Schools are constantly working to find better ways of doing things, from the way support staff operate, how communication is maintained between parents, pupils and teachers and, more importantly, how teaching is conducted.
We have come a long way from the rows of tables and chairs where pupils sat down and often learned subject material by rote. The emphasis nowadays is on creating students who have a lifelong love of learning and can go on to be in charge of their own development.
Technology has been one of the main driving forces in helping many schools better manage their budgets, releasing valuable resources for use in teaching and learning. One way these schools are helping to drive down the cost of administration is in using mobile apps that keep parents, pupils and teachers informed of what is going on. This gives immediate push notifications on devices such as smartphones and tablets but also releases admin staff from having to spend time contacting parents directly.
Another area that schools are saving money and also helping to save the planet is by updating their print provision. Swapping to the latest multi-function printers can not only reduce the amount of paper and consumables used, as well as lowering the electricity costs, it can also change the way staff and pupils approach printing with the ability to send documents direct to smart devices rather than printing out. The collective impact of this kind of strategy across all schools in the UK can significantly reduce carbon footprints as well as produce better productivity in the office.
The biggest boon in schools in recent years has been the improvement in technology. Devices such as smart boards in the classroom have provided a more interactive and interesting environment for pupils to engage in. That means teachers can utilise all the power of their own learning materials as well as having access in the classroom to useful tools such as the internet that provide a more rounded and engaging experience for pupils.
There has been a move by business owners in recent years to engage with schools and help create students who are more entrepreneurial in thought and action. The skills of project management, time management and idea development have often been sadly lacking in our educational establishments despite the fact that they are some of the key skills our children need as they head into the adult world of work. Some schools are tackling this by getting students involved in crowdfunding where they take part in activities as a group to help develop a business or fund raising idea. The skills they develop in these situations are highly transferrable and will help them with their chosen professional choices in the future.
Planning for the future and making pupils aware of important green issues is also important for many schools. Changing the way we all think and behave is a monumental task and starting young can have huge benefits. This can be easily incorporated into the learning experience as one school found when it decided to set up its own recycling plant. Another school introduced bee hives and joined forces with a school in Uganda that enabled not only a cultural exchange but also gave pupils the opportunity to learn more about ecosystems.
There is no doubt that schools across the world are engaged in brilliant innovations and developments that are improving the future prospects of pupils. From encouraging entrepreneurial thought to bringing greater efficiency to operations and processes, there’s certainly a lot going on. Let us know below in the comments section what kind of imaginative things you’re doing in your school to provide a better learning experience for pupils. We’d love to hear from you.