Covid-19 has forced organisations to innovate; now it’s time for education

As students head back to school, let’s not lose the opportunity for positive change.

Businesses and employees have woken up the benefits of new ways of working and companies are looking to revaluate the role their offices play. It’s safe to say we would not have seen this pace of change if it were not for the pandemic.

While education has undoubtedly been negatively impacted over the last year, it’s also important we don’t miss the opportunity to take a fresh look at education and the role technology can play.

The UN in a brief addresses the challenges, but notes the opportunity too – calling on the world to accelerate change. It states: “We should seize the opportunity to find new ways to address the learning crisis and bring about a set of solutions previously considered difficult or impossible to implement.”

Here are four ways where we think technology can help education in a post-COVID world.

Security

Access control is often used within schools to give flexible control over the areas students can access. This helps protect staff, pupils, and assets.

As many schools look to stagger timings and keep year groups separate, access control can be harnessed to control where and when students have access. This can also be utilised to provide easy track and trace, allowing you to see where students have been.

All of this can be achieved with OneCard – a single identity card that controls student access and can adapt to changing situations.

Contactless

OneCard avoids the complication of multi access cards and provides a single universal access to many systems and applications. Students will only be able to access permitted resources, removing any ambiguities.

Pull printing works with access control cards, ensuring that print jobs are only released once the user swipes their access card at the printer. This reduces waste and controls and encourages personal ownership of a student’s own print outs.

OneCard’s single card system can be extended to include the way students pay for school lunches and supplies with cashless vending – reducing contact with staff. Lockers can also can be accessed with access cards, removing the need for keys which are at risk of loss or copying.

Building Management

Education environments traditionally have manually controlled heating, air conditioning, and other building systems. A smart building management system can allow school leaders to remotely control building systems over the network, adhering to social distancing. This in turn can lead to an improved working environment for the occupants while reducing the energy consumption, carbon emissions and cost.

Network and Wi-Fi

Distance learning has only further embedded the use of IT within education. That growing appetite for bandwidth places even more emphasis on the network – exacerbated by an increase in cloud-based solutions and videos conferencing.

We may also face hybrid learning – where some students self-isolate and some remain in the school. This places an increased emphasis on the network within the educational environment, so that it can support local and remote learners all at the same time.

As the way learning adapts, it’s vital that no one is left behind by poor connectivity.

In times of uncertainty, the exact future of the classroom remains unclear. One thing is certain, and that is how technology is crucial in helping the institutions overcome the physical limitations posed by the pandemic. In the upheaval we must seize the opportunity to innovate and drive 21st century learning. No matter where you are, education remains a vital human right.