The directors of one of the North East’s leading technology firms predict continued strong growth in 2016 for the regional IT education sector despite budget strains.
Calibre Secured Networks Ltd directors Karen and Steve Nelson have eyes firmly fixed on schools across the region, who are switching to the benefits provided by new mobile and e-Learning technologies powered by enterprise-grade networks.
Nationally, schools spend more than £900 million a year on education technology and UK exports education products and services exports worth over £17 billion a year*
Investment in IT in the North East at least is expected to hold steady in the next 12 months in the face of the continued rise of things such as e-Books, which free up library space while other areas of education face budget restraints or even cutbacks.
The news follows success for Calibre in delivering advanced enterprise grade network technologies at Westpark Academy in Darlington, Gosforth’s Newcastle School for Boys, Sandhill View School in Sunderland, and Dubmire School in Houghton-le-Spring.
Steve says: “If there’s anything certain about the future, it’ll be the continuing, remorseless rise of e-Learning.
“Forward thinking schools are incorporating exciting new technologies such as gesture-based learning where students interact with digital resources instead of using a keyboard or mouse, into their curricula.”
An array of automated solutions to create new courses and learning materials, which save time and money, coming are now emerging says Steve Nelson. SRS (Student Response Systems) for instance will gain acceptance in classrooms as a new way to record responses for immediate feedback to the teacher.
“Curriculum elements, such as tests, quizzes and exercises will all be generated by tools able to efficiently scan the course content and recognise its most important aspects that should be tested.
“We also expect to see increasing use of augmented reality in e-Learning in 2016 and beyond, with pupils able to access and interact with expanded environments through mobile technologies such as Apple Watch, smartphone, tablets or Google Glass.
“Game-based learning, alongside technologies such as Cisco telepresence, will become extensive in the education sector. We have supplied a number of solutions this year and see even more education demand next year and beyond.
“This kind of learning will engage learners with action-based functionalities in real life in both the classroom and beyond through GPS technologies.
However the challenge moving forward will be for schools to commit to training their IT staff to up-skill to keep up with the new technologies.
Steve Nelson added: “The skills’ gap among IT technicians is a huge problem and schools will need to train these people as well as teachers quickly in the face of increasingly complex IT estates.
“Moreover, as increasing amounts of data is gathered, schools will face pressures to address their storage platforms and ensure they have robust back up solutions.
“And this of course provides opportunities for firms like us who can support the sector with added value solutions built on extensive experience and expertise in the sector.”
It’s exciting times with technologies powered by the new high performance networks providing flexible learning solutions that will are not only be different but also future proof, improving the whole interactive learning experience for years to come.
Calibre provides IT solutions, working across the UK and Europe with clients building long-term strategic relationships to deliver added value solutions, which provide lasting user benefits. More atwww.calibre-secured.net
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