K–12 Administrators Accomplish More with the Cloud
Today’s administrators increasingly take advantage of technologies that can improve student learning and help close the achievement gap.
Ninety-seven percent of administrators say that using educational technology is key to preparing students for future success, according to research findings from Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization.
They’re specifically interested in using technology for seamless learning, both in and out of school, setting up virtual schools and providing students with access to more online courses, among other initiatives, writes Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, in a white paper.
More administrators also use tech solutions to improve their own productivity, Evans writes.
In particular, cloud-based applications streamline workflow for administrators, thanks to features that let users work across multiple platforms simultaneously from any device. Plus, communication becomes more effective and wide-ranging when real-time communication tools such as videoconferencing are integrated into cloud-based software. And at a minimum, many cloud vendors implement security measures that meet data privacy regulations, which can help alleviate potential headaches around student privacy.
With Cloud-Based Tools, Collaboration Ensues
The cloud also lets administrators access their work anywhere, at any time, and helps them manage their team of educators without needing to be in the same room.
Office 365 integrates well-known programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Outlook with cloud-based services like OneDrive and Microsoft Teams, which administrators can leverage to share documents and resources with each other and keep track of what educators and staff are working on, even when school buildings are closed.
Similarly, G Suite Enterprise for Education comes with apps that seamlessly connect, giving administrators the ability to efficiently tackle numerous tasks, from scheduling meetings to co-editing files in real time.
Videoconferencing Technology Transforms Collaboration with Staff
Cloud-based videoconferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams also enable administrators to connect with staff, even when schools are closed. By creating a “staff team,” they can schedule virtual meetings that come with content sharing and whiteboard capabilities, recreating in-person collaboration. When integrated with OneNote, administrators can also keep schoolwide and districtwide discussions organized and make important documents easy for all staff to reference to during meetings.
Other solutions give administrators access to features that help ensure meeting participants are engaged and providing input in discussions, even if they’re not communicating face-to-face. For example, Google recently updated Hangouts Meet to enhance the experience for their education users, allowing only meeting creators and calendar owners to mute or remove participants in a meeting. And Zoom’s videoconferencing software allows meeting hosts to create virtual “breakout rooms” to split a meeting into separate sessions.
Whether by empowering students in the classroom or assisting administrators with their work remotely, cloud technology is transforming education and opening up new doors for teaching and learning.