Schools must address data gaps to embrace tech revolution

Cloud-based MIS technologies to lead revolution in education sector over next decade

Schools must address significant gaps in their data and embrace cloud-based solutions to benefit from a revolution in education technology over the next decade. These are the findings of a new white paper commissioned by software provider Advanced Learning, in association with one of the world’s foremost education experts, Professor Stephen Heppell. 

To support this rapid evolution, The Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) was set up by the Government in January 2014 to advise on how digital technologies might empower learners by enabling innovation across schools. One of the Group’s recommendations was that more robust competition in the management information systems market was required to benefit schools, and learners.

The white paper suggests that outdated management information systems (MIS) prevent schools, and more importantly learners from getting real insight into what drives effective teaching and learning. The report also highlights that the education sector should learn from other sectors, such as the NHS, in utilising technology to build more transparent learning outcomes.

Professor Stephen Heppell comments: “Schools are often reluctant to change their existing MIS system but need to realise education is entering a decade of remarkable opportunity. To avoid being left behind, schools must move away from archaic systems and address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential.  

“Only by making better use of the information they already have, whilst finding ways to harness powerful and untapped data from emerging technologies, will they be able to adopt more effective teaching strategies.”

Cloud-based MIS solutions, such as Progresso from Advanced Learning, help schools to drive learning by providing provide teachers, parents and senior leaders with 24/7 access to their academic progress online from smartphone and tablet devices. Student assessments, exams and behaviour interventions can be easily compared and reported from up-to-date information to easily identify learners in need of support.

Intuitive reporting analytics also allow schools to swiftly interrogate large volumes of complex data from multiple sources, helping them to identify areas of concern and resolve barriers to learning. Performance data can then be tracked over time to determine the success of new strategies to aid future planning.

Greg Ford, Managing Director of Advanced Learning, says: “Missing data can make it hard to track, or acknowledge, a school’s effectiveness, which can impact funding. Modern MIS systems solve the problem by providing unparalleled intelligence so that schools no longer have to rely on incomplete information.

“Advanced’s modern cloud technology ensures learner data can be collected from a variety of different sources, where teachers are able to view and understand learners as individuals.

Cloud-based solutions provide schools with a cost effective and scalable IT infrastructure to meet their growing requirements. By providing instant access to rich, interactive teaching resources the cloud also offers increased flexibility to support the delivery of effective learning.

To read the white paper, click here.