Mark Anderson is a former teacher and school leader and now award-winning author, blogger, speaker, thought-leader and trainer around all things to do with teaching, learning and effective use of technology in the classroom.
Mark firmly believes that education is a force for good and under his moniker of the ICT Evangelist he strives to demonstrate how technology is something that can help to make the big difference to the lives of learners and teachers alike.
He’s taking over as our guest editor over the summer with a series of blog posts highlighting the great things you can do with technology so that it can have the impact it so rightly should!
Faith can be a really powerful thing. I have faith in lots of things such as the brakes in my car working. That faith doesn't happen automatically though. Faith in these things is built up over time which leads to us having the confidence to use them without having to think too much about them. When it comes to using technology, particularly in education, given the time constraints and tight budgets, it is important that we do not have to make leaps of faith and leave our success to chance. Just like the brakes on my car, we cannot just have blind faith that these things will work. To support this when it comes to cars we have things such as our Government imposed MOT tests to make sure that our cars are roadworthy. Safety is too important to be left to chance. In the same way, in order to ensure that the technology you purchase for your school meets the right standards and are used well, we have to make sure that the deployment of these devices has been done in ways so as to not impact on your teaching or your pupil's learning. Additionally, we need to make sure that the devices we choose to use are set up in ways that ensure the safety of our young digital citizens too.
I class myself as a modern educator. A modern educator is someone who uses technology in the classroom to support and enhance their teaching and the learning of their students. I know how important it is to be confident that the technology we are going to use is going to work. Robust deployment processes to ensure safety and efficacy are key to the successful use of technology in education.
As a teacher, we have all had those experiences where the Wi-Fi has caused us problems, or the login times have meant that a lot of a lesson is lost whilst waiting for technology to come on and be available. Thankfully, technology is at a stage now where these issues don't have to impact on teaching or learning any more.
The forthcoming Summer months can often be a stressful time for IT Admins as this is often the time when schools choose to refresh their technology for the start of the next academic year in readiness for when students return to school following the break. Key things to consider include setting up student and staff user accounts, device management, app deployment, shared learning spaces, linking these things to your MIS (Management Information System) - there is a lot to consider. Thankfully, Microsoft provide lots of resources to help IT Admins set up their Windows devices with ease.
By simply visiting the Microsoft Education documentation and resources pages you can find support for all types of set up activities. From looking at it from a deployment overview perspective to actually getting into the nitty gritty of cloud deployment, device management and setting up all of the tools required for teachers and students, Microsoft have you covered.
Here you can learn about setting up your Office 365 tenant which is your first step to getting your school onto Office 365. You can also learn about how to secure your network, sync your Active Directory, sync your MIS and sort out the important licenses for all of your users.
Here you can learn about how to successfully deploy Windows 10, manage your devices using Intune for Education, install any Office apps or other apps you wish to include from the Microsoft Store for Education and even set up Minecraft Education Edition for your colleagues.
Tools for Teachers
The final piece of the Microsoft jigsaw is to sort out all of those important tools that all of your teachers will be crying out for. In this section you will be supported in ensuring that Microsoft's Learning Tools, OneNote Class Notebooks, Teams for Education, Microsoft Forms and access to other things such as Skype in the Classroom and other education resources are only a click away for your colleagues. It's all here for you.
As someone who knows the pain points of making deployment a success, these resources are an absolute must for you as you roll out your devices for the start of the next academic year. Bookmark them now by visiting the resources here.
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Blog > ictevangelist.com