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Meaningful vs Tokenistic ICT Solutions.
If an ICT solution that is used in any school is to introduce and promote meaningful benefits for students and teachers, it should be designed in a manner that upholds the various specific aspects outlined on this page. A solution that lacks any of these aspects highly risks being a mere token serving as nothing more than just an imitation of real ICT implementation. Such imitations provide no meaningful benefit to the improvement of teaching by teachers and/or learning by students, and are at best, a waste of valuable resources that are mostly scarce already.
Implementing ICT solutions that lack vital components is not only unnecessarily costly, it is also as good as not even pretending the slightest to implement a solution; since no value is derived from it. Comparatively, implementing the robust solution offered by ExpertEase Technologies is cheap and full of benefits and features that introduce a massive boost in the learning experience of students and teaching competence of teachers, which improves grades and positions your school highly competitively on national school league boards.
What Makes an ICT Solution Meaningful?
An ICT solution that allows the meaningful derivation of benefit for the development of students’ and teachers’ experience should comprise the following aspects as basics:
Maximum Security – Children can be suggestible and very vulnerable to grooming and abuse online, by paedophiles and abusers. They can also be easy targets for cyber bullies to torment with abusive messages and emails, which trigger distress that may potentially cause permanent psychological damage. This makes the first mandatory attribute for any meaningful ICT solution for use in any school environment to be ‘high security’. Security involves network access control and monitoring, and the filtering of websites and keywords used by users when communicating online and/or across the local area network (LAN).
As part of the ICT solution, we at ExpertEase Technologies, also control and restrict the use of USB media on school computers. No age-inappropriate content can ever be downloaded or viewed using computer hardware that is operated by ExpertEase Technologies. The authorisation for using USB media is granted on strict grounds, for example, to staff and technicians.
Our system allows teachers to view the screens of all students in real-time, and to take over the control of devices alongside the students, or to lock the student completely out of controlling their own computer. This avoids students engaging in disruptive behaviour whilst the teacher is delivering a lesson.
High Performance – The performance of an ICT network is vital to keep at high levels if learners and teachers are to ever derive any value from the ICT solution. High-speed networks, modern computers and other ICT hardware with high specs and speed, timely correction of glitches and/or problems by dedicated support personnel, and the availability of standby replacement equipment to cover any breakdowns and maintain smooth service are the key enablers of such required high performance. All the software that is used for implementing the ICT solution must also be world-class in nature and capabilities, as well as legally licenced and diligently upgraded. At Expertease, we provide all these aspects as basic components of the ICT solution that we supply to our clients.
ICT Across The Entire School Campus – ICT equipment must not be available and used in the computer lab only. It must be available and used in all classrooms across the school, without prejudice or compromise. Thus, a Shona lesson must be capable of being taught using an Interactive Smart Board in the same way that a Physics lesson does.
24/7/263 Access, from anywhere – The learning of students does not only happen in classrooms. This means that even during the weekends or when students are on school holidays, they must still be afforded opportunities to explore the vast knowledge that is available online. The ICT solution offered by ExpertEase is underpinned by understanding the need for learners to learn anytime and at any place. As such, students served by our ICT solution can surf the network safely from their homes by logging remotely onto our network. At the click of the mouse too, our students can access coursework and/or homework from teachers via the network, and submit the same back online for marking. All this is enabled by our ICT solution supporting internet-enabled devices to connect from anywhere in the world.
Real-time backups – We use high-spec dedicated servers to control and run the LAN and Internet connectivity for our client schools’ users. All programs that drive our solution, the user login credentials and user files are securely stored and backed up in real time in mirror format on secondary drives. This means that, in the unlikely event of the main storage drives getting compromised or corrupted, or seizing to function, the backup drives can be deployed immediately to restore normal functionality of the network and ICT system. This alleviates network downtime and maximises learning opportunities for students.
1 Student : 1 Device – In order for schools in the SADC region to match world-class ICT standards, their students must be able to use computers without sharing with others. This allows them the maximum possible opportunity for practising, without any unnecessary breaks that are consistent with giving others a chance, which happens when they share devices. The computer labs that are operated by ExpertEase Technologies have enough computers for each student to have a dedicated device that they do not share with anyone else for the duration of each lesson.
Teachers’ Competence in Using ICT equipment for Teaching – The best ever ICT system does not create any value for students if the teachers who are supposed to use it have limited knowledge in operating the hardware and/or using the software that is available for that purpose. At ExpertEase, we ensure that your teachers have the relevant skills in using hardware and software by training them ourselves until they possess skills and competence at levels that directly translate to high value for students’ learning experience.
Academic-Version YouTube and Google – Google and YouTube are some of the very vital sources for educational materials that also serve as conduits for accessing age-inappropriate and unauthorised content. Our system allows the regular versions of popular search engines, media players and websites to be restricted, and only the academic or educational versions to be accessed. This means that, regardless of the length of time that your children and/or students spend online using ExpertEase Technologies ICT system, you are assured that they do not access any content whatsoever that is outside of educational and knowledge-enhancing. We are very serious about our students’ learning in an age-appropriate environment and their protection from inappropriate content when navigating online.
Please believe us when we say, a good ICT solution goes way beyond just handing computers to a school and leaving teachers and students to experiment with them without support. The aspects that we highlighted on this page are what is mandatory to have in place if a meaningful solution is to be in place.
We are glad to notify you that these comprise only a fraction of what ExpertEase Technologies has in place as the basic components of the ICT solution on offer. We truly are Simply The Best.
It makes sense to invest in the provision of a meaningful ICT to your students and teachers. It is also very easy to relax in offering an ICT solution that is an unfair waste of resources and opportunities for students. The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Is there ever a better gift, than to afford them equal opportunity and skills for competing in this globalised world?