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NFER March 2020
NFER March 2020

How to make sure your app strategy is a success

March 11, 2020, 12:14 GMT+1
Read in 3 minutes
  • Michael Oakes explains how to pull off app rollouts that work...
How to make sure your app strategy is a success

So, your school has decided it wants to make the move into the cloud and introduce an app-based learning environment.

But what does that involve, what challenges or benefits do apps provide, and how can you ensure that stakeholders – from governors and teachers to parents – are onboard with that change?

Why rollout apps?

Over the past decade, the influence of technology on learning in the classroom has exploded and apps are at the forefront of the change. Apps facilitate great educational experiences for children by improving accessibility and students’ overall interaction with learning materials.

While there are a lot of applications available in online stores, choosing the right ones – from assessment tools, to online homework and classroom activities – is imperative.

Whether they’re designed to give pupils an interactive syllabus, or simply a way for teachers to better track results, apps are reinventing how schools operate.

But what about security?

Of course, as with any digital service, security is a concern – particularly when your school is handling personal and sensitive information about its pupils. In a cloud environment, everything can be accessed remotely, and this can raise difficulties if, or when, a student loses their password.

Thankfully, there’s a solution which easily remedies this: two-factor authentication. This secures applications by restricting access to users who either own the device such as a phone, laptop or tablet – or it’s at least registered to them – or know the password.

This means that provided a student has one of these two credentials they will be able to access their apps with minimal disruption to their classes.

How to rollout apps

  • Identify the right apps
    Speak with your teachers to understand where and how apps can benefit them both in the classroom and with time-consuming administration. Only select and implement apps with a clear benefit and ensure that the IT department and staff are aware of how to find and download them.
  • Bring stakeholders on board
    It’s crucial that teachers, governors and parents are all bought in on applications being rolled out. From helping alleviate teachers with their time-consuming tasks to showing parents how these apps can give them a better understanding of their child’s education, making them your biggest supporters will ensure any change comes easily.
  • Don’t forget to support users
    Our latest research found that despite the potential of technology to improve classroom learning and school processes, just over a quarter (27%) of teachers admit they’re confident in using the existing technology provided by their school, emphasising how important this is. Remember it will take users – teachers, students and pupils – some time to learn how to use new apps and making sure they have access to training and support is an important part of the process.

These steps will ensure teachers become your biggest advocates for the change, and can effectively convince pupils, governors and parents of the benefits they provide. Ultimately, if your teachers, governors and students aren’t bought into any change, then it will likely be doomed from the start.

Michael Oakes is Change Strategy Manager at RM Education Education.

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