From campus security measures to AR teaching tools, high-bandwidth applications continue to make inroads at schools.
Exciting advancements in K-12 education technology are helping school districts meet the educational needs of their students while enabling teachers and faculty to create productive and safe learning environments. It’s no wonder that, as the use of such technology continues to reshape educational standards, 84% of school admins surveyed by Funds for Learning expect bandwidth needs to increase in the next three years to keep up.
Let’s take a closer look at the technology trends that are shaping schools today and causing school district IT teams to reevaluate bandwidth requirements:
Physical Security Goes High Tech
With increased concerns about physical threats in schools, technology is crucial in supporting safe and secure environments. In 2022, Congress passed the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” bill, allocating $1 billion for schools to create safe learning environments and $300 million for training and equipment for school threat deterrence. Improved video monitoring and AI-assisted access control are essential components of this strategy, both of which require substantial bandwidth
An example of effective access control implementation comes from a school district in Lakewood, New Jersey, which reduced individual student screening time from 40 minutes to just 15 by implementing a new access control system, according to EdTech Magazine. The system, powered by AI-enabled sensors, scans students for weapons without requiring them to stop or remove personal items. Additionally, AI-powered video cameras are expected to enhance monitoring capabilities in 2023, as the increasing number of cameras becomes challenging for humans to monitor effectively.
AI in the Classroom – and the Teacher’s Lounge
While debates arise around students using AI for assignments, teachers may find it helpful for their workloads by assisting with tasks like building lesson plans, writing emails, grading tests, creating rubrics, and providing student feedback, ultimately saving educators time and potentially reducing burnout.
Furthermore, some schools are using ChatGPT to engage students and encourage them to think critically about AI, helping identify inherent biases. Programs like an AI literacy curriculum developed by the Scheller Teacher Education Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aim to equip students with the necessary skills for an AI-enabled world. With more students and faculty using AI simultaneously, school networks have to keep up with the bandwidth demands.
Immersive Education Has Arrived
While the early hype around AR may have subsided, applications for educators are coming online and the AR education market is expected to reach $5.3 billion in 2023. The technology allows students to take virtual field trips or interact with 3D models during science classes.
By integrating AR into vocational and technical training programs, students can engage in simulated real-world scenarios, allowing them to develop practical skills in a safe and controlled environment. Whether practicing medical procedures, troubleshooting technical equipment, or honing artistic techniques, AR can provide invaluable hands-on experiences that prepare students for their future careers.
Educators and technology evangelists like Christine Danhoff from Genoa Area Local Schools in Genoa, Ohio, have praised AR technology for its ability to excite students, foster collaboration, and make content more meaningful and memorable.
AR is as bandwidth-intensive as it is valuable. Schools must evaluate connectivity alongside innovative AR solutions to ensure students get a seamless experience.
Getting Personal with Education Technology
Personalized education is not new, but its importance has been amplified in the post-COVID-19 era. With learning deficits resulting from the crisis, personalized learning is now more crucial than ever. AI is facilitating the widespread adoption of customized education.
Adaptive learning systems utilize artificial intelligence algorithms to tailor educational content to each learner’s individual needs, and ChatGPT, for example, can be used to offer tutoring in various subjects tailored to the specific needs and skill level of each student, adjusting the complexity of responses, provide quizzes, and offer explanations to help students understand concepts at their own pace.
One case study of the power of “learner-centered pedagogy supported by technology” is the Talladega County School system in Alabama. The district’s graduation rate rose from 70% in 2008 to 93% in 2022 after implementing an initiative that used personal electronic devices and a Google Classroom learning management platform to create personalized content for the students.
The Future is Closer Than You Think. Is Your Classroom Ready?
These four trends indicate that technology can help address even the most sizable challenges facing education. To achieve the full promise of such cutting-edge technology, your district must also embrace the underlying infrastructure that enables these trends, such as fiber-optic internet and cloud technology. Understanding your school’s capabilities is essential before diving headfirst into new tech.
If your school is looking for guidance with technology or its E-Rate program, Uniti can help. We have helped over 200 school districts build networks to meet their education needs.
Contact us today for a Free E-Rate Network Assessment.