The growth of the Cloud

James Penny, Solutions Director, European Electronique explains why developments in cloud technology helped make 2014 a success for edtech

What do you think have been the key technological developments in the education sector this year? 

A key development this year has been the growth of the Cloud. Both public Cloud, like Google and Microsoft offerings, and the ability to use private Cloud storage to build a school network offsite and therefore support the growth of BYOD. The Government is pushing procurement through G Cloud and this will very quickly influence education. Add to this the digital by default approach from government where public services are being moved online, and we have an exciting set of developments for education. 

Will security issues threaten the development of BYOD in schools?

The ability to secure networks when taking a BYOD route is well understood. Mobile Device Management (MDM) products are now very well developed and can secure and protect whilst giving access to the necessary resources. 

MOOC adoption has grown massively during 2014, do you think this type of learning is now more widely accepted as an educational tool? 

MOOCs are making an impact in Further and Higher Education. The recent FELTAG report from the government is aiming to get at 10 per cent of all learning content in FE online. This will push ahead the adoption of digital content and MOOCs will play a part.

Has the UK kept up with the rest of the world on 2014’s developments? Are there any key nations out in front?

The UK continues to lead the world. We have a broader understanding of how technology supports outstanding schools. Our teachers are leading a rapid reform movement and embedding technology into the learning proceeds. 

What have we learned about edtech in 2014 that will help us develop next year and beyond? 

The Technology in Education report that the Government endorsed in 2014 laid out the challenges and progress we have made. There are barriers around connectivity and funding but they can be solved, and a push by government will move this ahead very quickly. The ETAG group is now looking at the wider landscape and will report in September to ministers on how to move the technology agenda forwards.