IT enabling education

Organisations in the education sector are increasing the use of information technology to enhance the delivery of learning and enable better connection and collaboration between teachers, pupils, administration and parents

Tags: Ellucian ( Technologies CompanyNComputingNEXThink ( Corporation
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IT enabling education Technology is changing the way education is delivered, and the way that teachers and students interact.
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By  Keri Allan Published  May 3, 2014

The Middle East’s IT sector is one of the fastest growing in the world: great news for the region’s students as education establishments have been embracing IT in order to improve the delivery of education. Although they still have their place, education is no longer confined to classrooms — IT now enables students to access content anywhere and at anytime. Now they can use a range of devices and platforms to access all the information they need, with tools, such as interactive white boards and video. Among other things, the sector has seen an increased adoption of mobile frameworks and cloud infrastructures to improve students’ experiences and deliver quality services.

“Technology has completely revolutionised the way the students learn and continues to push the boundaries within the education industry. With the implementation of IT E-learning systems, institutions are moving away from the traditional in-class style of education, becoming increasingly virtual and more interactive,” says Kamran Shaukat, Regional Solutions Manager UC&C, ME Enterprise Business Solutions, Huawei Middle East.

“Many schools and colleges are now looking at leaving the barriers of their physical classrooms behind, envisioning borderless classrooms that extend learning capabilities and remote access to those who cannot attend school. Additionally, the consumerisation of technology and devices is beginning to start affecting the education industry in the Middle East with students bringing their smartphones, tablets and notebooks to school to help them with their learning. Students want to learn through technology.”

Indeed, the current generation of students has grown up surrounded by technology, and so to teach effectively it’s necessary for educators to adopt the latest technology.

“Smart devices are a way of life in the Middle East. Connecting with the student community within their preferred mobile channels of communication is an absolute necessity in order to engage with them,” explains Matthew Boice, vice president EMEAI, Ellucian.

Although the concept of ‘smart learning’ is still quite new to the region, more and more educational institutes have begun to embrace smart learning environments, as Ravinder Kumar, general manager, Business Solutions Devision, Sharp Middle East and Africa highlights.

“Education remains on the top of the agenda across the region and various government and private educational institutes are seeking the latest technologies and solutions to facilitate smarter learning environments for its students.”

“The Middle East is leading in this area as they have the financial means to make it happen. According to the World Bank, public expenditure on education in the region stands at 18.6% of total government spending compared to the world average of 14.2%,” adds Yassine Zaied, executive vice president Middle East and Emerging Markets, Nexthink.

But IT offers much more than simply supporting the delivery of education — it is able to help both the institutes and the students themselves in a myriad ways through everything from data analysis through to collaboration tools.

“E-learning is becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East as well as the use of technology for enabling better collaboration between teachers and students. In the next few years we’ll see a stronger focus on developing customised curricula tailored to a student’s learning abilities and level. As learners participate in online activities, they generate a lot of data that can be used to personalise the learning experience and improve student performance management. “Parents and teachers will [also] be able to track student progress with greater transparency of a student’s performance through online assessment,” says Maurice Johnson, Middle East regional director, NComputing.

“The wider adoption of IT in the classroom will also lead to more collaborative ways of involving students, teachers and parents in the learning process, from introducing game-like multimedia applications through to using collaborative portals for project management and mobile apps.”

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