What three words sum up 2018’s education technology scene for you?
Loyal. Repetitive. Expensive.
What have been the particular challenges of 2018 for education providers?
Squeezed budgets have been a major challenge. Due to the uncertainty of Brexit there have been cuts to funding. Budgets are very tough for schools to manage, especially when it comes to upgrading their equipment.
What technology have you seen making an impact in education this year?
Virtual reality seems to be gaining traction and is mentioned a lot in conjunction with technology like ours. However, the technology is not affordable to schools and will not be widely available in the next 10 years.
What has surprised you this year?
Being clever with little funding. Spending more on bigger units to extend projects over longer periods.
What would you like to see education providers put on their agendas for 2019?
I would like to see them provide grants to schools and academies so they can upgrade from the traditional projector systems to interactive whiteboards.
What do you hope that teachers and lecturers will start to do more of next year to really make the most of all these digital opportunities?
I believe teachers and lecturers will start arranging more product demonstrations so they can properly evaluate products. Currently they are arranged by headteachers and business managers who base their decisions on price instead of features and quality of the product.
Zulfi Baig is Operations Director at IBT