My Aunt recently bought a new phone and was concerned about losing all of her contacts and photos, so she asked me how to migrate her data without losing it all, to which my Mum interrupted proudly, “Don’t worry, it’s in the air!”
This was impressive, as of course, what she meant was that my Aunt’s data was now in the cloud and therefore transferrable to any device.
And it actually is that simple.
The cloud makes life easier for everyone and if recent events have taught us anything, it’s that teaching and learning, supported by technology, doesn’t have to be restricted to a singular location.
Over the last few years, schools migrating to the cloud has gone from an impossible dream to a reality and here are all the reasons why:
Cloud-Based Management Information Systems
In the last decade or more, there has been an insurgence of MIS solutions that are competing heavily with legacy systems that have previously dominated the market. These newer, fresher solutions are enabling schools and academies to access data more efficiently, more effectively and are creating new opportunities for school staff (both local and across multiple locations) in terms of collaboration.
They are also improving outcomes for children and young people as data analysis is quick and easy allowing teachers to identify the needs of individual pupils and therefore, delivering more personalised learning.
Previously a huge (and potentially the biggest) barrier to school cloud consideration, the new MIS’ are removing the need for an on-premise MIS server and giving schools the freedom to choose a solution better suited to their needs.
Digital Learning Platforms
As soon as lockdown began, one of the first steps taken by the DfE was the initiative to provide best-in-class solutions that could facilitate online learning, collaboration and out of school communication. Of course, the digital divide didn’t help (but that’s another blog for another day), and what it promised and delivered for those that could get online was:
- The ability for teachers to assign and assess work, providing feedback remotely
- The ability for students to access curriculum content on any internet-connected device, regardless of location
- The option for pupils and teachers to collaborate on projects in real-time
- Communication between staff, students and parents in real-time using voice and video
None of which required access to an onsite server and enabled remote teaching and learning for the following months.
As more schools deploy these digital solutions, there is less of a need for network reliance through Active Directory and Group Policy to manage devices.
Because many schools are now using Chromebooks, the devices can be managed through the Google Admin Console or Microsoft Endpoint Manager for laptop users. Both also cover android devices which means that device management can be delivered seamlessly with whatever online identity your school already has.
Savings…in more ways than one
Our social responsibility strapline is “Maximising Technology for People and the Planet” and by migrating to the cloud, schools are doing exactly that.
When refreshing your ICT estate or considering new technologies you can create savings on both hardware, software licences and the general running costs by removing an onsite server. In addition, by not having to maintain this cumbersome equipment, you will be using fewer energy resources (electricity and cooling), ultimately reducing your carbon footprint and your energy bill.
With the DfE and the NCSC continuing to advise schools to be vigilant with regards to cyber-security, cloud servers provide an additional layer of security as they are constantly being monitored and you can determine the varying levels of access available to your varying colleagues and pupils.
Cloud platforms also benefit from regular updates and development so potential threats are identified, fixed and patched before you encounter them.
But every coin has two sides
Of course with technology constantly advancing, cloud platforms will continue to improve significantly – and at pace, so it is definitely something that all modern schools should be considering, but first…
- As earlier mentioned, if your school currently has on-premise MIS, this should be investigated for its viability to move to a cloud solution as this will make the transition much easier. It is also worth noting that Dataspire Solutions is now an Arbor partner (the fastest-growing MIS on the market) so we can also help you to migrate to a new cloud-based MIS, should you wish.
- Not all applications and devices are cloud-enabled and so we again recommend further investigation into the feasibility of moving your entire IT estate and would be happy to help you with this.
- How reliable is your Internet connection? Your Internet service may become a single point of failure if you are currently getting by on an intermittent connection. The Dataspire Broadband Service focuses specifically on learners and education so we know exactly what it takes to provide robust, reliable, secure and uninterrupted teaching and learning.
- Before taking the leap, it’s important that schools, academies, and trusts, have an ICT strategy in place to get the most from their investment in technology. Now is the time for schools to review and assess their ICT vision and the best ways to begin that journey.
If it’s not broken…
This could be said of most things, but in terms of technology, it is essential that schools can keep pace. Not just to be the school sitting on the iron throne, but more importantly, that you are preparing your children and young people for the future world of work – creating ICT confidence.
It’s not even a brand new idea, it’s simply the right time, as all of the teething issues that tend to arrive with sparkly new IT solutions have been ironed out and adapted for best practice in schools.
Moving your school to the cloud is now a viable and practical solution for education technologies.
We can answer all your cloud questions
All you have to do is contact us. The team will be delighted to support you through this process and answer questions you may have, so why wait? Contact us today!