Closing the Tech Gap in Education

Every day it seems you flip on the news and there is another story of schools needing to cut back their budgets. Times are tight, but for our students to get ahead they have to be proficient with technology.

Technology can be the great equalizer in education. Equal access to online tools, technologies programs is critical for students to get to the next level.

But how do you make sure there is that equal access? And how do you ensure that students and teachers can get the most out of the technologies at their disposal?

GovLoop went to HP’s annual user conference, Discover, to find out how these tools are making a difference.

One of the users is Vince DiStasi the VP and Chief Information Officer at Grove City College. Grove City recognized more than a decade ago that to prepare students for life in the 21st century, it had to take an evolutionary leap in educational technology the college instituted a 1:1 HP Notebook PC program, supported by a comprehensive HP infrastructure, that today enables Grove City College to control IT costs while providing students with the technological education they need to launched successful careers.

Grove City College was able to make more resources available for innovation because of:

  • 25% to 50% reduction in time to provision infrastructure for new initiatives
  • 90% reduction cabling and switching requirements, saving money and time
  • 10-fold faster backups, resulting in an 80% reduction in server downtime
  • 15:1 reduction in capacity required for backup data, reducing storage costs

One of the people behind HP’s education plan is Gus Schmedlen, Vice President, Worldwide Education.

“The education landscape is shifting as we see the rise of mobility, social networking, big data, and cloud computing. Big data raises questions as to how IT will be able to manage structured and unstructured data sets that are too large to process using traditional data processing applications. Add to this picture an unpredictable global economy, scaled-back IT resources, aging infrastructures, and a growing pressure to deliver results instantly, and it’s easy to see that IT is at a critical juncture.”

How can schools apply the New Style of IT to the fundamental functions of education: curriculum, pedagogy and assessment?

  • Cloud: Choosing devices and solutions that enable schools to migrate to real-time content curation, student assessment, learning management and collaboration
  • Mobility: Ensuring that students and teachers – highly-mobile, nomadic users – get access to data, applications and their peers, at any time, from any place
  • Big Data: Harnessing the power of data mining and identifying causal relationships among a myriad of variables produced by student information systems, learning management systems and mobile device management (MDM).
  • Security: With no exceptions, ensuring sensitive student and employee data is secure, while ensuring a positive user experience for those credentialed to access it.

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