During the BETT 2011 event, Dell Education ran a competition to discover what ICT professionals in the education sector saw as their top IT priority for the next twelve months. Respondents just had to tweet what their own big IT projects in education would be. Looking at the entries that we received, there were a couple of interesting trends for systems management in eduction:
- There was a split between the use of IT within the classroom to improve teaching and engagement on one hand, and the role of ICT and management on the other. It was not a straight divide between “front-office” IT and “back-office” management, but there was a recognition by just under half of those that entered that there is a requirement for better management in order for IT assets to be useful
- Online tools and collaboration software are a big trend for systems management in education and will play an even greater role in the classroom over the next year, as teachers can use these tools to expand pupils’ knowledge and ways to learn. One of the respondents called this “bringing the world into the classroom.”
- Another big trend in systems management in Education is students and teachers are all potentially interested in bringing in their own IT assets into the classroom. As more people get their own laptops or smart phones, they would like to use these devices in the classroom as part of their day-to-day learning and teaching.
This trend of individuals wanting to use their own laptops is referred to as the “consumerization” of IT in business circles – as everyone gets more familiar with computers and IT, they tend to want to use these devices more in their daily lives; this is not only a trend in systems management in business it is not becoming a trend in education. Instead of the school providing a device, pupils want to bring in their own laptop from home – this can be because it is their personal device that they are familiar with, and sometimes it can be because the laptop or other device is much newer than the one that the school owns and so performance is much better.
For IT professionals that support computer networks, looking at these trends can show them what they will need to consider in future. Managing ICT assets so that teachers can get the most out of them within the classroom is an ongoing concern, while new trends like IT consumerization and pupil-owned devices entering the network will make systems management in education an area where schools may have to invest in order to keep pace with the needs of the teachers and students.
These shifts in systems management for educational institutions increases pressure on IT administrators to increase efficiency without sacrificing educational quality.The Dell KACE Family of Systems Management Appliances meet and overcome these challenges; multiple educational institutes from k-12 to higher education leverage the Dell KACE Management Appliance to help them quickly, easily, and cost effectively manage their IT environments. Find out more about Dell KACE Educational Customers.