Can the cloud give time back to teachers?

Winston Poyton, from IRIS Software Group, says internal research suggests most teachers lack useful edtech

Over 640,000 pupils have been missing school every week due to self-isolation requirements.

Although the demand for face-to-face learning remains high, blending learning needs to stay front of mind so schools and MATs can remain agile in rapidly changing circumstance.

However, today, edtech is hindering not helping teachers and senior leaders to facilitate this blended learning. They lose bandwidth and time they don’t have by constantly having to change their plans.

No matter whether in-person or virtual, teachers need complete access to accurate information on students’ academic, wellbeing and safeguarding data to create a holistic view of each pupil.

Unfortunately, there are still gaps in school technological capabilities. Research by IRIS Software Group has revealed that 44% of teachers and school leaders did not have apps for teachers to capture work and assessments and only 39% had the capacity for parents to view student data.

As students, parents and teachers continue to live with the risk of having to self-isolate at any given moment, a future-fit Management Information System (MIS) is essential for giving teachers the right intelligence to ensure no student misses out on critical learning.

Future-fit MIS that empowers teachers

Today’s edtech must merge the digital world and in-classroom teaching, so teachers can successfully teach.

Schools and MATs desperately need real-time intelligence. Harnessing a single, secure cloud-based platform will streamline teachers’ admin tasks, saving time and removing the pain of keeping on top of internal messages and term-end reporting.

With integrated community-wide comms, teachers would get the right information to the right people at the right time, and ensure both staff and parents can work seamlessly to improve pupil outcomes.

Additionally, a central cloud-based MIS would give teachers a single source to monitor missed classes or ongoing behavioural issues. In practice, for example, they could see if siblings start to miss classes on the same day whether at home or in school. By using this insight, teachers can decide if they need to step in to provide support. The intelligence provided could not only give teachers their time back but empower them to get the best possible outcome for every pupil.

However, teachers and SLTs must also be empowered and skilled to use the technology at their disposal. They must be armed with the correct know-how in handling and getting the best out of the tools at their disposal. Having this level of support is key to ensure SLTs, teachers and students can benefit as much as possible from continued blended learning, and have the same education experience as they would in the classroom.

The pandemic has proved to be the catalyst for change for edtech. In a world with blended learning, having critical intelligence at their fingertips means teachers and SLTs will be empowered to make better decisions.

Winston Poyton is the senior product director for education at IRIS Software Group

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