had many drawbacks: they were heavy, expensive, outdated, and prone to damage or loss. Now, textbooks have gone digital, as many schools have switched to online platforms or applications that provide digital textbooks and other learning materials. These platforms, such as Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams for Education, also allow teachers to create, assign, grade, and track assignments online, as well as communicate with students and parents.
New Era Technology plays a pivotal role in facilitating the seamless integration of digital platforms within schools. Our expertise extends beyond technology itself; we understand the educational landscape and its unique requirements.
Upgraded PA/bell systems
In the modern landscape of education, the traditional bell system that once dictated the rhythm of school days has undergone a profound transformation. The emergence of IP paging and PA systems has ushered in a new era of communication and safety-enhancing capabilities, that go beyond mere timekeeping.
Gone are the days of monotone chimes. IP paging and PA systems have embraced music, transforming the school soundscape into an engaging and pleasant auditory experience. This shift not only adds vibrancy to the environment but also contributes to a more positive and motivating atmosphere for both students and educators.
Moreover, the capabilities of these systems extend beyond auditory enhancements. They introduce the power of two-way communication, bridging the gap between classrooms and administrative offices. This open line of dialogue facilitates seamless information exchange, fostering efficient collaboration and responsiveness across the school ecosystem.
In the realm of safety, IP paging and PA systems have become indispensable assets. Emergency paging and lockdown features are critical components that empower schools to swiftly respond to unforeseen situations. In the face of emergencies, these systems provide immediate and targeted alerts to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.
Embracing the digital era, these systems seamlessly integrate with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones and can even integrate with cloud-based security cameras.
Traditional phones phase out
In the not-so-distant past, schools relied on traditional landline phones to facilitate communication. These fixed copper lines served as the backbone of voice connectivity, albeit with limitations in flexibility and cost-efficiency. Now, as copper lines are being phased out in New Zealand, this has rendered traditional phones out of date. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones have emerged as the new-age solution, reshaping communication within schools. VoIP phones leverage the power of the internet for voice communication, offering a host of advantages that are reshaping the way schools connect.
VoIP phones not only deliver cost savings but also elevate sound quality and offer an array of advanced features such as, integrations with mobile and paging systems, call analytics, scalability, and more. This makes them an attractive solution for schools.
New technology arises
Introducing environmental sensors to schools marks a remarkable advancement in technology that was virtually non-existent in the past. These cutting-edge devices offer capabilities previously unimaginable, allowing educational institutions to actively monitor and manage their surroundings. Unlike traditional methods that relied on manual checks or guesswork, environmental sensors provide real-time data on crucial factors like temperature, humidity, air quality, noise levels, and more. This new-age technology empowers schools to make informed decisions for maintaining a comfortable and safe learning environment, fostering a level of precision and control that was beyond reach in earlier times.
Another issue that has come about in recent times is vaping. The rise of vaping among students has become a pressing concern for schools. Traditional means of monitoring and preventing this behaviour are often limited in effectiveness. However, the introduction of environmental sensors has revolutionised schools’ ability to address this issue. These advanced sensors can now detect vaping incidents, alerting school administrators in real-time. By utilising this innovative technology, schools can create a secure environment that actively discourages harmful behaviour, fostering a more responsible and conducive atmosphere for learning.
Inhouse IT to managed services
In the evolving landscape of education technology, the shift from in-house IT management to managed services has become a strategic move for schools. As technology’s presence deepens within educational institutions, the demand for robust IT support has surged. While some schools still employ internal IT personnel, the trend toward outsourcing to dedicated managed service providers like New Era Technology is gaining momentum.
By entrusting their IT needs to experts in the field, schools can redirect their focus back to their core mission – fostering effective teaching and learning environments. Managed service providers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, offering swift solutions to technical challenges that might otherwise disrupt the educational process.
New Era Technology, as a leading New Zealand MSP in education, not only addresses IT issues promptly but also provides valuable technology consultations. We understand that schools have unique requirements and budgets, and our recommendations are tailored to suit these parameters.
In the fast-evolving landscape of education, technology has rewritten the rules of engagement. From interactive screens that bring lessons to life, to cloud-based security cameras that safeguard school premises, the transformation is undeniable. As we reflect on the journey of the past three decades, it’s evident that schools have embraced technological innovations to create safer, smarter, and more efficient learning environments. New Era Technology stands as your partner in this journey, offering advanced solutions that empower schools to navigate the digital age with confidence. By embracing these advancements, schools not only enhance security, streamline operations, and enrich the learning experience but also ensure that students are well-equipped for the challenges of tomorrow. It’s time to embrace the potential of technology and usher in a new era of education, where limitless possibilities await.