The world is becoming more advanced with the constant evolution of technology around the world. Technology is becoming more accessible to the everyday person and is playing a key factor in how we socialise with our friends and family, apply for jobs and in most industries – how we do our jobs.
KBR, providers of school Wi-Fi, investigate why the use of the internet and Wi-Fi is beneficial to schools around the UK and how the education system has changed over the years. They also look to discover why it is important to have access to the internet and Wi-Fi in schools, as according to the British Educational Suppliers Association, 70% of schools are not Wi-Fi ready.
Why is the internet important in our schools?
We’ve come to a point where internet in our schools is vital – providing that it is securely managed and monitored to make sure everyone using the service is safe at all times. There is a substantial amount of information readily available to any internet user and this is something that schools need to take advantage of for when teachers are planning their lessons, and for when students are needing to research any topic.
A search of a simple phrase will bring up an endless amount of results but search engines now have the ability to prioritise certain, reliable websites that they think will help the user most. An example of this would be BBC Bitesize for searches on any topic that is popular within the UK school curriculum. This website then leads on to different levels of learning to ensure that it caters to students of all ages and abilities – it also provides interactive educational games for students to get the most out of.
The internet as a whole is limitless. There is an unimaginable amount of information that is available to anyone on every topic you could imagine, meaning that it is the ultimate library for students. In 2016, the BBC reported that over 300 libraries were closed down since 2010. If local councils are cutting their budgets and closing down libraries in areas around their authority, why would students travel out of their way to a surviving library to gather the information they need for school from books, when they have the internet available at their fingertips with all of the information they need and more?
Why is Wi-Fi important in our schools?
The internet is one thing, but having the ability to move around and use it is another. Of course, having the internet is beneficial in schools, but if it’s not useable and there is a poor connection – what is the point in having it in the first place?
If there is a good connection available in schools, it will be a brilliant addition to any educational institution. It will allow students and teachers to move around the building without fear of losing connection and losing any work. It will also allow them to research key information that they may require in the exact moment that they require it. It will save many trips between the library and the classroom – allowing teachers to monitor their students at all times throughout their lessons instead of having students in and out of the classrooms that could disrupt a lesson further.
Gareth Tomlin who is the Technical Director of KBR commented:
“Education is rapidly moving towards mobile learning on the likes of iPads, Android Tablets and Google Chromebooks. These devices can only communicate with the school’s network over WiFi as they have no wired network port. One of the main reasons for this is the fantastic choice of educational applications and the fact that students are so comfortable using these types of devices in their homes. Lessons are now being written around this technology which means the lesson cannot be taught without fast, reliable WiFi and suitable internet access.”
Having Wi-Fi in schools also encourages collaboration with other pupils. Whether this being pupils in the same school, different schools around the country, or schools around the world! But this can only work if a good connection is installed within the education centre. It will also give pupils an insight to the way other people learn and they will be able to share individual techniques that helps benefit their learning process. This feature is also beneficial because if there is a student that has an illness or disability but is eager to learn, this will give them the opportunity to continue to take part in lessons through the use of conference calls.
With there being many specialists in certain areas of educational topics around the world, it would also enable schools to schedule in calls with those people and this could lead them to taking over the lesson for a certain amount of time. This allows schools to create strong connections with individuals and institutions around the world that will help benefit the learning experience of their students and teachers.
How will the use of internet in schools change in the next few years?
The way we use the internet changes all of the time, but the way we use it in schools will also come to change. With technology gadgets becoming more affordable, we will see students with their own personal device to use throughout their time in school, and these devices will be passed on to future students when the current one leaves – or the devices may be upgraded entirely by a renewed contract with the school’s supplier.
There will be a higher use of ‘the cloud’ that will enable teachers to store different types of materials for their lessons but also create a collection of work by their pupils – new and those that have left.
Students will have their own account on a built-in school system, this will enable their teachers to set tasks for homework but will also allow the students to complete their homework on their account and submit it back for their teacher to mark. This will equal in fewer worksheet types of homework that are currently given out now.
The use of the internet and Wi-Fi connections within schools will become essential to continue educating the new generations in the best way possible. The new generation will be using technology almost every day of their lives, whether this be for their own pleasure or in the working environment. But to have this in schools, to get them ahead of a competitive game for when they go out to the working world, the school must have a reliable connection to ensure they have the better educational needs that they deserve.